With 57% of consumers expecting to upgrade to 5G mobile devices in the next two years, mobile operators, retailers and OEMs can increase revenues by instilling trust over online trade-ins.
That’s according to a new global report by Blancco Technology Group, which surveyed 6,000 consumers, revealing their attitudes towards online device trade-ins. It also outlines the revenue opportunity for operators, retailers and OEMs.
Blancco’s study, Online Device Trade-Ins: Building Trust in an Invisible Process, found that 57% of global consumers expect to upgrade to a 5G device in the next 24 months. Of these, 49% intend to trade in their old device as part of the process. The report demonstrates an opportunity for operators, retailers and OEMs to drive device trade-ins outside traditional retail stores if consumers can receive the assurances they need.
Following a turbulent year of decreased smartphone sales, industry analysts expect the broader availability of 5G and strong global consumer intent to upgrade to cause a resurgence in smartphone demand. With purchase activity shifting to digital platforms due to pandemic-restricted store operations, the study aimed to explore whether this change in consumer behaviour had also influenced preferences around device trade-ins.
According to the study, while 69% of consumers have never engaged with an online trade-in process, they are open to the idea. Forty-one percent said they would be willing to use an online trade-in process in the future, and a further 31% said they would consider it. However, assurances will be necessary to increase engagement. The findings demonstrate that online device trade-ins can grow if consumer confidence is improved through greater transparency and appropriate data management. Thirty-one percent of consumers said they are concerned about potential data misuse when they trade in a device online and 27% do not trust an invisible, unassisted process.
“The shift in shopping habits, along with the impending 5G smartphone super cycle, is creating a key inflection point for operators, retailers and OEMs to capitalise on their chance to put 5G devices in subscribers’ hands," commented Russ Ernst, EVP, products and technology, Blancco.
“Trade-ins will continue to play a key role in incentivising consumers to upgrade by subsidising the costs of new devices, and there is a significant opportunity at play for organisations involved in the collection of used devices to drive revenue through online device trade-ins. However, operators, retailers and OEMs will need to build their trust by providing assurances in data protection and device care throughout the customer journey.”
The report concludes that the responsibility is on organisations involved in online device collection to provide visibility into every stage of device processing. At the same time, these organisations must mirror the in-store experience digitally and implement best practice data management to protect against personal data lingering on the device. The report also found that providing consumers a user experience built on assurances in data protection, holistic device care, and sustainable e-waste policies will be essential in driving demand for online trade-ins.