November 14, 2019
Improving the Retail Experience with Phobio Abacus
circuit board and microchip

With the rising cost of ownership, retailers are struggling to incentivize new and current customers to upgrade their mobile devices and purchase the latest technology. According to IDC, shipments of smartphones are forecast to fall 2.2 percent globally in 2019 — the third straight year of declines. Apple’s iPhone shipment volumes, for example, are expected to drop to 177.9 million, down 14.8% year over year, mostly due to market maturity.

“Consumers continue to hold their device for lengthier times, making sales difficult,” said Sangeetika Srivastava, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.

Yet, a modest rebound in 2020 is predicted as 5G coverage becomes more widespread and more affordable 5G phones come to market. With faster speeds and lower latency connections, 5G will not necessarily replace 4G, but it will complement LTE.

“The anticipation of 5G, beginning with smartphones, has been building for quite some time but the challenges within the smartphone market over the past three years have magnified that anticipation,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “To be clear, we don’t think 5G will be the savior in smartphones, but we do see it as a critical evolution in mobile technology.”

To help consumers upgrade to 5G devices without breaking the bank, retailers should offer equipment installment plans (EIP), early upgrade plans, forward trade value plans, or device trade-in programs. These tools are the best way for carriers and retailers to offset the costs of customer acquisition and product upgrades.

To run profitable trade-in, upgrade, warranty, and insurance programs, retailers and carriers must be able to accurately predict the future wholesale values of devices. Phobio Abacus is an AI-powered SaaS platform that allows retailers to access and analyze the market trends, historical performance, and future values of any device or group of devices at any time through a web interface.

The Phobio Abacus machine learning platform is fed live market and product data curated by our pricing team specialists. It generates trade and sale value predictions in real-time for devices based on historical depreciation rates and those of comparable products. Retailers can ask Phobio Abacus specific questions such as “How do our trade values compare to others in the market?” or “What will we be able to sell specific SKUs for in the future?” or “What should our trade values be based on projected future sale prices?” and Phobio Abacus will return an answer in milliseconds.

The ability to predict future device values enables carriers, retailers, and insurance providers to mitigate risk as they offer programs to drive new customer acquisition and sustain customer retention. Phobio Abacus provides these market predictions with unparalleled accuracy through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Interested in learning more? Let’s chat!