Mobile recycling company Mazuma Mobile is on a b2b push, boosting its approved business partners from 20 to 60 over the past 12 months.
The strategy aims to develop new revenue streams in the face of an increasingly competitive market and the continuing shift from feature phones to smartphones.
Mazuma Mobile’s approved partners range from insurance companies and retailers to phone rental organisations and mobile phone dealers. The company processes between 50,000 to 100,000 mobiles a month.
Traditionally, Mazuma sold 80% of its handsets to overseas buyers. Mazuma MD Charlo Carabott said: ‘Now we sell more than 50% into the UK market largely because the handset mix is changing to more high-end smartphones, which are most often locked to networks, which makes it harder to sell into an overseas market.
‘We make more revenue selling these into a market where it is OK for a phone to be locked into a network – particularly iPhones. We are selling in smaller batches but making higher margins.’
Despite increasing competition, the company has seen customer numbers increase from 2.5 million to 2.6 million. It is now paying customers an average of £80 per handset, up from £55 a year ago, which reflects the move to smartphones.
Mazuma is also continuing to hold a 30% share of the online recycling market – which it said was more than 10% higher than its nearest competitor - despite a decision to reduce its high profile TV advertising campaign.
Carabott said the TV adverts were proving to be counter-productive. ‘We found that the TV ads generated online traffic but that consumers would then look at other recycling firms online and go for their higher prices so we were paying all that money generating traffic just to see it go to our competitors.’
The company decided to take a lower profile and let its ‘fixed price’ promise and fast turn-around service speak for itself, supported by customer referrals, online customer reviews and social media campaigns. He added: ‘We decided to stick to our core values, step back and let the cream rise to the top. There has been a huge flood of online competitors over the past few years who offer inflated prices but don’t deliver on their promises. But it is difficult to educate consumers. So we took the decision that some of our customers will go off and try the competition, realise they are not getting the prices or the service levels they were promised and will then come back to us.’
Author: Carol Millett