TORONTO — Buying a new phone in Toronto will soon be as easy as ordering it online, having it delivered within hours and set up just the way you want it.
A new partnership between Rogers Communications Inc. and California-based Enjoy Technology Inc. will bring a mobile retail concept to Canada's largest city later this month, the companies announced Thursday.
The service will come to a customer's home or office and help set up their new wireless phone, transfer applications to the new device, sync contacts, and explain the device features and offer popular accessories like cases, headsets and smart assistants.
Enjoy chief executive Ron Johnson said the service combines the positive attributes of online shopping, physical retail stores and personal convenience.
"In order to have a great experience, you need to insert a person into the conversation," Johnson said in an interview.
"We spend, on average, 30 minutes on every experience (but) it will be as much time as the customer wants or needs."
Johnson, who helped set up Apple's first retail stores before founding Enjoy, said the company uses full-time staff, pays them salaries but not commissions, trains them on products and services, and pays attention to their people skills.
Enjoy has provided similar personalized technology sales and setup services in the United States since 2015, in partnership with Google, Sonos and AT&T. In the United Kingdom, Enjoy has partnerships with mobile phone operator EE and British Telecom.
With Enjoy's entry into Canada, initially only existing Rogers mobile phone customers in the Toronto area will be able to schedule a visit to their home or office by one of 25 mobile retail units staffed by about 40 Enjoy employees.
"The opportunity to grow, both here and into other markets, we think is pretty significant," said Brent Johnston, president of wireless at Rogers.
"So this is just the starting point."
He added that Enjoy typically has better customer-satisfaction ratings and better economics than typical mall-based stores.
"The rents in those malls are very, very high. The store merchandising to keep it modern and current is very, very expensive. The constant re-merchandising of those stores is very, very costly," Johnston said.
"You can quickly see that the economics of this approach are superior to more traditional approaches to serving customers."
The two companies expect to expand the service to other Canadian markets in 2020. The range of Rogers products and services carried will also be increased as the service becomes more established.
Rogers expects a majority of its customers will access the new service online, where the final stage of the purchasing process will add the option of "Rogers Pro On The Go" to other types of free delivery, if available in that area.
"The better we do, we earn the right to expand into more markets, more cities, more product lines," Enjoy's Johnson said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019.
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