As Black Friday looms around the corner, customers today prefer to avoid long in-store queues, and use the convenience of accessing online deals without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. This makes deal days like “Black Friday” a lucrative revenue generating opportunity for retailers and brand owners. The growth of online marketplace sites such as Amazon and Alibaba have made this process a more fluid global buying experience for end customers.
The Race For Market Share
While retailers across the world are fighting for customer’s share of wallets especially during deal days like Cyber Mondays and Black Fridays, inside the marketing ecosystem, B2B suppliers that offer great tools to gain access and insights into a retailer’s customer will add the greatest value in terms of gaining market share with higher visibility of their promotional deals to maximize sales.
A mobile channel is an essential part of a brand’s marketing strategy which positions the brand’s telecommunication company as a strategically important channel enabler. In the U.S. 34% of ecommerce sales were made on mobiles. It is estimated by eMarketer Inc. that a significant 71.5% of mobile commerce sales will take place on smartphones, with tablets making up the remaining share. The Asia Pacific Region will generate a notable one-half of global B2C ecommerce revenue followed by Europe and North America in terms of current online sales. The recent Global B2C Ecommerce Market Report predicts that up until 2021, emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America will experience the highest growth in terms of B2C ecommerce sales. Retailers that recognize these opportunities implements a sound multi-channel strategy to reach global audiences will be able to maximize short-term revenue and gain larger market shares.
The mobile device has created the ideal platform to revolutionize how brands access customers instantly. Mobile campaigns are increasingly used in recent years for Black Friday marketing campaigns which reach customers and cuts across geographical borders. Facebook, for example, reported to seeing in excess of 55% increase in sales of products during Black Friday.
So How Do Telco Operators Add Value?
With the number of mobile connections reaching almost 9 billion worldwide, and with SMS containing inherent benefits such as high ratios of assurance for message delivery and content visibility, SMS as a promotional channel still remains popular with most brands in many countries. It’s a key tool that connects consumers with their favorite brands. Together with respective telco operators, brands are able to use the bulk SMS function for example during Black Friday to market product deals based on client profiles and consumer segments to ensure effective marketing campaigns that deliver ROI.
For large telcos that serve a global portfolio of clients and products, Wavenet offers an end-to-end SMS management solution, and depending on the customer’s appetite to manage SMS campaigns from the backend, telcos can assign a customer account to their customers to manage their own SMS campaigns. This can also be integrated to including third-party SMS vendors. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are able to partner with SMS Centre infrastructure/systems specialists such as Wavenet to provision and manage SMS backend systems so that enterprises can focus on front-end operations to service and delight consumers by tangibilizing their attractive Black Friday deals.
Wavenet’s SMS messaging solutions are delivered via multiple interfaces (SS7, SMPP & HTTP) and support mechanisms to manage error codes and location information delivery from telco networks to applications. With Wavenet, telcos are presented with the ability to generate SMS lists based on locations of customers for marketing. For example, to integrate a brand’s in-store promotion with offline SMS marketing to drive store footfall. Vendors such as Wavenet offers telcos with increased flexibility, the ability to handle parallel processing and higher levels of fault tolerance which is essential in delivering 99.999% service up-time in high-reliability service requirement environments.
Mobile Network Operators require robust SMS systems and secure SMS firewall solutions that can securely handle sudden increases in messaging volumes during promotional periods such as Black Friday. Wavenet ensures service efficiencies through first attempt message delivery to customers, leading to improved levels of brand reach. Messages not delivered will be saved in a message store and delivered later.
MNOs and telco customers use Wavenet’s ‘Prime’ messaging platform, which is a single unified interphase that replaces traditional messaging infrastructure, uses modular architecture for end-to-end SMS handling and provides advanced routing and visibility into network capacity management. The Prime platform can be deployed on physical or virtual infrastructure as required by the telco operator for building better efficiencies inside their complex organizations.
This week on Black Friday, global telco organizations will serve millions of promotional SMS messages, pushing out relevant content aligned to customer needs. With decreasing ARPU revenues that’s become a major concern for operators in recent years, value addition in terms of investing in improving traditional channels such as SMS is an opportunity to enhance customer brand experiences and maximize channel ROI. Telcos, however, need to ensure that those SMS messages are backed by secure and reliable platforms to ensure uninterrupted customers experiences and ensure brand are able to ‘striking while the iron is hot’ and take advantage of quick revenue generating market opportunities such as Black Friday deal days.
Happy shopping on Black Friday Everyone!
Dulmi Gunatilake Head of Corporate Communications, Global Wavenet