The wireless retail market gets more crowded all the time. In 2017, Comcast entered the scene with its new Xfinity Mobile offering, creating ripples across the industry as other major telecommunications companies followed suit. On a smaller scale, hundreds of independent stores, chain expansions, and new carriers opened throughout North America last year. That leads to an obvious question: how can new companies compete in a saturated market with a number of well-established players? There may be no easy answer, but there are a number of strategies that can help upstart wireless companies gain an edge.
Offer superior service
Price will always be a competitive factor, but there is only so much room for companies to lower prices or add perks before it cuts margins too thin to be sustainable. Focusing on providing stellar service is more cost-effective and ultimately more appealing to customers. In a Consumer Reports ranking of the top carriers, small brands like Consumer Cellular and Ting ranked at the top, while giants like Verizon and AT&T came in at the bottom. This may seem surprising — but while the major players offer better coverage, smaller companies often offer more flexible and responsive service, which ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction. New wireless companies that make service as accommodating as possible immediately stand out in an industry known for being antagonistic to consumers.
Utilize the best tech
The wireless industry perpetually exists on the cutting edge, and consumers expect smart systems and exciting interfaces to be built into every aspect of the shopping experience. That means having stores that utilize digital signage, have advanced payment systems with EVA capabilities, and make the best use of mobile. That technical commitment should continue online with a website and payment portal that are as easy and intuitive as possible. The goal is not to rely on bells and whistles but rather to take the best features of cell phone tech — mobility, simplicity, and adaptability — and extend them into the retail experience. New wireless companies that use the right tech in the right ways offer a shopping experience that stands in stark contrast to everything else available.
Make purchases hassle-free
Success in wireless really depends on the quality of the consumer experience. Consumers can easily find the products, plans, and prices they want from dozens of different outlets. They choose to work with the companies that take the hassle and uncertainty out of finding and using a phone. According to Salesforce, 75% of consumers expect to have a seamless experience across all channels — online, mobile, in-person, etc. However, only 32% of shoppers enjoy the typical in-store experience. New wireless companies that focus on connecting the dots between online channels and in-store service will appeal to the unique needs of today’s shoppers.
Leverage comprehensive data
There are many wireless retailers still operating according to old-fashioned notions of how a store should sell products. While strong visual merchandizing, regular sales and promotions, and friendly store staff all contribute to a successful store, a lot is lost when wireless retailers fail to incorporate customer data into their strategies. Today’s digitally-driven stores and online channels make it relatively easy to collect and consider data from multiple consumer touchpoints. That data in turn informs the product mix, pricing structures, store hours, staffing needs, and dozens of other aspects of your store — but most importantly, it will allow you to customize your service to the exact needs and wants of a given customer. Gathering data allows you to give your customers the personalized service they’re after — and will turn one-time consumers into repeat, loyal customers.
The wireless industry is constantly evolving. Equipping your company with the right tools, practices, and strategies right out of the gate will help you stay competitive in an already crowded market.
Not sure where to start? iQmetrix can help. Reach out to our team to learn more.
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