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The retail MVNO: 3 steps to customer loyalty

Retail MVNOs have a unique insight into their customers’ mobile shopping habits, enabling them to build their brand, differentiate their mobile services and provide constant in-your-pocket value. Here are our top three tips for taking advantage of this opportunity:

1. Deliver highly targeted marketing

Retailers without an MVNO only know what their customers are browsing for when they are in store or using their website or app. This means that they have information on their customers’ behaviour for a limited number of hours each week, and they have no way of knowing when a customer makes a purchase from a competitor.

Retail MVNOs, however, have access to all of their customers’ mobile shopping activity. They can deliver highly targeted marketing to customers and potentially change their behaviour. For example, if the retailer knows that a customer shops online with a competitor every Tuesday evening, the retailer could send the customer an offer on a Tuesday morning, encouraging the customer to shop with them instead.

2. Reward loyalty with data

Differentiation is difficult for MVNOs, which often end up trying to compete on price – a race to the bottom. However, a retailer with an MVNO can easily differentiate itself by rewarding loyalty with data: the more frequently a customer shops with the retailer, or the more they spend, the more their data allowance increases. Data is the ultimate loyalty reward because it is highly valued by consumers, but cheap for retailers to purchase, unlike petrol, which is the go-to loyalty reward for supermarkets.

Another option is to waive data charges for customers using their phone to shop with the retailer. Think of the opportunity presented by a customer who wants to do their shopping on their phone, but has run out of data. If they can shop with one particular retailer and not have to pay for data, they will have a very strong incentive to choose that brand.

3. Offer bigger rewards for customers with multiple devices

Retailers often run promotions that favour families, with the value increasing with the number of items purchased - think of the ubiquitous 3-for-2 offer. Replicating this type of offer with discounted handsets and free data can turn an individual customer into a family-with-multiple-devices customer.

So in conclusion, the key to customer loyalty can be summed up very simply: understand your customers and their shopping habits, and reward their loyalty with something they value highly – data. In this respect, as in many others, retailers with an MVNO are light years ahead of those without.

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