Watching customers is always illuminating. Aware of the rise of bundled services (where providers are offering discounts for combined broadband, mobile, landline and pay TV) it was fascinating to see what was going on in an EE store as I sat in a cafe opposite.

EE’s big in-store splash on this is a “Live, Connect, Share” wall taking up 2-3 metres, where it appears they’re trying to get across this combined message.

So is it connecting with customers?

Admittedly this is not a scientific survey but I’d say right now they’re not quite getting it. The graphic below shows the pattern of customers entering the store, their line of sight and destination.

For such a large area to not get any “hits” is surprising, so why is that? My guess is that the communication needs to be a lot simpler and capable of being absorbed much more quickly. Clearly for many of the customers this bundle isn’t really in their mindset so it’s got to be powerful, direct and compelling to stop them in their tracks and divert them away from their original mission.

Right now this area presents us with several different messages including “Game changing journeys”, “Tablets for the family” and “Connected cameras”. These are held together under the “Live, Connect, Share” heading. Put all of that together and you can see why it might be difficult to take in.

The one message that seems to get to the heart of what’s on offer (“Does your broadband get you a better deal on your mobile?”) is below knee height and customers rarely look down when they’re on a mission.

The old adage “Keep it simple” is still as valid as ever. Bundles can be complex and often viewed with cynicism by customers as a way for the retailer to squeeze more out of them. So being clear and straightforward with your in-store communications is still one of the key ways to position yourself as helpful, trusted and on the shoppers’ side.

Tim Bevin-Nicholls