What industry will smartphones disrupt next? No longer do we need to wait for a taxi and we can have our food delivered to our doorstep. In a digital age, convenience kills the competition. Mobile ordering is now disrupting the food and beverage industry and companies need to start waking up to the innovation before they get left behind.
So, what’s next? There have been some significant technology plays by some of the global behemoths. Starbucks have pioneered the mobile app space with an unprecedented roll out of their mobile order and pay feature. Mobile order and pay now accounts for 5% of overall transactions and over 10% in 2,700 busy US stores. The company doesn’t break out specific spending on digital initiatives, but it said it will invest as much as $300 million globally on what it called “partner and digital” projects in 2016.
However, this isn’t new news! What’s interesting is the wake they’re leaving behind in the food and beverage industry. In a bid to compete, Dunking Donuts, Chipotle, Five Guys and many more built mobile order ahead apps. At Dunkin Donuts orders can be made up to 24 hours in advance, and users can specify the location where they want to pick up their order. The mobile ordering capabilities are now being offered at more than 8,000 restaurants. The mighty McDonalds recently started piloting order ahead and have indicated plans for a feature launch in early 2017. It should be available in 25,000 locations by 2018, according to McDonald’s spokesperson Becca Hary. The UK market is now catching up as well with Costa, Eat, GBK, Chilango, Wetherspoons recently launching a mobile order and pay solutions.
These chains are tapping into the consumer predisposition to use technology in order to save time. These efficiencies are also precious to the venues. By alleviating inefficient ordering and payment processes, these venues can now serve more customers in the critical morning and lunch windows. Chipotle estimates that it can serve 6 more orders an hour since they don’t have to deal with customer indecision and payment issues. Furthermore, people who use Taco Bell’s app to place an order spend as much as 20% more than people who take the traditional route to order. Mobile ordering obviously ensures a more efficient service while lowering the risk that people turn away from a restaurant due to long queues. Having a digital ordering platform is becoming essential for business looking to compete in this fast-paced industry.
Whilst efficiency saving is the main benefit of a mobile ordering platform. The early adopters have identified further competitive advantages from customers ordering via their smartphones. The key to Starbucks’ power is the customer-centric data they’ve unlocked! Starbucks can see who their loyal customer are, what they’re order and how often – consolidating this to drive loyalty and retention. Customer insight is the prize and Starbucks are reaping the rewards.
Without mobile ordering and payment, baskets can’t attribute to customers and actionable information can’t be gathered. It makes you feel special when you receive a personal email about your favourite order from Starbucks or a push notification prompting you to order ahead when you forget on your daily routine. It seems like magic but this is all being driven by the big data they’re collecting on customers.
How can you compete with this if you don’t have the millions of dollars invested by Starbucks? There is an emerging technology ecosystem that can offer similar technology and capabilities. It’s time to decide what 3rd party companies you want to partner with or risk losing out in a rapidly moving industry.
If it’s loyalty then the likes of Loyal Zoo or Trezoro may be your best bet. These platforms can track your customer visits and reward them accordingly. However, if visit tracking is what you’re looking for then we recommend working with a Wifi integrator such as Beambox or Purple Wifi that can identify when customers log into your wifi and connect with them. If you see the value in efficiency and purchasing data (much like the rest of the industry) then we recommend you reach out to Ordoo for a free consultation on your operations and integration advice of a mobile ordering platform. We can save your customers time and our two click ticketing systems means you can process more orders when you’re really busy!
We’re now at a point where a decision on who to partner with must be made! If this decision is not made soon then independent venues will lose out to the companies investing in their own technology.
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