Mobilize more customers to trade in with MCE Trade-In 2.0

Taking charge of trade-ins

With over 550 million idle old phones sitting in drawers around the US, the time for customers to trade in their phones has arrived. But what will it take to get them out of drawers and into pockets? Answer: an omnichannel trade-in solution including an app that assesses the phone’s condition and gives the customer a guaranteed price for the device quickly and reliably. Telco-grade technology that securely transfers the data to the new phone, wipes the old phone clean and includes a credit on your next bill. And a new breed of operators bold enough to lead the way.

What do customers want from trade-ins?

Trade-ins deliver clear benefits to customers, lowering the cost of upgrades and enabling them to acquire more powerful devices. The benefits to the planet are also significant – every 1 million devices that are reused reduces the mobile device CO2 footprint by 48k metric tons. Unfortunately, too many customers are neglecting to cash in on this opportunity. To find out why, we queried a large cross-section of US mobile customers. Many were discouraged by their trade-in experience and disappointed with the results. Others were reluctant to trade in due to a number of perceived trade-offs. Inconsistent pricing, subjective and opaque device valuation, inadequate or non-existent omnichannel options, and unreliable or opaque trade-in quotes, were among the reasons given. As a result of these trust and CX hurdles, only 10 – 20% of customers who start a digital-first trade-in actually complete it.

Importantly, the research also revealed what kind of trade-in solution it would take to get customers excited about trading in their used phones: Trade-In 2.0. The answer they gave should matter to every operator looking to increase trade-in margins and volumes, and drive customer loyalty through trade-ins.

At last, a trade-in solution without trade-offs

Trade in CX

For too long, trade-ins have failed to deliver the type of experience today’s customers expect, and the kind of speed and accuracy that operators need. That’s why we’ve built a different kind of trade-in solution: Trade-In 2.0. One that improves customer trust and satisfaction, while automating processes for frontline staff.

Our solution engages customers in an objective highly accurate device grading experience, in order to guarantee the price, without the risk. It transfers content securely across mobile phone platforms with the fastest transfer speeds in the industry. And wipes the content from your old phone securely.

Customers get a seamless experience with omnichannel start, pause and resume capability. Operators get higher levels of accuracy and faster processing that lead to higher margins, along with streamlined automation that eases the burden on frontline staff. It’s the trade-in solution of the future except that it’s already here.

Grade the device objectively, so you can guarantee the price accurately

Given that 29% of price quotes change during the trade-in, it’s no wonder that only 38% of mobile customers trust their operator to give them a fair price. The reason for the change in price? Inaccurate, unreliable grading of devices. The solution? A fast and accurate AI-powered cosmetic device grading tool that puts customers in control (“remote grading”).

Campaign promotion through a promotion engine

Take instant control over promotional campaigns to drive trade-ins. Deploy consistent channel promotions in real-time, per eligibility guidelines you define (i.e., brand, model, type & grade) and redemption options you select. The MCE promotion engine enables in-journey promotion of insurance, VAS and upsell of higher rate plans, and ensures low-device costs and a predictable supply of devices to fulfill subsidy quotas.

Deliver a competitive, guaranteed (best) price through our multi-trader marketplace

MCE’s multi-trader marketplace drives demand for your devices. This innovative auction-led approach to trading achieves maximum clarity and transparency on the buyback price. Traders set their prices, and the system bids instantly on devices that meet their requirements, ensuring you get the maximum amount for each device – which you can pass on to your customer. This newfound clarity uncovers new opportunities to optimize your relationships with outsourcing partners across 4PL, insurance and trading.

You may also have internal quotas to fill for insurance replacement devices and other programs. Our system ensures you get the best value from the devices you process – whether it’s higher margins from the marketplace, or more devices of a certain model and grade to meet your own internal quotas. This helps you enjoy the benefits of a closed economy, allowing a more predictable supply of internal seed stock for replacement devices or to serve your enterprise customers.

Refurbishment decisions

Our refurbishment engine decides whether a device should go for refurbishment or to recycling, based upon identified hardware issues, grade of the device, and margin potential once the device has been refurbished, in order to improve UPH and margins. For those devices going to refurbishment, the engine decides which devices are of sufficient quality to serve as replacement devices (e.g. for repair or insurance claims) after cleanup.

Get guaranteed pricing
in under 3 minutes

Device Grading Variance Rates

up to 30%

MCE solution

Time to complete trade-in

> 30 minutes
42% of customers

< 3 minutes
100% of MCE customers

Our remote device grading solution is lightning fast because it’s fully automated and doesn’t require a full test schedule. It’s super accurate because of objective grading, with a minuscule 2% variance* that allows you to confidently guarantee the price.

* Remote grading puts the capability usually only available in a warehouse into the consumers’ and retail associates’ hands. So no delay in grading is necessary anymore
*Near zeroing of variance can be achieved by adopting a further level of AI-assisted approach to determining water damage.


Mobilizing device trade-in and upgrade

Advanced device recognition

This feature identifies the device so the system can remember and track lifecycle activity associated with it. In the case of a new trade-in customer with an unknown device, this component also determines that it works on the network.

