31 Aug 2014

Experiential Buying - Univercell Sync in the city

After a (very) long time, I made my way to a blogger event in the city. This time it was at a re-vamped Univercell Sync at Nungambakkam, inviting bloggers to visit and experience the store. Chennai heat seemed to be graciously absent, clouds covering the usual blinding afternoons. The store was right on the main road, making it easy for direction-blind people like me.

The Store at Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai

Now, I don't get shrieky over the latest gadgets, most of my devices were bought with the phrase 'user-friendly' in mind, so I didn't walk into the store with any expectations. I was pleasantly surprised to see the layout of the store - devoid of rows and rows of mobile phones, tablets and music systems. Instead, it was completely experiential; designed keeping in mind the most common 'asks' of a user and the devices & accessories to support them, in zones: Point and Shoot for the camera crazies, Music for the music maniacs and Work and Play for the Type A workaholics. There's also a Junior Sync space where kids can fiddle around safely with the devices that parents say NO to! 

Soumya Menon, VP Brand & Strategy took us around the entire store, the effort of creating the techsperience plain in the way she explained every little detail of the new format. The staff are well trained in helping the customers in getting the right device and accessory for their needs. They answered all my inquisitive questions about the speakers for my phone (I've been wanting speakers for my Nexus 4 and tried different speakers to check out their bass quality and generally amping up the volume, good fun). 

What I really liked were these nifty little checklists that novices can mentally tick before going in for a potentially expensive buy. 


The thing that set them apart and that lit a ray of hope in clumsy folks like me who drop their phones 10 times a day, was their value added services for their buyers.

Total Care, an accidental insurance cover and hardware replacement for mishaps, drops, fires and practically anything at all. It is 60% of the total charges for the first 6 months and 40% after that. Pretty useful, wish I'd known this before breaking my screen this month :( 

SyncSquad go to customer homes post purchase and set up their devices, pair it with other appliances and accessories - basically being your tech support gurus, if you're the kind that needs help finding the Bluetooth icon on your phone. 

This sure beat spending a lot of time sifting through online stores for the right device to buy, although, I'd keep an eye on the variety of the models that are available. The stores are live in five cities in the country - Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. If you're the kind that likes to 'experience' before buying anything, this is a good place to do just that. 

Meeting up with other city bloggers, some with very popular blogs in the region, felt good in a way writing hasn't in so long. Think I'll do this more often!

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