It’s a widely known fact that Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of new technologies by several years as brands scrambled to adapt to a new reality of contactless transactions and enforced physical distancing restrictions seemingly overnight.
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to upturn best-laid plans, and retail businesses in particular were forced to reassess their priorities and fast-track the investment in and development of technical solutions that enabled them to keep their customers interested, engaged and trading.
And whilst those solutions may have served a crucial role at the time, it’s important to take stock to evaluate how they solve the pain points of the business in the long term and fit within the overarching strategic marketing mix.
In a recent panel discussion webinar, Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director, Microsoft (NZ) commented on the shift, “…to briefly quote Satya Nadella (CEO Microsoft), we saw more digital transformation in two months than we would have in two to ten years.”
A recent McKinsey survey of global executives seeking to quantify this acceleration, surmises, “companies have accelerated the digitalization of their customer and supply-chain interactions by three to four years, and their share of digitally enabled products in their portfolios by a staggering seven years.”1
Whilst many brands expediated the development of their existing online, ecommerce and mobile ordering options, many were forced to implement quick-fixes, by way of off-the-shelf, white-label solutions, or utilizing no investment aggregation or fulfilment solutions (ie. Uber Eats / Grubhub) with little or no ability to flex to the unique brand’s requirements.
A year on from the first reported case of Covid-19, and the subsequent widespread global impacts, many brands are beginning to evaluate if the solutions they implemented whilst under pressure to meet the rapidly changing customer need, are a fit with their long-term requirements.
Whether these new solutions are innovative, customisable, and able to adapt and grow with the inevitable changing priorities that become evident as a brand pivots and matures.
Customers have embraced the shift away from dining-in and are rapidly adopting new digital channels which provide an enhanced customer experience. The days of a static menu representing ‘online ordering’ are long gone and consumers are increasingly expecting that brands they frequently engage with utilise the data to understand their order preferences and tailor the content to meet their unique needs.
So what are the questions that need to be asked to explore whether your mobile ordering solution is still fit for purpose? And are those frustrations and niggles just implementation issues, or have you quickly outgrown your solution all together?
Plexure’s Chief Product Officer, Richard Fraser, has put together a checklist of five key areas for brands to consider when undertaking a review of their mobile ordering solution:
Data ownership and management
Who owns and has access your customer data? Are you missing out on the opportunity to utilise this rich data to drive better CX/business outcomes?
- Fulfilment platforms might take the hassle out of remote commerce but the trade-off is in the value they are they keeping for themselves.
- Online ordering generates vast amounts of data which can be analyzed to improve outcomes for both the business and customer, but if you don’t have access to this data that’s a missed opportunity.
- Your brand has a significant role to play in ensuring your customer data remains protected and secure. Third parties need to be vetted to ensure these standards are being upheld.
Treat each customer as an individual
Best practice mobile ordering is as friction-less as possible and personalization has a huge part to play in providing a superior experience for your customers.
- Utilise the data provided to simplify the ordering experience. Make it easy for a repeat purchaser to reorder their favorite items, and provide relevant content and offers based on their unique preferences.
- Consider how your menu is displayed, make it engaging and innovative. ie. gamify the experience, segment by food groups or dietary requirements which are tailored to their unique preferences, include nutritional information and ratings and provide member get member benefits etc.
How to evaluate your return on investment
Online ordering and delivery is here to stay, so it’s worth doing a thorough analysis on the overall cost of ownership and understanding the benefits of your solution of choice. Here are some points to consider:
- Understand the customer economics of your business, leveraging your solution to identify customers and their buying behaviors across both digital and physical channels
- Can you utilize the data from your solution to efficiently grow and retain customers? Do you have the functionality to deploy personalized offers that don’t give away unnecessary discounts?
- Measure the effectiveness of mobile engagement by tracking 5 simple customer economic measures that determine the growth in the customer asset
- Total active customer base
- Increase in spend (frequency and value) per customer
- Reduction in cost to serve (discounts and operating costs)
- Net growth in customers (volume and value)
- Increase in total LTV
Identify your brand’s unique challenges and set KPI’s
Your mobile ordering platform should help to address the fundamental issues your brand needs to overcome not simply facilitate transactions.
- Do you have an issue with engaging new customers? Retaining habitual loyal customers, or with the win-back of lapsed, inactive customers? Identify the challenges and set clear KPI’s around them to ensure your solution is helping to overcome them.
Overall brand experience and feedback
Ultimately the customer sees any quality control issues as a failing on the part of your brand.
- How do you ensure your brand standards are upheld once an order leaves the premise? If there are issues with the quality of the food or service are you being made aware of them? It's imperative that these are addressed, but where is that feedback going and who is acting on it?