The future of telecom retail lies in meeting the customer where they are. And recognizing this fact, the modern CSP is busy investing in solutions and services that allow them to sell anytime, anywhere—in-store, online, pop-up stores, or even on social media. It is no surprise that a primary trend we have seen in telecom retail includes an increased focus on delivering omnichannel to maximize revenues for seamless buying experiences—something that customers commonly expect in a pandemic-ridden and digitally-driven world.

Today, the smart growth strategy for telecoms includes integrating physical and digital touchpoints that address the health and safety concerns of their customer while renewing focus on superior digital customer experiences. POS needs are evolving given the variety of products sold and increased complexities owing to the creation of bundled 5G and IoT offerings such as Smart Home, B2B sales, and already existing device bundled sales.

Against this backdrop, we see key trends that will shape the telecom retail space. This two-part blog series discusses eight trends that will drive the industry and be fundamental to aligning your sales strategy to multichannel outreach.

Mobility Support – Counter-less POS will gain traction

Industry research has found that while retail customers are open to exploring new online services, they are restricted with a poor experience of their CSP’s digital channels. The report suggests that about a third (32%) of consumers have difficulties in using their operator’s online store or app to buy a device or plan. This is expected to change, giving way to a friction-free digital experience as CSPs focus on counter-less POS. Seamless digital experience is critical since more than 30% of telecoms saw their e-commerce retail revenues increase by at least double over the past year. And as we advance, modern counter-less POS solutions will enable retailers to integrate their data for a single view of the customer across all touchpoints and offer a game-changing customer experience (CX).

New ways to improve CX – Omnichannel will lead the way

A robust and viable omnichannel strategy is increasingly vital for telecoms and CSPs as they strive to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. Offering seamless purchasing journeys is not just a nice to have but a business imperative to building customer loyalty and increasing revenues. However, offering omnichannel experience in telecoms requires highly sophisticated software integrations that bridge gaps between a CSPs e-commerce website, corporate stores, and its authorized retail stores. Buy online, pick up in-store (BPOIS)/ reserve online, pick up in-store (ROPIS)/ and buy online, return in-store (BORIS) will see increased acceptance and implementation in telecom retail. This, added with the curbside pickup concept that allows customers to pick up their products without stepping out from their car, is another way telecoms are improving CX. In addition, queue management and contactless payments contribute to a superior omnichannel experience and will see increased adoption due to changing customer behavior and expectations.

Integrated loyalty programs – Building richer customer relations will be key

We will see a significant increase in enterprise-grade loyalty programs to build a more engaging relationship with customers for better retention. Building successful and integrated loyalty programs is critical to fostering customer retention, given the hyper-competitive environment in the telecom retail space. And a successful loyalty program includes leveraging customer data for powerful personalization. Fortune Business Insights suggest that today more and more organizations are adopting loyalty program management software for increased digital loyalty, owing to the increase in online purchases. And customers, too, are showing keen interest in personalized offers. An integrated, cross-platform loyalty programs approach will see increased adoption as telecoms vie for customer attention in a disruptive and crowded market.

Integrated Mobile Payments – Cashless transactions is the future

While it may have been driven primarily by the pandemic, contactless and cashless payments or mobile payments are here to stay, with mobile payments, e-wallets, and other digital payment platforms gaining rapid adoption. Infact, research has found that about 74% of customers will stick to contactless payments even after the pandemic. Today, ensuring secure, integrated payments through solutions that support versatile payment methods based on customer preference is in demand. They offer higher payment flexibility as the customer is not bound to one or two payment methods and improve transactional convenience for quick and secure payments from POS to gateway to processing. It also provides integration opportunities across loyalty programs, personalization, and makes the customer journey a richer experience. The convenience for the customer and cost savings for the business makes it a win-win for everyone.

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Bal Mukund

Bal Mukund

Bal Mukund leads Blue Marble BSS and Blue Marble Retail Product line. A techie at heart with over twenty years of experience in the telecom OSS/BSS domain. Prior to this stint, he worked with...