Archive for the “Uncategorized” Category

Insights on Creating A Frictionless Shopping Experience

What if most stores – and even Amazon – are getting frictionless shopping wrong? What would it mean for brands that are trying to do things differently?

Kim Otocki, a member of the Paytronix marketing team, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gus Olympidis, the president and CEO of Family Express. His c-store brand has firmly established itself as a leader in the frictionless experience, and Olympidis had a lot of wisdom to offer other c-store owners who are trying to follow suit.

“We’re beginning to see a movement away from demographics, toward psychographics,” said Olympidis, pointing out that the cookie-cutter approach of segmenting by generations doesn’t work nearly as well as it used to. A group like the millennials, he points out, is far too large and diverse to use as a guide for consumer wants, needs, and behaviors.

The key to serving consumers best, says Olympidis, is doing everything a c-store can to understand them, independent of their demographic. In order to accomplish this, c-stores need the kind of data insights that will let them treat their customers as individuals instead of members of a broad group.

Some of these insights can be provided by digital loyalty programs and digital customer relationship management. But according to Olympidis, one of the biggest mistakes brands are making right now is assuming that technology equates to a frictionless customer experience.

In fact, he believes that “bad technology creates friction.” Anything that makes it more difficult for consumers to get what they want increases friction, and that can absolutely include technology. […]

The Vision That Led Paytronix to Acquire Open Dining

August 7, 2019

In 2001, we set out to build a company that would create great guest experiences for restaurants. By developing a set of solutions at the intersection of payment, convenience, and loyalty, we have accomplished just that.  We have many first-to-market innovations which include NFC Loyalty, one-to-one promotions, text-to-enroll, and pay-by-mobile. 

Based on our experience with more than 400 brands, we recognized an opportunity to drive sales using customer data in not only on-premise interactions, but off-premise ones as well.  Our customers have been urging us to provide an ordering solution that leverages Paytronix’s AI-driven guest intelligence.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Open Dining, the online ordering startup designed for the SMB market. Founded in 2009 by software engineer Tim Ridgely, this feature-rich product now serves more than 1,500 locations and is drawing raves from clients, resellers, and POS providers alike.

 

 

What’s on the Roadmap?

Sharing a passion for exceptional guest experiences, Tim and his team have joined the Paytronix crew and new loyalty features are being added to the robust ordering platform. Over the last decade, Open Dining has done a remarkable job of listening to customers and creating ways for restaurants to sell more food and build loyalty. As a result, Paytronix now offers an Order & Delivery solution with the industry’s finest features, including a full suite of guest satisfaction survey tools, easy-to-use menu and modifier selectors, and integrations with some of the most advanced POS systems and third-party delivery partners.

Paytronix Order & Delivery already includes loyalty enrollment, accrual, and redemption functions that are not available with any other platform. And the roadmap for online ordering and delivery contains a number of innovative features that will be revealed at the upcoming Paytronix Users Experience (PXUX) event, which is taking place in Denver on September 18th and 19th.  

 

How Will Customers Benefit from This Digital Ordering Solution?
The simple answer is increased sales. Our customers exist in an incredibly competitive market where consumer trends change but selling more food remains the top priority. In conjunction with all of the other Paytronix products, Order & Delivery helps retailers maintain guest relationships as consumers shift toward off-premises spending.  

Many of our clients have a limited number of people on their marketing and IT teams, making it challenging to oversee a large ecosystem of vendors. A single platform will simplify the process of creating and managing programs.

 

How Will Web-Ordering Partners Benefit?
As we continue to implement technology faster than any other platform in the space, our partners will benefit from our continued investment in integrations and by gaining access to a broader set of integration points.

We invite you to learn more about this exciting new product. Click on the links to schedule a personalized demo and to register for PXUX 2019.

The Future of Gen Z and Convenience Stores

Convenience stores have been an American staple for close to 100 years, serving an important function for the average consumer. But with technology changing so rapidly and major retailers like Amazon making moves that threaten the market, will c-stores continue to be relevant to the next generation?

It’s necessary to answer this question because Gen Z (the next generation with purchasing power) constitutes nearly 27% of the entire U.S. population and is on track to be the largest generation of consumers. However, its shopping habits are substantially different from other groups. If convenience stores can’t capture the interest of this generation now, they’ll struggle to stay relevant … and stay in business.

