SAN FRANCISCO – WUA recently ran a comprehensive market customer experience benchmark to understand how US consumers research and select a Sim-only or BYOD wireless plan. The market for SIM-only plans is blooming within the telecom industry, with more and more consumers abandoning traditional mobile phone contracts in favor of Sim-only plans that offer increased flexibility.
Aim of this study
The aim of the study is to precisely identify the digital experience of consumers when they search for a Sim-only plan. Who do they choose to buy from, and mainly: Why? Using a proven model WUA has worked on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what the areas for improvement are. The websites of these companies were assessed by consumers in the study:
|Boost Mobile||Cricket Wireless|
|US Cellular||Verizon Wireless|
All websites listed have analytics and insights in the update report. Not all websites were assessed by a statistically significant proportion of the respondents and thus could not be included in the ranking.
The 300 consumers in our survey were instructed to “go online and search for different wireless plans to find options that best suit your needs. Imagine that your current phone still suits your needs”. Starting from a blank web page, each respondent searched for a Sim-only plan via their smartphone.
The last time WUA conducted a study into the US telecom industry, VerizonWireless.com emerged as the winner. This time would be no different asVerizonWireless.com edged out the competition for providing the best overall customer experience when it comes to searching and selecting a Sim-only plan or BYOD wireless plan. Still, while Verizon may have finished with the highest digital sales score overall, other websites ranked higher for other facets in the search for a suitable Sim-only plan. Below the complete Digital Sales Score rankings you will find our additional insights.
Digital Sales ScoreStudy: Sim OnlyMeasurement: March 2018Country: United States
- 1 VerizonWireless.com 66
- 2 ATT.com 62
- 3 T-Mobile.com 61
- 4 Amazon.com 59
- 5 StraightTalk.com 56
- 6 Sprint.com 55
- 7 BestBuy.com 53
- 8 Google.com 52
- 9 Cricketwireless.com 50
- 10 Walmart.com 49
- At the base of each Digital Sales Scan® lies the Digital Sales Model. With this model, the details of the orientation process are mapped. Eventually the performance of a website is reflected in a single, overall score: the Digital Sales Score.
Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?
Overall, VerizonWireless.com is the number 1 choice for 14% of respondents, followed by ATT.com (13%). This shows that the market for Sim-only plans is certainly not dominated by one provider. 15% of respondents also selected VerizonWireless.com as their second choice, meaning there’s much room for growth. Out of the big four wireless providers in the US, Sprint.com finished last—only 6% selected the carrier as their first choice.
Some of the quantitative findings of our study
The March 2018 Digital Sales Scan provides a snapshot of digital excellence in the US market for Sim-only plans. Let’s take a look at some of the findings:
– Verizon’s big advantage comes as a result of their high rate of findability, with 44% of respondents coming across VerizonWireless.com during their search. T-Mobile.com and ATT.com were discovered by 37% and 33% of respondents respectively. Sprint.com was only found by 23% of respondents.
– Forming first impressions are key, and none of the big wireless carriers finished first in this category. This honor belongs to Amazon.com, who received a score of 87 for the look & feel of their site. That’s a full four points higher than the average. Google’s Project FI homepage also gave a favorable first impression, finishing second in this category with a score of 86.
– After forming a first impression, respondents can decide to continue onward with the website they’re on or elect to search for a different website. Nearly half the respondents (40%) who found VerizonWireless.com continued on the site. That’s significantly higher than Sprint.com, where respondents only continued 20% of the time.
– Reeling in customers takes more than just a good-looking website. It also takes a good product offer. For this category, Amazon.com and BestBuy.com took joint first place with a score 87, a full 3 points above the average. Respondents were especially pleased with the range of sim cards BestBuy.com offered, which don’t differ in price.
– VerizonWireless.com may have finished first in preference, but they only finished fifth in terms of conversion (33%). This metric is measured by the number of respondents who select a website as their first choice divided by the number of respondents that found that same website. Amazon had the highest rate of conversion (51%), followed by ATT.com (40%) and BestBuy.com (40%).
From the findings above, we can see that the major wireless carriers in the US can learn a thing or two from the outsider companies that offer Sim-only plans. This holds especially true for the category order process, the last step before customers actually purchase a Sim-only plan. BestBuy.com received an astounding score of 93 for order process, finishing 9 points above the average. Notably, not one of the four major wireless carriers in the US finished in the top four for this category. In fact, ATT.com and Sprint.com finished well below average for this category.
Market performance over time and multi-country studies
WUA also carries out repeat measurements that offer valuable market insights over time. This enables you to track how your position within your market is changing, and the impact of any changes you have implemented since the previous measurement.