Only 10% of buyers choose based on design; loyalty non-existent

A stimulating survey in from WDS Global who’ve just spoken to 1,000 customers globally. The results? Here are the key points:

Price is the number one purchasing factor

Consumer purchasing decisions of mobile phones are overwhelmingly made on price, with 49% of consumers citing it as the most important factor; only 7% based their purchase on the phone brand

This is why Nokia is stilling half a billion handsets a year. Most of them are very, very competitively priced, especially in the developing markets.

Design isn’t that relevant

A combination of operator subsidies and the homogenisation of device design is having a negative impact on role of the OEM brand in the smartphone market. Only 10% of consumers chose a phone based on its design.

I don’t find that surprising at all.

It’s about what the phone does, not it’s actual specs

Smartphone hardware is becoming commoditized. Instead, the differentiator is increasingly seen as the data features, applications and functionality of smartphones, (34% of consumers cite this as most important when purchasing a handset)

A real issue for anyone trying to compete with the Apple iTunes application store.

It still doesn’t work OTB (“out of the box”)

Yet these features are still a major cause of consumer problems, in particular with the services used most on a day-to-day basis. Almost a third (24%) had problems setting up email, and 17% experience problems setting up the internet on their device

Again, sadly this is still the reality.

Rubbish experience

These issues frequently lead to service abandonment. 8% of consumers give up on a service without trying to find a resolution, and 29% do not think any of the support services available to them are effective. This lack of effective user experience in turn damages the both OEM and operator brand reputation

Think about Nokia’s Comes With Music service. Really nice concept, the implementation of which (originally) wasn’t that good. Or, think about Nokia’s Maps service — now it’s a pretty stunning offering. But if you’ve tried it in the last three years, you won’t be going back to it any time soon after the experience.

(My Original Blog Post: http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2010/05/only-10-of-buyers-choose-based-on-design-loyalty-non-existent.html)

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