Research Notes

10 international e-commerce mega trends in the telco world

An increasing number of mobile operators and MVNOs are focusing on e-commerce to help reduce their distribution costs. In a time where an increasing number of traditional retailers are finding it necessary to combine their retail business strategy with a serious e-commerce strategy, it is exciting to see how mobile operators and MVNOs are increasingly moving focus over to e-business.
Working with mobile operators around the world has enabled Strand Consult to identify 10 mega trends in the e-commerce area that we believe are important and that mobile market players should take into consideration when developing and optimising their e-commerce strategies.

1. The big brands will win the e-commerce battle. We will see less and less small e-commerce stores being started from home. Those that do launch will find it increasingly difficult to create a sustainable business unless they are extremely focused and cost efficient.

2. Online and off-line marketing will merge. A mobile operator’s online activities will merge with their activities in their physical stores – and vice versa. The goal will be to create synergy between the various channels and use the Internet for what it is best at; wide, cost efficient distribution of mobile products 24x7x365.

3. The requirements for employees in charge of e-commerce activities are increasing as e-commerce continues to play an increasingly important role for mobile operators and MVNOs. Operators are simply looking for well-educated and experienced personnel to handle the key roles in their e-commerce activities.

4. E-commerce employees are spending an increasing amount of resources on analyses and e-commerce tools. An increasing number of decisions are being made based on factual information and results and the quality of e-commerce analyses has significantly increased during the past few years. The use of advanced e-commerce tools has exploded.

5. We are seeing an increased focus on improving CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). Today it is all about cross selling, up selling and maintaining existing customers by using advanced IT systems including marketing applications, behavioural analyses and product recommendations that are being mass customised. These recommendations are being sent via personalised e-mails, newsletters or SMSs to individual customers. In practice we are seeing the mobile operators’ CRM activities become increasingly advanced, resulting in customers receiving increasingly relevant individually targeted information.

6. We are seeing an increase in companies using SAAS (software  as a Service) solutions. Instead of building an e-commerce store from scratch, they are renting an empty store, branding it with their name and filling the shelves with products for their end-user customers. Product prices often depend on the revenue that the store generates.

7. Social Media is playing an increasingly large role in how companies market themselves – and in how customers perceive an individual company. Websites like Facebook and Trustpilot often have a significant impact on customers’ choice of telco services. Today it is not enough to offer customers attractive products at attractive prices; you also need to be perceived as a serious company that customers trust and will recommend.

8. An increasing number of price comparison websites are making the market more transparent. Many mobile e-commerce companies that are selling products online have realised that competitive prices are becoming a hygiene factor and if thier prices do not look good on price comparison charts, customers have no trouble moving on to the next online store.

9. We have seen Google launch a number of new e-commerce tools in a number of different countries that are targeted at e-commerce market players. When a user searches for certain product, Google is starting to show search results that include the product, who is selling the product and what it costs. This could become a serious competitor to existing price comparison websites.

10. Power now lies in the hands of the customers. Customers have realised that there are almost more companies trying to attract customers than the number of customers on the market. If the customer used to be “King”, he is now most certainly “King Kong”!

Quite simply we are seeing the trends from the past 10 years that Strand Consult has been analysing and describing since mobile e-commerce originally launched, all now accelerating. We have no doubt that you need to be very serious and focused on your e-commerce business if you want to have any chance of surviving on today’s market.

If you would like more information about the 10 international e-commerce mega trends in the Telco Industry, please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about exactly what our research is showing. The knowledge we can give you is already being put to good use by some of the most successful e-commerce market players in the world: Contact Us
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