The top UK retailers tempt users into stores with a massive range of handsets, deals and tariffs, all served up as part of a professional service. Our readers voted the following stores their favourites following a little retail therapy.
Having bowled over buyers last year, Three scoops this award based on continuity. From a business perspective, retail is what Three is all about and a much higher number of its connections now come through that direct channel when compared to other operators. Its challenge is therefore to make the high street proposition work much harder than its rivals, and that shows. Three continues to get things right and give people what they want, such as attractive tariffs and being aggressive on pricing for areas such as data. Extending its redesigned stores, which are clean and minimal, didn’t hurt either.
Retailer Phones 4u has been undergoing a period of expansion – opening 123 new stores in the past 18 months – but hasn’t lost its focus on the customer. Shoppers rated Phones 4u a close second to Three for how easy it is to find what they need in store, as well as for the range of devices available. With a further 100 new stores opening next year and features such as click-and-collect on the way, Phones 4u could push Three even closer next year.
Carphone Warehouse was – in the words of marketing director Julian Diment – ‘the guys that ultimately invented mobile phone retailing’. While it be disappointed with losing out in 2013, a ‘complete transformation’ is coming that will see customer recommendations based on individual rather than catch-all deals.
O2 hopes to be challenging for the top spot next year by bringing its digital and in-store offerings closer together. Claiming that UK retailers are missing out on £12bn in potential sales, O2 says only those companies which engage digitally with consumers within and beyond their stores will secure a place on the high street of the future. The company has restructured its management team as part of a £19m overhaul of its retail strategy.
Vodafone was only narrowly pushed into third place by Phones 4u, polling slightly less with consumers when it came to in-store choice. The arrival of 4G may help it score even higher next year as it played a blinder in the recent auction, strengthening its spectrum portfolio. The packaging of Sky Sports or Spotify also provides Vodafone with a very strong consumer proposition.
Congratulations to all of the winners. You can find all of the incriminating photos on our official MCAwards 2013 website, and a full list of the 2013 Mobile Choice Award winners can be found here!