A look into 2023: What lies ahead in guest engagement
Happy New Year!
The changing of the years always gives us a chance to look ahead. As the Paytronix team enters 2023, we asked our experts what to look for. Here are some of the responses from those with their fingers on the pulse of loyalty, online ordering, and the overall world of guest engagement.
Jeff Hoover, Director of Convenience Store Strategy
I think convenience stores will focus even more on loyalty in 2023 as more guests will be looking for value in a commodity (gas) during periods of high inflation. I also think convenience stores will begin to see even more value in the ability of loyalty to segment audiences and engage with customers in a personalized manner, with the ultimate purpose of driving both traffic and sales.
Also, reduced demand for gas due to higher prices and the growth in electric vehicles will force more retailers to focus on food service and other in-store convenience items. As these offerings come on the market, loyalty will provide a great tool to connect with customers, drive awareness, and encourage them to try new items. Overall, it’ll boost the longer-term sales of non-gas items.
Kristin Lynch, Director of Restaurant Strategy
Restaurant brands will continue to focus on loyalty in 2023 and will make guest engagement a priority. They will look to answer the question “how best can I communicate, recognize, reward, and overall engage with my most loyal guests to drive their behavior?” They might do this via program design (i.e. Bankable Points), guest recognition layers (i.e. Tiers, Badges) or Segmentation driven by AI (i.e. Individualized campaigns).
Marc Schultz, Head of Data Privacy and Security
Consumer sensitivity to Privacy and Security will continue to grow in 2023, as will the number of laws and regulations affecting how companies manage financial and personal data. This is a time to review what data is collected, how it is used, how it is protected, and how long it is retained. California’s CCPA/CPRA has redefined “Personal Information” and “Sharing” which is making companies re-evaluate the need to update their Privacy Policies and the opt-out links being presented to consumers.
EJ Van De Vegte, Director of Software Development
Loyalty accounts and programs are becoming more and more important for restaurants and convenience stores, but also for guest users. Where people were less concerned with the security of their loyalty accounts before, it is getting more important to the brands and their guests. The consumer threat is losing their data but also losing loyalty points or even gift card balances. Loyalty points represent value because an individual can use them to get free products or discounts. And eGift cards are straight-up money. All and all, aspects of a loyalty system become more akin to a banking system and need to be well protected. That protection has an impact on the user experience, so it becomes a balance between UX and security.