Fraud, theft, and unpaid financing detection

For trade-ins of unknown devices belonging to new customers, this feature automatically checks that the device was not stolen, blacklisted, or purchased fraudulently, and does not have outstanding financing attached to it.

Cosmetic grading

Our AI-powered objective cosmetic grading checks the screen and LCD for damage, with a high degree of accuracy, enabling operators to guarantee the price they offer. With a variance of less than 2% (compared to up to 30% for others), its precision is unmatched. And because it requires only a light assessment rather than a full test schedule, its speed is too. This is how remote grading empowers consumers and retail associates – it enables them to get a price guarantee.

Hardware diagnostic

This provides an objective evaluation of the device’s internal hardware functioning status, and checks the health of the battery with a comprehensive set of tests, including capacity and cycles, charging, consumption and battery info – with the app enabling a case to be escalated to the call center.

Content transfer

Customers care about privacy, security, and preserving the memories on their devices. Our solution helps them upgrade more smoothly, quickly and with greater peace of mind. According to our research (link to report), 45% of customers say they would be much more likely to trade in a phone if all of their data was transferred to the new phone. We enable them to securely migrate their data and content to their new devices, using the fastest content transfer tool in the industry (4X faster than competitors). No matter which platform you’re migrating to or from, our carbon copy transfer guarantees nothing is lost, even when customers forgot their passwords.

Device wiping and unlocking

Our guided workflows allow customers to decouple their accounts from devices. This feature unlocks and wipes data and content from the old device safely and securely, even for customers who forgot their password. Certified wiping limits legal exposure for operators. This clearly matters to customers – 42% say knowing that the data on their previous phone was completely erased would make them much more likely to trade in, suggesting that in an ideal world, wiping would be certified.

Next best actions

An enforceable set of actions along a guided flow, next best actions govern the activation process and enable upsell capabilities in two unique ways:

Activation cross and upsell

This feature identifies the device and triggers upselling of insurance and VAS (e.g., cloud service or mobile security).

Smart Suggestions over the lifecycle

Based upon MCE’s AI-enabled analytics layer, we suggest and target relevant offers to the customer that are synced to the device’s lifecycle, history and user actions, over the lifetime of the device

Trade-in as a service

Fast deployment

It’s taken us a long time to become so fast. Today, with 17 years of implementation expertise behind us, and with your grading and pricing standards in hand, we can deploy an omnichannel capable solution app in as few as 3 months. Need a retail pilot solution? We can deploy a standalone app/webpage in 4-6 weeks, with a digital to retail hand-off achieved within 10 – 12 weeks.

Flexible integration

Your device lifecycle management requirements are unique, and we’re here to meet them. Our management console lets you take control of the entire device lifecycle ecosystem, including campaign promotions, and our analytics dashboards provide you with details about the business impact.

True omnichannel

Sometimes customers want to start a trade-in online, or on the app, and then finish it in the store. Our true omnichannel capability, backed by a common data layer, lets them begin on the channel of their choice, and start, pause and resume the trade-in whenever and wherever they want – without having to repeat steps.

The app features our best-in-class omnichannel trade-in solution, which allows customers to assess the phone’s condition using AI based remote grading, and receive a guaranteed price for the device quickly and reliably, right from their home and finish at home or in-store.

The app can be white-labeled or integrated in an MyOperator mobile app via SDK.

The business impact

Trade-ins are an enormous opportunity for operators, and there are two ways we help you capitalize on it. The first is by ensuring that the used devices you trade deliver higher margins. The second is from the marketing side through self-financing benefits.

Here’s how the math behind the money works:

Operational benefits of $55 – $105 per customer arising from reduced commissions from a higher digital mix, thanks to an improved digital trade-in conversion rate; processing savings, and elimination of device grading in the warehouse.

Circular economy benefits of $35 – $100 per customer from improving new-device subsidies, reducing replacement costs for insurance programs or the enterprise business, and optimizing margins through multi-trade platforms and targeted refurbishment.

Volume-driven benefits come from higher digital conversion rates (from 10 – 20% to 50%) and from a trade-in centric marketing campaign around simplicity including a price guarantee (leading to 2x – 4x more total volume) and an opportunity to earn market development funds of OEMs of up to $20 per customer, should the operator prioritize their new product introduction in their trade-in tool.

Customer loyalty benefits of $25+ per customer thanks to Net Promoter Score (transactional) increases of 20 – 40%, leading to improved customer loyalty. Key improvement drivers are a seamless omnichannel journey and far fewer billing surprises (from 20 – 30% to less than 2%, with the credit appearing on the next bill).

Indirect benefits resulting from less “rework” in retail and customer care, and an intuitive process that can be implemented with minimal training.


What happens when you give customers a price guarantee?

Vodafone UK guaranteed prices. Trade-ins doubled.

In an industry first, Vodafone UK launched an innovative new app, ahead of the 2020 iPhone launch. With fast and highly accurate, AI-enabled screen grading, the My Vodafone app, powered by the MCE SDK, enabled customers to assess their mobile phones’ cosmetic condition at home or on the go. Even better, it provided customers with accurate, guaranteed price quotes that were credited to their next bill. The results? Vodafone UK more than doubled trade-in volume, increasing customer trust and premium rate plan conversion.

Vodafone TV commercial

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