Selling the Upgrade: The Top Smartphone Features Customers Want

by Mike Gergye

Many of us spend more time on our smartphones than we care to admit. The average American checks his or her phone 46 times per day, according to research from Deloitte. And as of 2017, there are now 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide.

We’ve now reached a point in the smartphone market where many consumers are holding onto their devices longer. Some of this is due to increased durability in phone models and some of this is because many customers have been underwhelmed by the minor improvements to phones over the past couple of years. As a result, customers are holding on to their cash waiting on something spectacular to entice an upgrade.

For the first time in several years, smartphone prices are increasing, which means they’re becoming more of an investment. In 2017, the newest models launched from Samsung and Apple were priced at $1,000.  So when shopping for a new phone, it’s important to customers that they make the right choice.

That’s why stores need highly trained sales reps who know how to sell the upgrade. They need to engage in a dialog with customers about what they’ve enjoyed about their current phone and what features they really want from a new phone. What would really make them happy about that device they’re going to be looking at 46 times a day? Sales reps need to make that value proposition clear in order for customers to take the plunge.

Here are the top features that customers are looking for in a smartphone upgrade:

  1. Improved battery life. Battery life is the number one reason consumers decide to upgrade, according to a recent Barclays wireless subscriber survey. The best smartphone in the world isn’t worth much if you need to recharge it halfway through the day. Talk to anyone with an iPhone 6 right now.  The more functional and fun smartphones become, the more the need for a battery that holds up to heavy use and for the life of the phone. Another desire is a faster charging battery, allowing the phone to charge up without being tied to a power source for long.
  2. Bigger, better display. According to a study that LG conducted, 95 percent of smartphone users prefer having phones with larger screens. It’s all about the bezel-less design right now. After years of feeling boxed into limited screens, smartphone users want more real estate for their displays and a bezel-less design. For users who don’t necessarily want a bigger phone, but want a bigger screen, this feature is truly spectacular.
  3. Even better durability. There is nothing worse than dropping a smartphone on the pavement or into some water and having it break beyond repair. The LG study also showed that 75 percent of customers wished their phone was more durable to stand up to life’s accidents. That’s why many are now waterproof and made with stronger frames and glass. Showing customers footage of drop tests and water submersion will help them see that their investment can survive the test of time.
  4. Lightning fast processors. Processor speed has become a big deal over the past few generations of phones, especially since older phones struggle with multitasking and switching between apps or even loading websites. Even if the data network is fast, the processor has to be able to keep up. Heavy users would love to see new models that function more quickly.
  5. Cameras that dazzle, front and back. Thanks to smartphones, an estimated 1.2 trillion digital photos were taken in 2017, according to Statista. Customers want HD-quality photos and videos that are crisp, and they want selfies that aren’t grainy and dim. While previous generations of phones have made slight improvements, users now want the ability to zoom without loss of resolution, front camera flash, and the ability to fully edit photos on their phone. Demonstrating to customers how amazing their photos and videos will look is a major selling point.

The time to start planning for the summer smartphone sales season is now, and having specifically trained staff in store is essential to helping your brand. They help create a memorable in-store experience that engages customers and makes the final sale. Having assisted sales representatives who are trained to be an extension of your brand is the key to finding this type of success. Learn more about how MarketSource can help with your seasonal staffing needs by offering marketing and development research, which provides insights that help you reach your customer base.

 

Topic: Retail

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Gergye is the practice leader for new services and continuous improvement. As a 20+ year veteran of hardlines, softlines, and telecommunications retail, Mike leverages his experience to identify, design, and coordinate the testing, implementation, and continuous improvement of new capabilities at MarketSource.

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