BEDMINSTER, NJ — Bell Atlantic Mobile has opened the doors of its Internet store very wide -- nationwide. In another e-commerce breakthrough for the wireless industry, shoppers in the 48 contiguous states, even if they are not a Bell Atlantic Mobile service subscriber, can log onto the company's Online Store at www.bam.com and purchase wireless phone accessories.
From car adapters to wireless modems, a full line of accessories is available. As with all of the company's Online offerings, the accessory order is processed immediately online -- from credit card authorization to transmitting the order to the warehouse. The order is shipped that day, free of charge to the customer, for two-day delivery.
"Accessories have been our most popular item online, similar to the success other web retailers have had with items like books and CDs," said Debra Carroll, vice president of marketing for Bell Atlantic Mobile. "Moreover, the Internet is a logical and efficient way to expand our distribution in anticipation of offering all our products and services nationwide, including our popular SingleRatesm price plans."
To accommodate accessory shoppers outside its footprint, as well as the growing number of new and existing customers within its footprint who want to sign on for first-time service or add lines to an existing account, Bell Atlantic Mobile has "remodeled" its Online Store. Customers shop in one or more of four main "aisles": wireless phones and service; prepaid wireless service; prepaid wireless replenishment cards; and wireless accessories, where there's a map of the entire US for shoppers to click on, instead of just the east coast.
It's convenient and fast -- under five minutes for shoppers who know what they want. And there's no paperwork. Customers get a receipt via e-mail as soon as the order is placed, and again when it is shipped from the warehouse.
A long-standing leader in distribution within the wireless industry, Bell Atlantic Mobile opened the industry's first fully automated Online Store in September 1998. More than a fancy e-mail system like some other sites, the electronic store ties directly into the same strong "back office" systems as the company's network of "physical" Communications Stores and other distribution channels. With 200-plus company-owned stores, Bell Atlantic Mobile is one of the largest retailers -- not just wireless retailers -- on the east coast.
The addition of e-commerce benefits both customers and the company. Customers benefit from the convenience of a simple, secure online purchase experience without human intervention. Bell Atlantic Mobile benefits from the low-cost and broad reach of distributing products and services over the Internet. Since Bell Atlantic Mobile's Internet store was first launched, it has been visited by almost a million customers, and daily hits are steadily increasing.
"By leveraging our Online Store as a distribution channel for wireless accessories to a nationwide customer base, Bell Atlantic Mobile is seizing strong growth opportunities in terms of revenue and nationwide brand recognition and leadership," Carroll said.
In the New York, Boston, Washington/Baltimore and Pittsburgh markets, Bell Atlantic Mobile was named leader in overall customer satisfaction among wireless users, according to the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates 1998 U.S. Wireless Customer Satisfaction Studysm.
Bell Atlantic Mobile owns and operates the largest wireless network in the East, covering 120,000 square miles, and the largest chain of retail outlets devoted exclusively to wireless voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic Mobile has 6.2 million customers and 8,000 employees from Maine to Georgia and, through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. Through its "Wireless at Work..." community service program, the company uses its technology to help individuals and communities improve security and emergency communications. Bell Atlantic Mobile's parent is one of the world's largest wireless communications companies, with domestic operations in 25 states and international investments in Mexico, Europe and the Pacific Rim. For more information on Bell Atlantic Mobile visit: www.bam.com; on global operations visit: www.bellatlantic.com/worldwide.