T-Mobile US and its sub-brand Metro by T-Mobile will become available in over 2,300 Walmart locations and on Walmart.com starting 18 October, doubling T-Mobile’s presence in large national retailers in the United States.
Shoppers will be able to buy smartphones, including affordable 5G phones, at select Walmart stores, as well as purchasing three options for unlimited monthly rate plans on T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network. Customers will then be able to activate their package online and immediately use the services. All Metro by T-Mobile plans at Walmart will come with unlimited voice, texts and 5G data with Scam Shield protection and taxes and fees included. Customers will also be able to purchase a Metro by T-Mobile SIM at Walmart, swap it into their eligible device and activate it online.
Starting 1 November, customers will also be able to shop at Walmart for T-Mobile devices and plans, including Magenta MAX with Netflix, unlimited hotspot with 40 GB and Scam Shield Premium. Magenta plan customers will also get a year of Apple TV+ free of charge.
As mobile operators encourage customers and potential customers to use the operators’ own sites and apps to sign up and add services, it pays to keep in mind that traditional brick and mortar stores remain very valid ways of promoting customer acquisition and upselling. Not only that, but they do not have to be the operator’s own branded storefront locations. Partnering with such an extremely large and well established entity as Walmart is a powerful way for even a major operator like T-Mobile US to enlarge its retail footprint and reach potential customers whom it would otherwise not reach.
For T-Mobile and its sub-brand to virtually overnight double their presence in large third-party national retailers in the U.S. is a very significant move that should have a real impact on the bottom line. The inclusion of the Walmart website alongside T-Mobile’s website as a way to subscribe and purchase services is important in that it has the ability to bring in customers who are loyal to Walmart but may not yet have experience with T-Mobile.
In general, while websites and apps are excellent and fast-growing portals to mobile service purchases, old-fashioned retail and the relationships it promotes and maintains are extremely useful for mobile operators in today’s market.