Dear Nokia India, Why Don’t You Leverage Your Retail Store Network Better?

Nokia’s had an online store for well over a year now, and while we haven’t seen any concerete numbers about how successful its been, my guess is that it still trailers online retailers like Flipkart and others by a distance. When the store launched, it promised a delivery time of 4 working days, and for most devices its still that much. But look at some of the popular phones, and you’ll see that most of them are either out of stock or come with long delivery times.

At the time of publishing, the Lumia 520 (in all its coloured variants) was out of stock. Cyan, Black and Green colour variants of the Lumia 620 were out of stock, white and yellow were available with a 4 day shipping time, while a Magenta Lumia 620 would take 10 days. No variant of the Lumia 720 would be delivered in less than 7 days as well. If the Lumias were as successful as the online store seems to suggest, Nokia’s is well on its way to a blockbuster quarter.

Nokia Online Store

The thing is that if you call a local Nokia retail store, you’ll see that these devices are very much in stock and the local vendor will probably give you a better deal on the price as well. The thing about buying a phone is that once you decide that you want a device, you want it in your hands that very second, and an online store telling me that I’ll have to wait for a week is just ridiculous.

What I don’t get is why doesn’t Nokia India leverage its retail presence? They have a store in almost even nook and corner of the country, and each of those stores is a possible distribution point.

Here is how things could work.

  • You place an order.
  • Nokia looks up the location from which it was placed, calls its local distributor/biggest store in that area.
  • The distributor is given the address of the customer, and a delivery boy immediately leaves for that address.
  • The device is delivered in a matter of hours.

While I understand that managing something like this can be a logistical nightmare, but that’s where customer service comes in. When you are no longer the incumbent, you have to do things like these to shake up the market. This is what the challenger mindset looks like. Don’t do it in the smaller towns, justs start with the metros. You obviously cannot promise same day delivery, but that will allow you to say something like “Delivered in o-4 days”, rather than the disappointing “Delivered in 4 working days”.

The advantages of something like this are immense:

  • Same day/next day deliveries make a lot of people happy.
  • Nokia saves on shipping costs
  • The local Nokia Priority Stores that are now either ceasing to be sole Nokia stores, or worse converting to Samsung Smartphone Cafes get a piece of the online sales pie.
  • Positive social media chatter. People who receive their devices the same day will only have good things to say on Twitter and Facebook.
  • People finally start considering Nokia’s official store as their goto portal, and Nokia’s reliance on selling through Flipkart etc is lowered.
  • I could go on, but you get the idea.

Dear Nokia, take this up like a pilot project, and see where it goes.