Wi-Fi Boosts Revenue and Store Differentiation at D.Phone

About D.Phone

With annual revenues of $2.3 billion, D.Phone is one of the world’s largest retailers of cell phones. D.Phone serves millions of customers through its 3,000 Digitone retail outlets, including stand-alone stores and hundreds of Digitone stores within Walmart stores and other well-known superstores. Digitone stores are top sellers of Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, and the newest mobile devices by Lenovo, HTC, Huawei, and other manufacturers.





The Challenge

Adding a new product category for a differentiated customer experience
High-performance, in-store Wi-Fi improves the customer experience with lightning-fast wireless access.
Relay2 Service Points streamline in-store mobile app and content distribution.
Plug-and-play Service Points eliminate cost and complexity of deploying the solution nationwide.


Adding a New Product Category for a Differentiated Customer Experience

Aware of D.Phone’s need to provide a differentiated customer experience to distinguish Digitone stores from competitors, D.Phone decided to deploy in-store Wi-Fi to improve the customer experience and boost customer engagement. As part of this goal, the company also decided to promote the in-store installation of mobile apps and content on purchased devices. This capability would open a new merchandise category for Digitone: selling downloadable apps and content in stores.

D.Phone needed to provide the fastest-possible in-store Wi-Fi network then, not only to improve the in-store customer experience but also to allow hands-on testing of products at their best, which could directly improve per-store sales.

Wu Huan and his staff also faced additional challenges: High-performance Wi-Fi access-point hardware and software can be complex and time-consuming to install and manage. Digitone retail employees have limited technical knowledge and no time for complicated setup procedures.

“Relay2’s plug-and-play access points and cloud-based platform [have] given us a solution that lowers the cost of deployment and management.”

— Wu Huan, CIO, D.Phone


Unified Native-Cloud Wireless Networking and Edge-Service Delivery to Drive Immediate Deployment ROI

The D.Phone team selected the Relay2 wireless broadband solution after extensive evaluations. During the selection process, they discovered Relay2 offers several advantages for retailers that other companies do not.

High-performance Wi-Fi access provides the foundation for offering amazing customer experiences and delivering value-added services and applications in-store. Relay2 access points are designed to provide fast and reliable coverage in challenging client-dense environments, such as shopping centers, resorts, and large venues. Deploying Relay2 access points with dual-band radios supporting up to 3×3 MIMO, D.Phone is able to provide customers with the high-speed connectivity they expect.

Sales-generating applications and computation-intensive services are able to run locally, allowing business solutions never before possible, all while greatly increasing performance and cost savings at the edge. High-capacity connectivity and enterprise-class functionality ensure seamless delivery to connected clients in the most demanding deployment environments. For D.Phone, onboard storage and associated services are initially being used to cache mobile applications and content directly on the in-store access points. Placing content a single hop away from the user reduces downloads to mere seconds. This seamless over-the-air distribution streamlines the experience of purchasing mobile applications and content in-store. Bandwidth bottlenecks are avoided too.


Increased Sales, Improved Customer Experience, and Reduced Costs

Relay2’s Service-Ready Access Points™ have been deployed at over 500 D.Phone-operated Digitone stores. Relay2’s retailer advantages not only met D.Phone’s business goals but also, in many cases, exceeded them. Because of Relay2, D.Phone increased retail sales, improved its customer experience, and reduced costs.

D.Phone used Relay2 to quickly enable partners to distribute popular partner apps and content to Digitone shoppers’ smartphones over D.Phone’s in-store Wi-Fi. “Our ability to distribute third-party mobile apps in our stores seamlessly adds tremendous value in the eyes of our partners,” explains CIO Wu Huan.

In Digitone stores, customers purchased applications, games, ringtones, ebooks, and premium content. With Relay2, D.Phone generated millions of dollars in sales of mobile apps and content. The new in-store digital services that Digitone stores deliver to shoppers help differentiate their stores from competitors. Apps and videos take minutes to download in other places but only a few seconds in Digitone stores, thanks to Relay2 Service-Ready Access Points.

Because Relay2 serves Digitone customers from devices closest to them (at each store’s network edge), shoppers experience digital services that are faster. But speed is not the only improvement Relay2 brought to Digitone customers. D.Phone used Relay2 to deliver new services to its customers, from app delivery to buying lottery tickets and booking hotel rooms and airline flights. Shoppers learn about merchandise, view information about neighborhood stores, and receive e-coupons to encourage them to make purchases now.

Additional benefits continue to accrue, including faster time to market for digital merchandise and stronger branding—two of the most important competitive advantages for any retailer today.