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The market of recycled devices grows with the crisis

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There are some markets which benefit from the crisis. The market of recycled electronic devices is one of them. With the growth of smartphones and a diminishing buying power, consumers tend to look increasingly for bargains in the second-hand market. A recent study shows that only 20% of cell phones are recycled and that each houselhold has 3 to 4 phones on average sleeping  somewhere in the drawers of the house.

Some startups have developed a specific offer for this segment and are pretty successful with managing offer and demand. The key on this market is indeed not the demand but well the offer. Players on this market need to locate and secure enough second-hand devices to satisfy their customers. If you don’t have enough stock you won’t make deals.

Coolblue has found a superb solution to solve the offer problem. When you order something from the Coolblue shop you’ll also get some plastic bags that will give you the possibility, at no cost, to ship your second-hand products to Coolblue. The guys at Coolblue are not stupid … they know that if you order something from them it’s probably to replace a defective or an older device. They have partnered with bpost to develop a solution (for the specialists of the postal world you it is based on a so-called “return solution”) that allows customers to ship quickly and free-of-charge their used products.

 

Advice for your marketing strategy

Coolblue has understood that online purchases need to be made easier. That’s why they offer a D+1 delivery. They understand that supply chain management is at the heart online business success. If you don’t manage the offline experience superbly, consumers won’t buy from you and if the offline experience is bad they won’t buy again from you.

They have applied the same recipe to second-hand device. Getting some cash for an old device must be simple. Coolblue has simplified the process as much as they could and has taken over as many tasks as possible to encourage the consumer to send his/her product.

If you are in the online business you should also think about which offline aspects your customers have to deal with and how you can simplify their lives. You will soon realize that your marketing strategy is not solely an online marketing strategy but also relies on offline aspects which can destroy all your efforts if they are not well managed. What we use to do, to detect all those aspects in market research assignments, is to realize a mapping of your activities. Just draw all the steps (really all of them) which span from how the customer found you to how did he/she dispose of your product, through how he bought it. Each little step should then be benchmarked and if you do it objectively you should be able to quickly find out where to improve.

 

 

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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