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How Singapore’s Singtel reinvented its stores

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The story of Singtel’s omnichannel reinvention through its portable unmanned store concept Unboxed, which won an award for the best store design in the world

New Delhi: Singtel is one of the largest telecom companies in Singapore, serving 677 million customers globally. The company sought to demonstrate leadership in technology, customer-centric service, and retail formats.

Many telecom providers push customers online for convenience, but this can create a fragmented experience between the physical and digital platforms. Singtel’s vision was to create an omnichannel experience closer to their customers’ lifestyles while giving them a first-hand experience of the latest technology and personalized service.

Business need/challenge
Singtel partnered with global brand consultancy Landor & Fitch to help reinvent its experience. The project had three core objectives:
1. Increase convenience – to bring the Singtel experience to customers where they were
2. Demonstrate technological leadership across the connected world
3. Help people better navigate and enhance their connected world with Singtel

Approach/Insight 
Landor & Fitch created the brand idea of ‘Experience YOUR connected world’. The brand experience is the living embodiment of Singtel’s brand promise to ‘Make every day better’.

The team came up with the original concept of Unboxed, Singapore’s first 5G-powered and 24-hour unmanned store.

Designed by Landor & Fitch, the experiential concept store offers customers a fast, fuss-free, convenient and personalized new retail experience day and night, digitally and physically.

Whilst ‘unmanned’ stores have been piloted in other geographies, typically in the convenience store sector, Unboxed offers a physical retail experience that matches the convenience of digital channels with the multi-sensorial benefits of physical retail, including human service at its heart. Despite being ‘unmanned,’ it is a highly human experience where needed. Facial recognition ensures that the experience is highly personalized, and if expert help is needed, service staff is available 24/7 via video kiosks or roaming bots that facilitate every kind of transaction and service
need.

The structure of the store extends as required through innovative mechanical engineering. Even in its condensed form, no service or experiential opportunity is compromised.

The unit is portable, transported easily, and can be placed in the tightest locations. Service design is central to the concept.

State-of-the-art technology powers the experience, from the latest security sensors and 5G connection to intuitive, interactive touchpoints that enable customers to explore and compare the latest devices.

For purchasing physical devices or accessories, transactions are allowed seamlessly, with customers immediately able to pick up their device from a POPstation locker.

How Singapore’s Singtel reinvented its stores

Impact
After opening its first four locations within the first eight months, over 50,000 customers visited despite COVID-19. According to Landor & Fitch, a positive customer experience score of 96% has been recorded to date, and it has received global recognition from opinion leaders and analysts.

The concept has won multiple awards across Asia including:
1. 2020’s Outstanding Store Design, World Retail Awards
2. Winner, Omnichannel Category, Best Retail Experience Awards
3. Winner, Telecommunications Category, Singapore Business Review Awards
4. Best Digital Transformation Project, Global Telecoms Awards
5. Best eCommerce Innovation (Silver), Asia eCommerce Awards

Unboxed has also been included in high-profile analyst reports and publications such as Forbes as a prime example of pioneering retail. To experience Unboxed, click here.

Case study courtesy: Landor & Fitch

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