Competition is very strong in the mobile market, and during the run-up to Christmas, mobile providers will present many special offers to ensure that they have a successful festive shopping season. This fact is especially true in the consumer market, and Vodafone and O2 have already started initiatives aimed at attracting new customers and keeping their existing ones. However, are business buyers also profiting from holiday incentives via promotions aimed at encouraging them to make purchases?
According to Stuart Rowley, Vodafone UK’s Director of Small Business, the answer to this question is ”yes.” “We’re constantly innovating: whether that’s by bringing new technology such as unified communications or IoT to businesses or by creating offers and plans that mean firms both large and small can get the most out of their mobile service. As an example, earlier this year, we launched a new range of mobile solutions custom-made for those running small businesses with up to nine employees, many of whom rely on mobile services to keep connected to their customers, suppliers and staff. “
In many ways, businesses are in a better position than individual consumers to find the best deals in the mobile marketplace. Businesses usually have a purchasing department staffed by people who are well-versed in all contract clauses, so it is not very likely that their companies will face overcharging because they do not understand the complexities inherent in mobile contracts, such as the implications of roaming charges.
Bryan Betts, an analyst with Freeform Dynamics, noted: “I think the business market is less dependent on or attracted by drama. Sure, drama gets headlines, but it’s a consumer thing. Plus, the biggest rip-offs have been linked to individual contracts that bundled in handsets, which isn’t necessarily how businesses buy phones. It’s also true that while consumer plans are highly price-sensitive, business deals may be more dependent on other factors.”
Rowley added that businesses can choose the right support for their operations. Their plans include features such as Vodafone Rapid’s damage insurance with four-hour phone replacement and the Business Premier tariff that includes data-share SIM.
These types of products show that the variety of services available from their mobile providers is most important to business customers. While no business wants to overpay for services that they receive, savings of only a few pounds is not high on a company’s priority list. Most individuals can go for a few days without a mobile phone, but the same is not true for businesses, as mobile has become crucial for their success.
Given businesses’ dependency on mobile and their reliance on longer-term contracts, it is more difficult for them to change their mobile providers than individuals. However, businesses still want to have the ability to access a better range of services when they become available.
Vodafone is trying to address this issue by providing their business customers with more flexibility. “We’ve adapted the One Net Business solution, so SMEs can buy the fixed communication element of the service first, depending on where they are with their mobile contract. This means it’s easy for businesses to link their mobiles into the system when the time is right for them,” said Rowley.