What we learnt while helping our client in implementing technology innovation via mobile ordering and payments for their chain of coffee shops.
Mobile Ordering and Payments is a complex and a massive space. And implementing them is not just about adding features to your existing application or build a new one. Mobile ordering and payments requires a paradigm shift. It is not just a technical feature/ problem to be solved. It involves an integration with the whole ecosystem of a restaurant. For these innovations to work we need to make all the moving parts of the system work together. To make these features revenue generating and not just a cost!
Quick Brief- Our client has a coffee shop chain. It has approximately 25 coffee shops. They understand the need of a mobile application. We did not had to establish the need. We focused on how to implement this. Through which a customer can browse and order their favorite coffee.
What we did?
We started with learning more about the whole coffee shop ecosystem. What the customer typically does and what they would appreciate. We figured out all the moving parts of the system we would need to take care off. And at each interaction point the customer experience should be great! The below infographic shows how a mobile app influences a restaurant eco-system, benefits and challenges.
How does it work? Parts of mobile ordering:
- Ordering or Pre-order- People are on their mobiles and social networks most of the time. Why not leverage it. A pre-order and pay solution takes away the pain point out of a retail experience. Customer does not have to stand in queues and can have multiple payment options, which also help them save. In rush hour like while you are heading for work and need your coffee. It’s great if you can order before hand and pick it up on the way. Sounds simple.
- Payments- What options you allow your customer to pay with. Smart integrations help here in providing direct value to the customers. This is also a place where you can start building relationships. Extend your loyalty or rewards program. Your existing rewards program should be integrated intrinsically with your ordering and payments feature. By providing easy scanning, fewer steps to place and order and showing instant value through rewards.
- Engagement (Rewards & Loyalty Programs)- Pre-order and payments gives you a chance to engage and build relationships with your customers. This is a inflection point where you can also start up-selling.
- Customer Delight- Use the data collected for providing your customers with more specialized offers that gives them real value.
Getting Mobile Ordering Right.
As I said before it is not just a technical feature that you can add to your mobile application, it needs to be integrated with the ecosystem. Few challenges which we faced and some solutions we recommended.
How to manage the influx of orders
Preorder allows for a great experience for the customer but is it for the employees or the store. With preorder feature you will see a lot more orders coming up only for a pick up. Is your in-store infrastructure ready to manage this? What if there is congestion on the hand off plane due to large number of orders.
This may require to rethink the layout of the store, improved signage and messages, or train your employees or may be hire new ones, or simple separate stations for digital orders. From a product perspective we helped with providing accurate notifications to customers and the internal team about their orders.
With lot of data on user ordering behvaior you can also use analytics to build models that can be applied to items rush hours.
- Using voice for ordering is also an avenue to be experimented with.
- Tie ups with delivery options.
- Leverage data for providing specialized offers to customers.
Do share your ideas in the comments section.