Operator application as a digital product. Growth point and the most important metric


Very imperceptibly for operators, the quality of the mobile application has become an important metric, in which the subscriber can connect or disconnect services, find answers to his questions, choose a tariff or get acquainted with the offers of the operator, partner companies. About how significant this metric is, at least the fact that the reports indicate the number of application users, for example, in the MTS report for the first quarter, the number is 30 million users during the month. Given that MTS had 79.8 million subscribers in the first quarter, it turns out that the penetration of the My MTS application is 37.5%. There are many in absolute numbers, but far from a record, for example, in Tele2, the penetration of the application is almost half of the number of subscribers, about 20 million people enter My Tele2 every month.

Even these numbers show how important the operator’s application is for communication with subscribers, and there is a huge world inside the application that can be developed in different directions, making services more accessible and better. Or create a new window of opportunity, which, however, may not always be correctly perceived by the consumer.

Given the audience of applications and its size, operators can place offers from other companies, act as an advertising showcase. But here the question arises, what is worth advertising, and what will cause rejection. The media recently widely discussed that MegaFon offers a microloan service, such an offer was in the company’s application. No one began to go into details, although they said that MegaFon itself does not offer any microloans, it acts as a platform on which the service of a third-party company is advertised. That is, in fact, MegaFon offers a conditional banner in its application, the service itself is not provided by the operator. App monetization may look like this, but it is definitely unsuccessful. The reason is that the operator’s application is clearly associated with him, and all services are charged to his account by default. You must either learn to clearly separate them, or not create such confusion.

In some ways, operator applications today resemble Internet portals from the past, they collect completely different services, cards appear that promote additional features or services. I often find out from the cards that a new feature has appeared that is worth trying – I don’t have time to delve into the application menu, see what has changed. After all, I initially open the application in order to perform utilitarian actions: check the account balance, spent minutes and GB, connect / disconnect some services in roaming. All operators cheerfully report that the level of knowledge of the application and how many people use it are growing year by year. For example, Tele2 provides the following data: “By the end of 2022, the share of those who access the mobile application every 6-12 months increased by 26 p.p. mainly due to an increase in the subscriber base and an increase in the activity of users who used to be less active.”

Here you can make the following comment. “Less active users” have learned how to use the operator’s application, that is, not only and not so much the penetration of the application is growing, but familiarity with it, user patterns are emerging. It was interesting for me to clarify how many users in Tele2 constantly log into the application over the past year (not once a month, but constantly). It turned out that this is one in four, that is, out of 20 million monthly users of the application, 5 million open the application every month during the year (this can be as much as 30 openings by the user per month, or once). And this indirectly indicates their activity, the convenience of the application for performing certain operations.

In Russia, I see different reports regarding the convenience of operator applications. The fact that they appear is in itself a sign of the significance of this trend. There is not just competition, but the development of applications, where successful solutions immediately apply to all players without exception and everyone is looking for the most interesting opportunities to attract their customers to use the application.

One such report is produced by Markswebb and features eight Russian operators and their applications. This is what app ranking looks like.

In absentia, it could be calculated that Tinkoff, which has eaten more than one dog on mobile applications, and was the first to give priority to digital products, will be able to provide the best customer experience. But this did not happen. Please note that cellular operators are in a very close group, the difference in estimates is not too big, this is plus or minus a single group. Differences can be attributed to taste, different weights of certain parameters. I do not at all claim that they are the same, but for the client, in most cases, typical tasks will be solved plus or minus with an equal level of comfort.

As an example of bias in app evaluations, Markswebb’s report for the Tele2 app considers a lack of transition to a mobile device purchase to be a negative factor. As for me, operators are primarily about communication services, and not about selling equipment. And in exactly the same way, I don’t care about the lack of financial and insurance products, the main thing is that there are those services that the operator itself offers. He is not focused on offering all the services in our world, but, on the contrary, makes a specific focus on his business. Claims against the MegaFon application look much more adequate, for example, that there is no way to replace the SIM card in the application, change the physical SIM card to eSIM.

I will share my personal experience, I often have to turn on / off different subscriptions with operators, I watch how they work, I try something new to share it with you. The simplicity of the process of disabling subscriptions is such that many Internet companies can envy it. For example, having connected Yandex.Plus with Amediateka over the usual Yandex.Plus as part of the free period, I could not turn off the one-touch subscription, although I went through the Yandex application from and to. And only after contacting support twice, they described the non-trivial process of this shutdown to me. For mobile operators, the ease of working with services is much higher, their digital product is already better at this stage.

Whether we like it or not, we have all become part of the digital world. Through applications, we control our devices, the services of telecom operators, set up a smart home and again control everything that happens there through applications. The focus on the application to solve certain problems is normal, you can look at the iPhone, where the applications of companies and banks that have fallen under sanctions disappear. Businesses don’t have much success creating web interfaces for such applications, consumers want a separate application in which they can do everything.

The digital lifestyle has become our reality. And so the operators are trying to comply with it, changing their approaches to the market. For example, if we look at Tele2 advertising communications, we will see that an application is constantly woven into them, the advertising characters show “My Tele2”, do something on smartphone screens. Yes, and most additional services are created so that a person uses an application, for example, a market from Tele2, where you can sell or buy minutes, SMS, traffic. The service is designed with the aim of involving the user in the use of the application as much as possible, creating a habit of looking inside.

We look at the communications of other operators, the approach does not differ. Beeline, MegaFon, MTS – all focus on their applications. For example, in MTS, talking about certain tariffs, services, they immediately show them on the phone screen in the My MTS application.

In MegaFon, to form such a habit, they constantly hold drawings, offer various prizes, contests, and the like. Fundamentally different mechanics, but exactly the same task – to involve a person inside the application, to form the habit of being in it.

Already today we can issue an eSIM in the operator’s application, tomorrow it will become the norm and the number of operations will expand: replacing a SIM card, getting a new one, and so on. A trip to the operator’s office will not be necessary, rather it will become an exception. And those operators that will form the habit of using their application by this time will definitely win. All operators, except for Tele2, have large retail networks, they were created at a time when the digital product did not yet exist, and are replacing it. The big three account for about 15,000 stores! Tele2, on the contrary, entered the market later, began to develop a digital product from the very beginning, and therefore continues to invest more and more time and effort into it. The task is clear – to make the application not just a point of communication with the client, but the main portal to the services of the operator and its partners. And everyone faces this task, it’s just that all operators go to it at different speeds, try different approaches. But in the coming years, be sure that one of the main indicators will be the penetration of a mobile application in the subscriber base, the frequency of its use. Operators are already becoming digital companies, getting rid of the burden of past years. We are on the verge of closing physical stores, which are turning into a vestige, in any case, reducing their number. The reason is clear – for operators, the application becomes the native way of communicating with the client.

Do you use the application from the operator? Here are the results shown our survey.

Source: Mobile-review.com — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by mobile-review.com.

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