For mobile network operators, retailers have become a key focus point in their interaction with customers. Customers commonly have specific needs, so requiring more personal service, and their use of social networking to contact stores as well as review feedback from other customers on services and hardware makes a positive interaction with them all the more necessary. In general terms there has been higher customer satisfaction since the TCP Code was introduced in 2012.
Retail revenue has grown only slightly in recent years, partly attributed to lower consumer spend during a lengthy period of economic uncertainty. Nevertheless, customers continue to upgrade mobile devices frequently, often within an 18 to 24 month cycle determined by the contracts with their providers. The greater choice of smartphones and tablets, as well as the falling cost of such devices, has also provided an additional impetus in the market. In terms of accessibility, the broader sophistication of larger screened phones and phablets, as well as improved mobile-friendly website and online payment systems, is fast propelling mobile devices as a key platform for e-commerce. By mid-2016 more than a third of all e-commerce transactions were made via mobile devices.
Although many of the first wave of resellers have exited the market, with the notable exception of Amaysim, there is room for new players to have taken their place. These include a renewed Kogan Mobile, now hosted by Vodafone Australia. Both of the major food retailers have entered reseller agreements. Woolworths recently introduced 3G services on Telstra's network, while Coles, with a chain of about 760 stores across Australia, is now a reseller of mobile services using Optus's network. Coles and Woolworths view the sale of services such as mobile telecoms and insurance as helping to cement customer loyalty.
Consumer code for mobile pricing; retail consolidation; analysis on the wholesale aggregators market; recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 VHA, Woolworths, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, Allphones, TPG, MobiCity, Vita Group, Fone Zone, Crazy John's, m8, Woolworths, Leading Edge, Network Communications, Strathfield, TeleChoice