Vodacom has launched its Store of the Future, which bridges the physical and digital retail gap.
The Store of the Future takes inspiration from Vodacom World in Midrand, which was transformed into the first digitally connected mall in Africa.
“Our consumer research and insights show that 52% of consumers avoid stores not appealing to the eye. Key to this ground-breaking ‘phygital’ store of the future is the physical expression of our journey from a telco to a techco as we expand our range of products and services while making them easy to access, purchase and use by customers. The new design is in line with our purpose of connecting for a better future in which our business success does not come at a cost to the planet, and we are committed to halving our environmental impact by 2025,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer: Consumer Business at Vodacom.
“We are re-designing our stores to make the traditional customer experience as streamlined and hassle-free as possible while providing solutions for all customers. Whether they’re consumer prepaid or post-paid, business or in need of financial services, the new stores – and store model – has something for everyone,” adds Mendes.
Walking into the Vodacom Store of the Future, customers will be greeted with a wide-open, welcoming design that encourages them to engage and experience with everything in their vicinity.
One of the many new capabilities is the 24/7 self-service located at the front of the store, where customers can interact and transact whether the store is open or closed. Customers can also book an appointment, scan through Vodacom’s catalogue, secure the best package for their budget and so much more on the store’s interactive touchscreens. An industry first is a self-checkout kiosk to buy airtime, pay accounts, browse new devices, or check upgrade eligibility.
The new store will also create a space for SME engagement. With many small businesses hit hard by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodacom is committed in its efforts to offer support to this sector. This ranges from small business fibre packages and SME financial services to finding the most affordable packages for employees.
As part of Vodacom’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its activities, sustainable materials and design principles have been used throughout the store to reduce wastage. This has included 80% of waste generated during the build stage of the stores being recycled, the use of smart plugs to control and adjust the intensity of lighting at any time and a water loss detection sensor to locate water leaks at any time via a mobile app.
The first of its kind Vodacom Store of the Future has been launched in Fourways, following soon thereafter in Midrand, Gauteng. They will both feature a digital and physical design model that is future-ready and seeks to deliver on customer experience.
“We are building more than stores and rather creating an experience and information hub aimed at encouraging, empowering, and connecting local businesses and customers so no one is left behind. We want go further together through harnessing the power of technology and invite you to come on this journey with us,” concludes Mendes.