How to match Telco retail sales results and experience online
Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with leaders from some of the world’s most well-known Telco brands. Our virtual road trip around these highly innovative companies leaves me with no doubt that our industry is in the midst of a seismic shift. It’s no secret that old models are quickly changing, and I would like to share some of the opportunities they present those who are bold enough to seize them.
2023 has seen Telcos continue to evolve into digital service providers, as they move beyond phones and the internet to become platform distributors of media, entertainment, and more. This transformation is being driven by several factors, including consumer demand for seamless connectivity across devices, increased competition from OTT providers, the rapid rollout of 5G and fibre optic networks, and declining revenue from legacy services.
Yet what I’m hearing is that too many years have passed without anyone addressing the elephant in the room – the poor performance of online retail sales compared with traditional in-store. When viewed through the prism of conversions, attachment levels, order values, and return rates, online is still lagging far behind. Unsurprisingly, when discussing online sales metrics and churn, sales leaders are now obsessed with “increasing the digital mix”.
Set against the backdrop of marketing cookies phasing out and new privacy regulations emerging, the challenge of building a comparable truly personalised online experience is compounded, but this leads to an opportunity.
Increasing innovation in digital marketing should be focussed on respecting user privacy and consent to provide a personalised shopping experience based on trust that mirrors the retail experience. I like to think of it as fusing together strong consumer psychology principles with intuitive tech to create a much better experience for everyone.
The article explores strategies and solutions to help Telcos improve their digital mix and reduce the gap between online and retail metrics.
1. Increasing the Digital Mix
Customer behaviour driven by consumer psychology
Encouraging customers, traditionally reliant on in-store experiences, to transition comfortably to digital channels is critical. This adaptation involves replicating in-store familiarity and personal touch online. By employing consumer psychology principles, Telcos can make online experiences more engaging, thus effectively bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
Using consumer psychology principles relevant to retail in digital marketing technology has had a profound effect on our own clients.
For example, the introduction of psychology-led guided selling flows have been successfully implemented by major brands like T-Mobile, Vodafone, EE and Virgin Media O2 over the past few years. Across the board we have seen significant increases in online conversion rates, especially among EE’s most challenging segments, who witnessed an impressive 61.4% growth. For EE this translates to 44,000 annual orders from customers reaching a recommendation, while Virgin Media O2 has seen a 50% uplift to conversion during their low traffic periods.
2. Closing the Gap Between Online and Retail Performance
Creating a seamless customer experience.
Enhancing the online customer experience is essential for driving engagement similar to what you would find in a retail store. Virtual sales advisors powered by AI can now replicate the expertise of top in-store reps and provide guidance to simplify choice. By creating interactive experiences similar to retail conversations, customers feel more engaged, which promotes confidence.
Developing a user-friendly, efficient, and reliable online platform that matches or exceeds in-store shopping confidence is vital. The online journey should be designed to be intuitive and straightforward, thus reducing friction points and enhancing the overall customer experience. There should be no drop in quality buying online vs in store.
3. Adapting to New Privacy Norms
Personalisation in a Post-Cookie World
Online and retail performance can be bridged with data-driven approaches. By analysing customer behaviour and preferences on digital platforms, telecom companies can improve customer experiences. Understanding customer interactions and optimising online performance metrics are like putting jigsaw puzzle pieces together. Each piece of data is only a small piece of the puzzle, but together they form a larger picture of how customers interact with online platforms and the journey they take to make a purchase.
Our Telco customers commonly use data analytics derived from the guided sales flows to identify trends in customer buying behaviour, such as peak shopping times, then apply this information to adjust their marketing campaigns and promotions accordingly.
With only one third of North American brands surveyed in a recent Gen3 Marketing report agreeing they were prepared for Google’s withdrawal of third-party cookies, this is a crucial discussion to have as “cookie powered data” diminishes. Focusing on zero-party data for targeted marketing and personalised recommendations is a viable strategy to respect user privacy while delivering a tailored experience.
Wrapping it all up
Keeping up with the rapidly changing digital landscape and convergence of services is crucial for telecom and media companies. This involves a strategic emphasis on strengthening the digital mix, offering personalised experiences, and employing data-driven strategies to meet evolving customer needs. This will result in a more customer-centric experience that drives engagement, satisfaction, and higher conversion rates.
15gifts leads the market in Telco virtual digital advisors and T-Mobile, Verizon, as well as every major Telco operator in the UK partner with us to help them hit some pretty ambitious targets. A humanised online sales journey is delivered through the platform, tailored for the modern Telco and media environment, with an impressive 92% completion rate. By combining artificial intelligence and consumer psychology principles, our digital sales advisor replicates the expertise of your best in-store sales representatives.
I’m Dan Brazil and I’d be happy to share the potential uplift in incremental sales, AOV, and customer profile data you could expect in a partnership with us – the market leaders in Telco. If it makes sense, I look forward to having a brief discussion to determine if there’s a fit. Let’s find 15 minutes to chat over a coffee.