The cost of a flagship mobile device is creeping slowly upwards. First, phone contracts changed – the apparent price of a flagship phone went from $200 USD to around $600. Then, people started hanging on to their new phones for longer – demand went down. On average, people used to get a new phone every 2 years or so, but the average jumped to 3.04 years this past quarter and will continue to rise.
In order to attract new customers to actually pay the premium for an expensive new phone, manufacturers are competing to add eye-catching features: foldable screens, facial recognition, three-camera arrays, and so on. These features may not be moving the needle with every consumer, but they’re definitely pushing up the cost of components, a cost that gets passed on to the consumer.
How Do Consumers Cope with Increased Costs?
To date, customers have generally coped with the increased cost of flagship smartphones by not buying new phones as often as they used to, much to the sadness of smartphone manufacturers. How can the industry turn this around?
One option? Make it easier for individuals to trade in their old, well-functioning phones. For example, in order to boost sales of Google’s new flagship phone, the Pixel 4, Verizon has let users get up to $450 off – more than 50% of the total price – by trading in their old phone. And, AT&T already has deals prior to Black Friday allowing consumers to receive $700 off an iPhone 11, Galaxy S10 or Galaxy Note 10 when switching to AT&T and have a qualifying trade-in. This lets users access brand-new flagship phones at reasonable prices, while still letting the vendor recapture profit by reselling the old phone into secondary markets.
The only catch here, of course, is that major phone vendors and manufacturers have a competitor – the secondary market itself. In other words, many customers know that they may be able to make more money by selling their old phone directly, as opposed to trading it in. In order to make their trade-in programs attractive, vendors need to make sure that A. payouts are still relatively high, and B. that trading in a phone is extremely convenient. With these qualities, customers may see any disparity in value as simply being the price of a smooth transaction.
What Makes for a Successful Trade-In Program? Try HYLA Mobile
In general, customers want to see good value for their phones, they want to conduct fast and simple transactions, and they want to do them their way.
In the past, it’s been difficult for manufacturers and vendors to offer high prices for trade-in phones – because they couldn’t accurately and quickly evaluate the condition of the phone. Fortunately, HYLA offers diagnostics that can help assess the condition of the phone, allowing manufacturers to increase their offers without worrying about having to eat the cost of refurbishing a device that’s in poor shape.
This also lets us conduct transactions faster. Customers tend to find themselves frustrated if the process for trading in their phone takes more than a few minutes – and some might abandon the transaction or simply make up their mind to sell their old phone elsewhere. With HYLA, assessing a phone’s condition is both easy and simple, which makes it more likely that customers will see the process through in its entirety.
Data security should also be taken into consideration. Conducting a factory reset before shipping a phone off to a stranger is not necessarily secure. With the right tools, the new device owner could pull sensitive data off the phone and possibly steal the original owner’s identity There is so much sensitive data on a smartphone and at HYLA, we make sure that devices are properly wiped.
Lastly, HYLA is prepared for a world in which customers conduct their transactions across multiple screens. Customers can trade and assess their phones using their laptop, their mobile browser, a white-labeled application with your branding on it, or at the front desk of your store. If at any point the customer decides to pause the transaction on one device and pick it up on another one, HYLA Mobile will preserve their session information for a seamless device exchange.
Customers have been leery about purchasing new phones for the past several years now, but a generous and convenient trade-in program can help them get the latest technology – and help their manufacturers realize revenue. For more information about how you can get customers on board with a trade-in program, contact HYLA Mobile today!