In the telecom industry, competition comes not only from other operators, but "new frenemies" like OTT (over-the-top) services like Netflix and Hulu, VoIP providers like Skype, and walled digital content gardens like application stores and streaming music services. Telcos face flat growth due to market maturity and saturation and the commoditization of connectivity services and mobile devices. To counteract these business challenges, telecom companies in all markets must look to VAS (value-added services) to differentiate themselves, attract new customers and boost margins and ARPU (average revenue per user).
In our latest webinar Beyond Minutes: How To Sell Value-added Services to Mobile Customers Elastic Path's digital commerce strategist, David Chiu explores how telecom companies can sell value-added services effectively.
Pre-sale VAS vs post-sale VAS
Post-sale VAS like ringtones, mp3s, wallpaper and similar digital content is on the decline. Consumers typically turn to walled-garden content providers like Apple and Android application and media stores purchased directly to their devices using their respective accounts, though most telecoms offer digital content marketplaces on their websites (including affiliate links to application stores). Post-sale VAS can only be offered to existing customers, and don't really make a compelling value proposition to join or stay with a carrier.
Pre-sale, subscription based VAS hold much more opportunity. These are highly marketable differentiators that move telecoms from being just a "bit pipe," add value to customers and are much easier to deploy than a branded content marketplace.
One example provided in the webinar is Orange France's partnership with streaming music service Deezer. The partnership boosted Deezer's French subscriber base from 25,000 to over 1.2 million. Orange brings its audience, billing, and analytics to the table, and reaps the benefits of a more compelling sales offering and increased data usage among subscribers.
Of course, selling subscription VAS requires persuasion and usability. David presents several examples of the dos and don'ts of integrating VAS into your purchase flow in our 30-minute webinar Beyond Minutes: How To Sell Value-added Services to Mobile Customers (available on-demand now). He also walks through the various types of partnerships mobile carriers, triple-play and quad-play telecoms can explore.
Beyond Minutes: How To Sell Value-added Services to Mobile Customers is the final instalment of our 3-part webinar series on telco. Optimizing the Customer Journey for the Complex Sale and Check out Keeping Customers: Reducing Churn Through Support and Upgrade Optimization on-demand if you missed them.