Vodacom wants to sell stuff using hashtags on Twitter

Vodacom is working on a series of new multi-channel service and sales platforms, specifically in the digital space, as it seeks new avenues for revenue growth.

South Africa’s biggest mobile operator, with 32.5 million subscribers, said it wants to better service its customers in context of a progressively more digitised market.

One such project, the group told BusinessTech, would see Vodacom customers being able to purchase products directly through social media, taking advantage of the social relationship between customers and the brand.

It could potentially see customers being able to purchase products directly via Twitter, using the social network’s hashtag feature.

American Express first launched a similar partnership with Twitter in 2013. Amec cardholders can complete purchases of specific items by mentioning the appropriate hashtag in a tweet.

Once you re-tweet a confirmation hashtag, American Express sends a confirmation e-mail, giving consumers 15 minutes to confirm a product order.

The consumer’s card is then charged with the items shipped to their billing address.

Vodacom is eying an ambitious move into the digital space and aims to make contract sales – through all digital channels – account for as much as 40% of overall contract sales in South Africa within the next two to three years.

Digital, the group said, is becoming an important component of the strategic mix because it enables customers to interact with the brand on the channel of their choice, while also driving operational cost savings for the company.

Last week, Vodacom reported a 2% decline in service revenue in South Africa, in a quarterly update for the period ended June 2014, citing mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts as a major contributing factor.

The group said that revenue would have climbed 2%, had the impact of MTRs been excluded.

The group also pointed to a continued shift towards smarter technology and increased data usage on its network.

The number of active smartphones and tablets on Vodacom’s network in SA increased
19.3% to 8.0 million devices, it said, while the average monthly data usage on smartphones increased 44.5% to 312 MB per device and usage on tablets increased 43% to 848 MB per device, the group said.

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Vodacom wants to sell stuff using hashtags on Twitter