While price is a key consideration for many consumers in selecting their wireless carriers, many high-value and discriminating customers also prefer to be on the leading edge of smartphone innovations.
Smartphone manufacturers, wireless carriers, and other industry participants can use analytics and customer data – including point-of-sale, social sentiment, survey, and other information – to determine the types of technical features that matter most to consumers.
In turn, those insights can be used to shape marketing strategies for targeted customer groups.
For some consumers, advanced camera features with improved menu options, fast autofocus speeds, and enhanced resolution as well as editing and sharing capabilities top the list of key features that are deemed most important in their selections of smartphones. For other consumers, Wi-Fi speeds, more advanced LTE capabilities, and other technical capabilities take precedent.
Innovation and other intangibles can dramatically influence the types of smartphones customers choose.
For instance, even though Apple currently has an extremely loyal customer base and also boasts a higher percentage of converts who had been Android or BlackBerry users, first-time buyers favor Samsung Android devices over Apple iPhones by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Not surprisingly, word-of-mouth and social media also play significant roles in influencing consumers’ smartphone buying decisions.
It’s also important for wireless carriers to use data and analytics to recognize and act on the allegiance that many smartphone customers have to specific manufacturers.
For instance, 60 percent of iPhone users admit to having “blind loyalty” to Apple while a whopping 78 percent say they “couldn’t imagine having a different type of phone” than an iPhone, according to a study of 2,000 Apple iPhone users.
Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that 37 percent of iPhone users who upgrade to newer models cite their familiarity with the iPhone user interface while 25 percent stay with Apple because of iOS-specific features such as iMessage and FaceTime.