Operators want customers to use their apps. They want care services done via their app. They want the app to be a marketing tool where customers can check out and buy new offers. But a challenge for operators has always been how to get customers using the app in the first place. How do they compete for a customer’s attention with all the other apps on phone?
How about giving them money? That’s exactly what Vodafone India are doing.
Vodafone India have announced that they will give cashback to customers who recharge their plans via the operator’s app. Vodafone’s pre-paid subscribers will get a 5% cash back when they re-charge by Rs.110 via the My Vodafone App. This offer is open to customers on Vodafone’s Unlimited Super Plans in Utter Pradesh East region.
As well as this customers can browse content in the MyVodafone app free of charge. As well as facilitating self-care services, Vodafone say that they’ll provide custom built offers in their apps.
The arguments for self-care via apps in well made. Now operator apps have moved to the next level to enable personalised sales and marketing.
Offering cashback and zero rating usage in the app would seem to give customers an incentive to use the app for more than care services. Customers can use an operator’s app to access a range of supplementary services and as a personalized marketing and sales channel. This will work best if the operators make best use of the data they have on customers to make sure that the offers are personalized and context sensitive.
In Ireland, eir have been offering their customers zero rated data to access their TV sports channel, eir Sports. But customers need to sign up for the offer via the operator’s mobile app. However, to get eir Sports customers need to be on one of eir’s top three postpaid mobile bundles. But it’s still a good deal, as many rivals are charging a premium for sports channels. So using content is one strategy to get customers using an operator’s app.
Using a hook to get customers using their app will become increasingly common. Whether that hook is cashback, or access to a sports channel will depend on the operator and the customer segments that are being targeted. Indeed, operators could have a number offers and let the customers pick the one they want. So it could be top up your prepaid mobile phone via an app, to say, a minimum of €25 a month and chose from one of three offers – €3 cashback to be banked against your next top up, 1 month’s free access to a sports or movie channel, or even a free cinema ticket from one of the operator’s partner companies. As we’re seeing getting people to use the app is the big challenge. Getting offers right to help them to start using the app could be key. Then making the offers on app personalized and relevant will be key to getting customers into the habit of using the app.