How Sonos Deliver Immersive Conversational Retail Experiences

Dean McCann
Jun 17 · 6 min read

Retail used to be simple: consumers went to stores, browsed products, then bought what they wanted”.

Today, things could not be any different. Retailers are having to completely rethink how to compete in a world where consumer expectations, attitudes and behaviours have changed with the mass commercialisation of the Internet. Retailers are now reimagining the entire retail experience moving away from transactional based experiences to innovative, immersive brand experiences, that combine physical and digital properties that stimulate the conversation and develop deeper meaningful relationships with customers.

Introducing Sonos. A sound experience company. Pioneers of multi-room wireless audio for the home. Sonos prides itself on delivering effortlessly easy listening experiences, through an open ecosystem of state-of-the-art products that enhance life in and around the home.

Founded in 2002, Sonos is widely known for its innovative smart speakers that it manufactures and sells through retail vendors, such as Best Buy, Apple and Target and also via online retailers, such as who play a multi-dimensional role of distributing, reselling and integrating Sonos products into its own suite of voice enabled products.

While Sonos has wide retail distribution, over the last few years the brand has experimented with physical concept style retail stores to showcase its home sound systems. With flagship stores opening in New York and London, Sonos have recreated the optimum environment for showcasing its products through community based home hubs that best reflects how its customers engage with Sonos products in the home. Each immersive experience is designed to stimulate the conversation and encourage recommendations through word of mouth among family and friends — a strategy that has served other well-known companies particularly well in the past.

Inside Sonos Flagship Store

In addition to its unique in-store experience, Sonos have created a world class digital offering to support customers throughout the purchase cycle, from pre-purchase research, to the best available post-purchase after-sales support.

Together with a recently re-designed brand, new innovative website, and access to self-serve help forums and community experts, Sonos have adopted a social conversational support strategy and are meeting customers on their own terms, offering advice and support in real-time 24/7 via the most convenient and popular conversational messaging channels, Twitter and Messenger.

In this edition of the HelpHandles Insight Series we take a close look at how Sonos deliver innovative, conversational experiences for their customers and explore the opportunities and challenges of the brave new world of voice-enabled conversational commerce.

Track Sonos Support on

Average Response Time

Over the last 6 weeks, the Sonos Support team maintained an impressive 29 min response time on Twitter…

Sonos Support Avg Response Time

Inbound volume

Receiving a total of 5,186 public mentions to their help handle on Twitter…

Response Rate

The Sonos Support team responded publicly to 3,887 (75%) of mentions received to their help handle…

Response under 30 mins

…of which 3,498 (90%) of those responses were made quickly in under 30 mins….

Top Hashtags

Most popular hashtags used by customers seeking help were around the Sonos integration with voice enabled products by Google and Amazon…

Community Support

Sonos have placed community at the very centre of its social support strategy. The Sonos self-serve community forums enable customers and prospects to self-serve issues, ask questions and research product lines, in a compelling, convenient and cost efficient way.

By placing its community of users at the heart of its social support strategy, the Sonos Support team can reference a wealth of reusable up to date knowledge that is being shared across its community when assisting customers in real time on social messaging channels.


The Sonos Support team regularly post informative and useful tips and tricks on how to get the best out of the range of Sonos products directly on their Twitter account, together with round the clock coverage and a speedy response to customers, the Sonos Support Team are an important part of the customer feedback loop happening in real time across social messaging platforms, and ensures that the team remain in the positive scoring for sentiment among the conversations they have with customers in public.

Great job!


The retail landscape has changed. Consumer attitudes and behaviour’s have changed. Retailers must now recognise they need to radically change to stay relevant and to win the hearts and minds of customers.

Sonos is a great example of how a brand can think differently and adapt during changing times. By staying authentic to their values, Sonos have been able to differentiate themselves by rethinking their approach to traditional retail experience, adopting an open, community based service model that puts the customer at the heart of a conversational experience both in-store, online, and where customers are on popular, publicly owned social media messaging channels.

The dawn of a new era of retail is now upon us. Voice enabled devices have entered the home at a much faster rate than the smartphones before them, mapping out new unexplored territories that is going to completely change the relationship between consumer and brand.

Conversational Commerce

Voice is the technology for conversational commerce. A technology that is still very much in its infancy. There is no doubt that voice is a massive opportunity for brands to build highly valuable and valued personal relationships with consumers.

With the rapid advancement in the application of natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence techniques including machine learning to continually learn and understand executable commands — it is the developments of these technologies to create sophisticated, and highly personalised conversational experiences, for the significantly large user installs across smartphone and smart speaker devices manufactured by the tech giants of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon that will change shopping forever, creating a new era for retail, the era of conversational commerce.

Further reading

HelpHandles™ Insight Series

Social Customer Service Insights from the Team at HelpHandles™

Dean McCann

Written by

Democratizing access to social customer service data and insight. Founder of HelpHandles™

HelpHandles™ Insight Series

Social Customer Service Insights from the Team at HelpHandles™

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