Tag Archives: Nokia Retail Stores

Notes From Nokia India’s Lumia Launch: Mid December Availability, New Retail Experience To Boot

Nokia India yesterday held the official India launch event for its Lumia branded Windows Phones, outlining the strategy and philosophy with which the devices will go on sale. Both the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 are expected to be available mid December in India, making it one of the first few countries in the world to get the latest and greatest from Nokia.

There was no official word on pricing in India but it expected to follow global cues, the Lumia 800 is priced at 420 Euros before taxes, while the Lumia 710 is priced at 270 Euros. Correspondingly, I expect the Lumia 800 to launch around the 30,000 INR mark, while the Lumia 710 will retail at around 19,000 INR. The reason for the lack of an official price was pegged on the prevailing fluctuations in the global currencies, we can expect a official quote when pre-orders go live in early December.

We have extensively covered the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 before, so this post is focussed on the maketing strategy that Nokia India will adopt to market these devices. The first step in this direction will be an all new retail experience, with 5000 top Nokia retail outlets getting a makeover.  This includes 2D and 3D branding and a flood of live demo units in the new Nokia arc, the number of live units so placed will be the largest ever for Nokia. The idea behind all of this is to bring the Nokia retail experience in India to a premium level, something which according to Nokia India MD D. Shivakumar has been missing so far. Infact, to ensure that the consumers experience the Lumia devices in the best possible way, sales will be limited to only those Nokia stores that will have received a facelift, so not every store across the street from you will be selling these devices.

Next a significant focus will be also be to train employees across these stores so that they can help the consumer with everything from questions before purchase to setting up devices after sale. So much so, that on the day the Lumia devices first go on sale across the country, each and every Nokia employee will be at one of these Nokia stores showing off the latest devices. Additionally, Nokia India will also be leveraging its Nokia Care centers to get the word out, all of which will feature what Nokia likes to call the ‘Lumia Experience’.

Finally, a few notes on the devices and services. Needless to say they will ship with Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive for free navigation across the India and the world. The India centric coverage has really improved in the last few months and a lot of cities also support 3D landmarks. Second, Mix Radio, Nokia’s genre based streaming service will also be available in India. Next, unlimited music downloads (similar to Comes With Music/ Ovi Music unlimited) are also coming to Lumia devices next year, and there is reason to hope that Nokia will try and go down the DRM free path this time, just like it distributes music in China.

Finally, here is a short video showcasing Nokia’s retail strategy and how it plans to attract consumers to its stores.

Lumia 800 Ads Take Over London’s Heathrow Airport, Yet Nokia’s Store There Shuts Down

Just as you enter Terminal 5 of London’s Heathrow airport, you are literally bombarded with Lumia 800 ads. There are six of them, playing on giant screens across the hall, so no matter where you eneter, the Lumia 800 Ad is impossible to miss. It looks great, feels fresh and draws you to it, giving Nokia’s new launch some necessary eyeballs.

As you can see, screen after screen playing the one minute ad, again and again. Infact, its the only advertisement that one can spot before you clear security. Here what it looks like:

Great. But, I do have one problem with Nokia’s approach. There used to be a Nokia Store at Terminal 5, showcasing all the Nokia products in an exclusive setting. That store closed one week before Nokia’s big Lumia reveal. One week before their phones became cool again.

So instead of walking in, seeing the ad and then checking out the Nokia devices in the ad I’ve seen, now I can see the ads and then – nothing. I cross security and I forget about it, or as Nokia would hope, remember to then specially goto a Nokia Store operator/multibrand store to check it out.

Lumia 800 Ads Take Over London's Heathrow Airport, Yet Its Store There Shuts Down

(Nokia’s Terminal 5 Store As It Was)

I have been a big advocate of retail stores and I possibly could not understand why Nokia was shutting down its own online AND retail stores. Even if they don’t make money for you Nokia, its important to keep them. Most people will come checkout the device and if they like it, buy it at a store which was selling them for a lesser price, and Nokia should be fine with that. So even if the Heathrow store just sold 10 Lumia 800’s in a month, it would be fine because of who knows how many people have would have gone back home and ordered that device online or via their operator based on the lovely experience at Nokia’s Store. What’s better than showing off your top device in a place which you control, and thus guarantee that the customer walks away with the best experience ever?

The prices at Nokia’s official retail stores was always more than the bargain people were getting online and that’s why the model seemed to be failing for Nokia. Yet, when priced right retail stores indulge impulse buys and devices like the Lumia 800, have the potential to cause exactly that.

So we need to see Nokia’s Stores come back, online and in the real world. I sure hope some of that marketing money is going this way, because it’d suck for Nokia if they made Windows Phones feel cool with all their spending and then people walked into a multibrand store and picked up a Samsung Focus or a HTC Titan.