eSIM and SIM Sales for Today's Empowered Customers
With some mobile Communications Service Providers (CSPs) spending 20% or more of their combined expenses on Sales and Marketing efforts*, the need to focus on this groups operations and efficiencies is important. Dealers still account for a major share of sales in many countries worldwide. While online purchases have continued to grow, the dealer still plays a significant role in educating and directing customer device, SIM and recharge decisions. What that means is CSPs need to keep dealers happy dealers if they are to keep the CSP's subscribers positive and engaged.
Understanding how, where and when distributors and dealer networks needs to sell mobile devices, SIMs and activate them is more important than ever before. If your current strategy involves expecting subscribers to visit your dealers or company-owned stores at a prime location, be sure that your competition is doing a lot more and a lot better - or will be soon.
Shiny new stores at the newly opened mall or downtown city center location may have been the trend a decade ago but with the evolution of manufacturing and supply-chain technologies paired with improvements in distribution logistics, mobile coverage and connectivity, expect customers to have trouble understanding your reasons for not bringing what they want to their doorsteps. Look around and it is clear that the most successful companies are those that empower the customer - YouTube, Zillow, Glassdoor and Facebook all made products and services that were desirable and hard to find - instantly available. For "free". How the customer then "pays" for it is for the vendor to figure out. Innovating and copying those blueprints are still your two best options.
Leading carriers, aka mobile operators or communication service providers (CSPs), have been able to cash in on the opportunity to do the same with today's super-powerful yet low-cost mobile phones to enable and empower dealers and change the game.
CSPs have had good reason to station dealers at strategic high-traffic locations in the past but in today's marketplace, it's a case of missing the writing on the wall and giving up a competitive advantage and market-share to the competition. Let's explore the market dynamics.
Some CSPs have as many as 30 different SIM types corresponding to different plan types, form factors (2FF mini, 3FF micro and 4FF nano SIMs) and recent promotions. There could be an argument for the need to stay central, to ensure that dealers have an adequate stock of these SIMs as the popular campaigns drive its sales and need for replenishment. Moving dealer locations to remote locations would affect delivery logistics and sales. Unless, of course, a modern day universal "blank-SIM" is used. These are usually shipped using a select-a-size SIM that is capable of being programmed by the dealer using dynamic SIM allocation (DSA) technology.
In the next blog we'll continue to explore the specific activities performed by dealers and how special "blank-SIM" technology and systems capable of leveraging its features help CSP's meet regulatory requirements while driving reach, savings, subscriber UX, dealer loyalty and brand value up.
* Mpwanya, Francis & van Heerden, Cornelius. (2016). Perceptions of mobile network operators regarding the cost drivers of the South African mobile phone industry. Acta Commercii. 16. 10.4102/ac.v16i1.398.