David Charlton, Commercial Director for Zonal Marketing Technologies looks at the trends for the year ahead. I am confident that consumers will expect to use their mobile devices to order food and drinks and speed up payment. The figures say it all. In under two years the number of consumers who use mobile devices to speed up payment has increased from 2.4 million to 3.1 million [source: GO Technology by Zonal and CGA].
Driving the app revolution is consumer hunger for speed. Two in five (41%) of GO Technology respondents cite the ability to pay quicker and avoid waiting to settle bills as the main advantage of apps. Almost as many respondents mention the ability to skip queues.
And this year at Zonal, we have witnessed a 400% increase in enquiries from operators for our Order & Pay app as they recognise mobile ordering is no longer an option but fast becoming a necessity to attract and retain customers.
I also have no doubt that our appetite for food delivery from our favourite high street food brands will also continue to see rapid growth in 2019, with voice based ordering and food tracking devices taking it to the next level. Last year, there was a 28% jump in food delivery orders from the previous year and with almost a third of consumers wanting to know the exact delivery time of their meal, this is where I predict GPS tracking technology will be part of the solution.
Furthermore, as the restaurant sector hots up to win the customer pound, they will continue to seek additional ways to optimise sales and food delivery will be high on the to do list. This is supported by GO Technology, whereby two in five (40%) of consumers believe more restaurants will start to offer delivery direct from their own websites, as they are viewed as the best source of information about delivery. In In comparison, only 29% predict a growth in third party mobile delivery apps.
I also expect to see significant growth in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), such as chatbot technology, which has become a staple in our homes thanks to the likes of Alexa, Apple HomePod and Google Home.
In the last 12 months we have been supporting operators to optimise the opportunity of chatbots within channels such as Facebook’s Messenger. This form of communication is changing the way that bookings and orders are being taken and will become mainstream this year as chatbot technology becomes even more familiar in our everyday lives.
There is no doubt that technology is changing the way we conduct our lives, and the traditional way of doing things has gone out the window, so brands should have a tech strategy for 2019.