As Sprint prepares to open 1,000 more Boost Mobile locations throughout the US over the next year, the company is taking a fresh approach to in-store experience. The new locations will be “Next Generation” stores, according to Sprint, and will offer a more open layout designed to drive consumers to come in and switch providers. Nick Holt, creative director at Sprint Prepaid Group, spoke to eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about the new stores and the digital strategy that supports them.
eMarketer: Sprint recently announced the opening of ‘Next Generation’ Boost Mobile stores. Can you explain what that means?
Nick Holt: We are expanding our distribution plan, and part of that effort is our Next Generation store design. Many of our older locations tend to be cluttered, so we’ve made an effort to change that. We’re not trying to be the Apple store, but it’s our version of a great shopping experience.
eMarketer: What’s new and different about these locations?
Holt: We wanted to elevate the shopping experience by giving it a premium feel that allows for more interaction. In our older locations, most interactions happen behind the counter. One of the main goals for our new locations was to open things up and allow for our sales associates to walk out onto the floor and interact more with consumers. [We split the locations] into zones where different sales scenarios can play out and optimized them in a way that helps shoppers experience our products and services.
eMarketer: The aim of your most recent marketing campaign is to get consumers to switch over from other providers. How will the new in-store environment be conducive to switching? How will it drive that behavior?
Holt: From an advertising perspective, we're focused on driving awareness about the new, more welcoming Boost Mobile in-store experience. At the same time, in our TV spots, we are tapping into the key frustration points that consumers deal with every day, including expensive family plans, lacking areas of coverage, broken phones and other concerns. We want to deliver the best wireless value from a prepaid standpoint and be aggressively competitive on pricing, while establishing an environment where consumers can come in and see everything for themselves.
eMarketer: What was the biggest challenge in overhauling the in-store experience?