Used Smartphone Sales are Poised for Growth—Are Your Buy-back / Trade-in Processes Ready?

As 5G availability increases, consumers will seek credit from their old phones to put toward the latest devices. With used smartphone sales continuing to increase, Blancco Mobile Solutions will ease the buy-back/trade-in process so you can breeze through the activity from all sides—and deliver a seamless experience to consumers at home, online or in your store.

Vivian Cullipher

Vivian is a career writer and editor, having covered technology-related topics for government and B2B organizations since before LinkedIn and the iPhone. As Blancco’s communications and content manager, she supports the development of thought-leadership-based copy for web, social media, and other Blancco communication channels.

There’s a common saying that when one door closes, another opens. Of course, sales of brand-new phones are nowhere near “closed.” In fact, smartphone sales are widely expected to bounce back as 5G networks and phones permeate the market in the coming months. But 2019 wasn’t the market’s best year, and the two years before showed a sales slowdown compared to earlier, more dramatic increases.

For the first time, the global new mobile device market actually ended with a year-over-year decline, reported Gartner. Consumers kept their old devices longer in 2019, which could be because they didn’t see enough technical advancement in newer ones—especially as average new phone prices dramatically increased.

It’s a different story with used smartphone sales, however, and OEMs and resellers can take steps now to prepare for increasing growth.

Continued growth predicted for the secondary mobile market

While final numbers are currently pending, the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects 2019’s worldwide shipments of used smartphones (both refurbished and pre-owned) to grow 17.6 percent over 2018 and reach a market value of $67 billion by 2023.

The IDC also predicts that 5G networks and smartphones will revive new phone sales, and that they will boost the growing mobile resale market as well.

Our 2020 global consumer research report, 5G Smartphone Upgrades and the Secondary Device Deluge, confirms this tipping point:

  • 51 percent of consumers surveyed have been waiting for 5G networks and devices to become available before upgrading.
  • 68 percent would be willing to trade-in their used device at the point of 5G upgrade.
  • 60 percent of global consumers intend to upgrade to 5G, and the majority of those (75 percent) intend to do so within the next twelve months.

There’s reward to be had if you sell new devices or process pre-owned mobile devices for resale—and Blancco Mobile Solutions (BMS), as well as Blancco Mobile Diagnostics & Erasure, can help you make the most of the opportunity.

Business challenges with mobile device buy-back/trade-in

Returns management has a huge impact on business:

  • Profit margins are low, so mobile phone resellers and retailers must maximize costs from returned devices.
  • Staff time is money. Phones depreciate. Consumers are busy. Quick turnaround times help get the most value for each device.
  • Undervaluing a device sours the customer experience and results in profit loss for the retailer. Diagnostic and valuation processes must be both accurate and efficient.
  • Ignoring data protection best practices can breach customer trust. It also discourages device trade-ins and resale. With today’s smartphones holding gigabytes of photos, transaction data, passwords and other private information, it’s critical that devices be data-free before being repurposed or resold.
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So how do businesses overcome these challenges and capitalize on a highly active mobile market?

Blancco Mobile Solutions: Your key to an accelerated buy-back/trade-in experience

Blancco Mobile Solutions improve the customer experience and purchasing process through diagnostic precision, accurate value determination, increased efficiency and unmatched data protection. These solutions help you deliver what mobile consumers want: flexible buying and customer service options (online or in-store) and accurate device assessment for the most value on trade-in.

Get improved customer experience with omnichannel solutions

Blancco Mobile Solutions makes buy-back/trade-in (BBTI) convenient, with health and valuation tools and insurance purchasing options available to the customer from their home or a retail store. This provides flexibility to users and increases customer satisfaction. A brick and mortar location can certainly function as the hub for customers to bring in devices, but it’s not necessary. Blancco’s digital approach even allows online-only retailers to have BBTI programs, enhance returns reduction, improve the customer experience and add insurance offerings without requiring a face-to-face interaction.

The success of buy-back programs is measured by the latent values extracted from collected devices. Half (51 percent) of consumers admitted that unlocking credit to put towards a new smartphone was the main reason they would trade in their old device.

5G Smartphone Upgrades and the Secondary Device Deluge

Accurately diagnose devices for sound insurance offerings and return decisions

Blancco Mobile Solutions allow you to expand new revenue opportunities: You can now offer your customers mobile insurance at the right price based on accurate phone condition at any time during the mobile device lifecycle, not only at point-of-sale. The insurance process takes less than two minutes and can be initiated by the consumer at any time. BMS can also help you reduce fraudulent claims by up to 50 percent and avoid costly “no fault found/no trouble found” (NFF/NTF) returns.

Increase efficiencies to preserve device value

There are several ways Blancco enhances your return experience:

  • Buy-back/trade-in processes need to be accurate and efficient to reduce profit loss. To support these goals, Blancco’s intelligent device tracking and routing workflows reduce touchpoints along the mobile journey and add automation for increases in efficiency.
  • Carriers can redirect the channel in which reverse logistics transactions take place—fewer decision pathways leads to simplified process and increased profits.
  • Blancco provides visibility of a device throughout its lifecycle, from the retail store all the way to the warehouse. From accurate device valuation and identification to lock identification and removal, properly addressing devices during the BBTI process saves time and effort and helps increase device value when they reach back of house (BOH).

Achieve unmatched data protection that promotes sustainability

The trade-in and sale of used smartphones, such as the one being used here, are set to grow as 5G becomes more widespread.The credit that can be unlocked from used devices provides a useful subsidy to make new 5G smartphones more affordable. It also drives a more sustainable model that promotes reuse if the device is void of any data from the previous owner. Blancco’s data erasure capabilities allow processors and resellers to confidently wipe and resell the maximum number of used devices and support the circular economy.

Mobile device returns can be complex; Blancco simplifies them

The coming wave of 5G buy-back campaigns and users who simply want to upgrade are two catalysts for device buy-back and trade-in. Other reasons include diagnosing and processing devices received from warranty programs, repair requests, expiring lease deals or insurance claims.

Managing these complex processes concurrently and accurately takes time. Blancco offers the most comprehensive solutions on the market to ease the process while maintaining accuracy across the full mobile journey. No one else can offer full visibility and solutions across the entire mobile device lifecycle and provide an omnichannel solution (home, in-store, phone) that addresses customer needs across multiple aspects of device purchase, use and trade-in.

The result is a winning trade-in and purchase experience for your customers—and added profits, saved time and reduced friction for you.

Find out how many used devices the secondary market can expect to collect in 2020, as well as what customers are looking for from the device buy-back and trade-in process: Read our mobile report, 5G Smartphone Upgrades and the Secondary Device Deluge, next.

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