Brands are constantly searching for ways to make the customer experience easier and more rewarding. After all, a better shopping experience will increase customer loyalty, visits, and spend.
How can restaurant and c-store brands make the shopping experience simpler at a time when consumers expect the items they order to literally appear on their doorstep? Whether they are shopping online, on their phones, or in the store, your customers seek convenience. The answer – by creating a frictionless customer experience.
What is a Frictionless Customer Experience?
In business terms, “friction” refers to how easy or difficult it is for a consumer to reach the end goal of making a purchase. Every element that makes an experience less convenient adds friction. However, many business owners are entirely unaware of exactly how much friction their average customer experiences with each transaction. Decreasing friction not only increases sales and brand loyalty, but it can also lure shoppers away from competitors.
Many of the latest industry developments are covered in the new Paytronix e-book: Convenience Is the New Currency: How Decreasing Friction Increases Profits.
Five Technologies That Can Help Create a Frictionless Shopping Experience
1. Mobile Payments
Allowing customers to pay using their mobile phones may be one of the easiest ways to start decreasing friction.
A major driver of these trends is an increasing reliance on mobile phones and tablets. On average, people check their phone 52 times per day, which is up from the 47 times per day of last year.
Customers want instant access to brands and expect their interactions with them to be as convenient and personal as possible. Plus, mobile payments allow you to connect with your customers anywhere.
2. Online Ordering
A natural next step after creating mobile payment options is enabling mobile and online ordering so that customers can avoid waiting in lines.
Research indicates that 74% of shoppers will shop at a competitor rather than at a store with a long line, while 41% of them will change their minds about making a purchase when faced with a long line.
The Paytronix e-book examines the ways that brands can increase customer loyalty, visits, and spend by reducing wait time. A simple and easy online ordering solution helps build successful relationships with customers that keep coming back.
3. Food Delivery Apps
Customers have come to expect delivery options that let them get what they want when they want it. Placing an order by calling a restaurant is no longer good enough. Customers want to use a food delivery app to easily place orders and track the status.
In fact, 72% of consumers would buy more items if a brand offers convenient delivery options. And 63% of them are willing to pay a higher price for on-demand items.
Therefore, brands that cannot meet the expectations run a very real risk of losing their consumer bases entirely.
For simple tasks like looking up a price, signing up for a rewards program, and even making a purchase, it can make sense to “outsource” the work to self-serve kiosks.
In 2014, Panera Bread was seeking to attract more lunch business by making the ordering and food delivery process quicker. The brand achieved its goal through Panera 2.0, an initiative to enhance the customer experience, which implemented kiosk ordering stations and made dozens of other process improvements to shrink the time a customer waits for that toasty bread and tasty soup.
5. Scan-and-Go Apps
Customers select the items that they would like to buy, and instead of waiting in line or at a kiosk, they simply scan their mobile phones just before leaving the store to make their purchase.
Creating a frictionless customer experience is essential for businesses today. Focusing on convenience can be the difference between a brand that thrives and one that doesn’t survive.
Restaurants and c-stores that adopt these new technologies improve the convenience of the shopping experience. As a result, they see increases in customer loyalty, visits, and spend.
To learn how you can keep guests engaged with your brand by eliminating any friction points in the buying process, download our new e-book: Convenience Is the New Currency: How Decreasing Friction Increases Profits.
“On-Demand Delivery and the Culture of Convenience: What Are Consumers Really Looking For?,” Medium, June 16, 2017
“Mobile Fact Sheet,” Pew Research Center, June 12, 2019
Amy He, “Average U.S. Time Spend with Mobile in 2019 Has Increased,” eMarketer, June 4, 2019
“Global Mobile Consumer Survey: U.S. Edition,” Deloitte, November 13, 2019
Debby Garbato, “What Is Frictionless Engagement? Who’s Doing It? And Why?,” Convenience Store News, February 5, 2019