Smart Homes, Smart Stores, Smart Customers

Eric Mittelsteadt loves to interact with technology.

“I’m in the process of trying to convert and update my house to make it a smart home, so that I can control different features from my Verizon smartphone. One of the more compelling reasons is to help better manage energy costs,” said Mittelsteadt.“

To understand how products like the Nest Thermostat and Hue Light bulb would interact with his wireless devices, Mittelsteadt visited the new Smart Store in his hometown of Bozeman, Montana.

“When you see these products online you get a good idea of what they offer, but you cannot test the smart features,” said Mittelsteadt. “I think being able to interact and use it hands-on helps sell the product.”

As consumers continue to understand the Internet of Things, Verizon continues to build out its Smart Stores which showcase how connected devices operate on its 4G LTE network.

“It has been a 360-degree approach that starts with the devices and accessories, and educates the customer about how to incorporate them into their daily mobile lifestyle,” said Domenico D’Ambrosio, Verizon Wireless vice president of national retail operations. “We are always looking for ways to demonstrate how mobile devices, smart accessories and applications enhance a consumer’s lifestyle and overall experience.”

Verizon opened its first Smart Store in Bridgewater, New Jersey in 2013, offering customers an open store concept, lifestyle zones and wireless workshops. Since then, the company has opened many more Smart Stores in cities large and small including Las Vegas, Denver, Boise, Burbank, Sarasota, New York City, Kalispell and Bozeman, Montana.

“I like that you can touch every single phone,” said Bozeman customer Alyssa Bryant. “You can essentially test it out before you buy it -- and the reality is your smartphone is becoming an investment in your lifestyle!”

Verizon continues to transform the retail experience by opening the next level of Smart Stores:  Destination Stores. These retail locations are larger than Smart Stores and offer mobile lifestyle zones as well as other interactive and educational areas. In 2014, Verizon Wireless introduced the first Destination Store at the Mall of America and has since added locations in Houston and Chicago.

Over the next few years, Verizon Wireless will transform its 1700+ existing retail stores into Smart Stores to enrich the mobile experience for customers.

“It’s bigger, more open, and it appears there are more products,” said Mittelsteadt. “I like it – it seems very happening and the store has a good vibe.”

Meagan Dorsch is a public relations manager with Verizon Wireless. Follow her on Twitter at:  @VZWMeagan.