The pandemic pushed mobile ordering and payment technology into the spotlight last year, and consumers were quick to embrace the technology as part of their new COVID-compliant, contactless guest experience. But with benefits of order and pay technology extending well-beyond the pandemic, this trend is set to continue well into 2021 and beyond.
What’s more, changes in consumer habits and a desire to stay connected during the pandemic have driven an increase in mobile phone usage with 56% of people now using their mobile more than since COVID-19 began.
Zonal has been working with operators for several years now, supporting their order and pay solutions, however in October 2020 before festive restrictions came into force, we saw a record number and value of contactless orders processed through our mobile ordering solutions – £15million in one month.
So whilst customers are currently confined to their homes for another lockdown, now’s the opportunity to get on the front foot with Order and Pay technology, ready for when the industry opens back up again.
As with any new technology rollout, there are critical steps and pitfalls which determine its success or failure and we’ve put together a few Dos and Don’ts to help you make a success of your new order and payment solution.
1. Don’t rush your decision
With restrictions and government guidelines constantly changing, operators have had to make quick decisions, pivot business models on the spot and adapt to what is expected of them with only a moment’s notice. However, making a quick decision about a technology solution is not always the best decision, so make sure you take the time to do your research to find the right online ordering system for your business. Think through exactly how staff are going to quickly receive and manage orders, without disrupting other existing operations. Why not write a checklist of all the things you want your order and pay technology to be able to do, and be sure to speak to a few providers before making your decision.
2. Do check it’s future-proofed
Ensuring that your system is future-proofed is vital. A short-term solution could end up as a long-term headache, which drains more of your time than it saves. Does your online ordering system seamlessly integrate with your POS, so that orders are sent straight to the kitchen without your staff having to manually re-key orders? Does it give your customers a real-time view of your prices, stock, menu availability and offers? These are all things that need to be considered when choosing the right order and pay system and things that could very quickly become a drain of your time.
3. Do set KPIs and review them regularly
The best way to ensure a return on investment on your order and pay app is to review its performance against a set of KPIs that you set at the beginning of the project. You can quickly identify what’s working and what’s not, and prioritise any areas for improvement. You might want to set KPIs around the number of users, average spend or other important goals for your specific venue.
4. Don’t underestimate the importance of testing
Order and Pay is an extension of your brand and is an essential part of the customer experience. Make sure you test it out for yourself and ask staff, friends and family to do the same, to make sure you are happy the user experience. You’ll find that their feedback and engagement will enhance the overall success when it’s time to launch and could also give you some valuable nuggets of feedback that turn it from a standard solution to one that really flies!
5. Do take the time to train staff
Your staff can be your biggest advocates. It might seem straightforward but staff knowing how to use it inside out will be critical to its success. Take the time to train your staff thoroughly and allow all your staff to trial it.
6. Don’t expect your Order and Pay solution to sell itself
Just launching a mobile order and pay solution doesn’t guarantee it will be used. Your staff will be your main promotional channel for using the service, but it’s equally important to utilise every marketing tool in your kit. Whether it’s point of sale material on tables, till receipts, posters on toilet doors, on your website or emails, making customers aware that they are now able to order from the seat of their table will ensure its success.
If you’re thinking about an order and pay solution for your business, take a look at Zonal’s Order and Pay solutions, or get in touch with one of our team today using the form below to discuss your requirements.