Research Notes

Store-centric mobile services

f retail chains are to be successful doing business as mobile providers, they will need to focus on the areas that both increase value for their mobile customers and that are also difficult for other mobile providers to duplicate due to their lack of distribution power. At the same time their mobile solution need to create an increased customer flow to their physical stores.

The retail chains should not try to compete directly with mobile operators by selling voice minutes and SMS – maybe in combination with a mobile handset – as the retail chain stores will then be offering exactly the same products that are already available on the market.

Instead retail chains should add value in the form of various types of Value Added Services (VAS). The retail chains have many possibilities to expand their VAS catalogue, allowing them to offer differentiated types of mobile services than those currently being offered by the traditional mobile providers (MNOs, MVNOs and SPs). Examples of these services could be:

Store-centric services

  • Bonus products services activated by various loyalty programs
  • Mobile vouchers
  • Football pools and lotto via the mobile phone
  • Payment systems

The mobile provider/retail chain can choose to combine their selection of mobile offerings with their market position/products/services already being sold. That will result in an infinite number of combinations:

  • Music stores can sell music
  • Supermarkets can sell football pools and lotto etc.
  • Banks can offer mobile payments
  • Media companies can offer entertainment and news
  • Etc.

 The many possible combinations can make the retail chains’ mobile offerings attractive to their current customers, due to the advantageous and exciting products that the retail chains can develop based on their current market position.

Much more information about retail chains doing business as mobile providers is available in our latest report How to get success in the second Generation MVNO Market , that analyses the retail chains future role in the mobile universe and why retail chains need to have a mobile strategy. Included in the report is an analysis of retail chains’ assets/strengths and risks/disadvantages when doing business as mobile providers. The report examines relevant and inspiring cases that document that the retail chains entrance/involvement in the mobile area is not something that may happen in the future, but is in fact a very current phenomenon that will become even more dominant and visible in the mobile industry over the coming years.

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