Here are six trends that conveniences stores need to be aware of – and capitalize on – to create loyal shoppers among Gen Z.

  1. They are technology natives. Gen Z is the first true digital generation, and its members are accustomed to being able to use mobile phones, apps, and the Internet to do anything they need to do. That means, of course, that a c-store must incorporate technology into its interactions with customers, whether it be apps, mobile ordering, paying via mobile, or some combination of them.
  2. They expect diversity in their food. We already know that this is a “foodie” generation – perhaps even more so than others. But Gen Z has wider access to a variety of cuisines from cultures around the world, which makes it incumbent upon convenience stores to offer many different types and flavors of foods.
  3. They expect a mobile presence. Beyond a fondness for technology in general, the members of Gen Z are especially attached to their mobile devices. They expect the businesses they frequent to cater to them in the form of a mobile-optimized site, an app, a mobile loyalty program, and/or SMS messaging.
  4. They use online reviews to guide choices. More than any other generation, Gen Z makes buying choices based on online reviews. Studies have shown than a one-star increase for a business on Yelp leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. C-stores need to constantly monitor their online reviews, as well as encourage happy customers to write them.
  5. They have an expectation of immediacy. Members of this digital generation are accustomed to being able to access what they want when they want it. Convenience stores, therefore, need to implement ways for Gen Z customers to get items as quickly as possible, including offering NFC Loyalty and mobile payment.
  6. They regularly order online. There has never been a time when Gen Z couldn’t place orders for things online. Just a few years ago, two-day shipping was a revelation, and now people can have a reasonable expectation of getting a delivery in less than an hour. A c-store that wants to stay competitive in the marketplace needs to offer store delivery, curbside pickup, or both.

Digital guest engagement programs are the key to making Gen Z (and all generations) feel as valued as possible. They enable c-stores to gather data and use it to deliver promotions, discounts, and messaging that is relevant on an individual level. These programs can include and/or integrate with an app, mobile payment, delivery options, and any number of other digital touchpoints.

Because the promotions are personally meaningful, customers partake in them and visit the c-store location more frequently. And encouraging those habits when Gen Z is young helps create loyalty for life.

Engaging Gen Z customers requires a comprehensive plan. To learn more about attracting this generation to your stores, check out our on-demand webinar, “Does Gen Z Have a Need for Convenience Stores?”

What’s on Your Grill This Summer?

With burger joints eager to stay current and appeal to varying tastes, guests are seeing a full range of innovative menu items. Some of these offerings contain no meat at all, some feature new ingredients like CBD, and others are being called something other than burgers. As the summer grilling season heats up, let’s explore how three restaurant chains are improving their marketing strategy and reaching new customers by introducing a fresh take on a classic meal.

Burger King, one of the largest burger chains in America, recently announced that all of its locations will be offering the Impossible Whopper by the end of 2019. The name is inspired by the burger’s supplier, Impossible Foods, which is a leading provider of plant-based substitutes for meat. The burger looks and tastes just like the real thing, and stores carrying the Impossible Whopper have seen an increase in foot traffic. Meanwhile, independent and smaller restaurants are experiencing similar demand for plant-based alternatives, but Impossible Foods doesn’t have the supply to meet the needs of large chains and small chains alike. This situation has given rise to direct competitors like Beyond Meat, which is starting to gain much more recognition in the market after reaching agreements with Hooters and Tim Hortons.

Carl’s Jr. is a chain that’s taking a more radical approach to keeping up with the latest food trends. On April 20th, a day that has become associated with cannabis, it tested a CBD burger. The Rocky Mountain High Burger has a typical patty but it’s topped with CBD-infused sauce. Although popular for personal consumption, food and beverages that contain CBD exist in a gray area. The FDA conducted its first hearing on the use of CBD in restaurants this year and will continue to explore all of the pros and cons before either maintaining its illegality or overturning the current regulations.

While Burger King and Carl’s Jr. are adapting the traditional burger to cater to a more health-conscious or adventurous consumer base, IHOP is focusing on creative marketing. After this well-known breakfast chain decided to promote burgers last summer to drive lunch and dinner traffic, it received backlash from those who felt that a pancake place should stick to what it does best. In response, IHOP has begun marketing its burgers as just another category of pancakes. I mean, they’re the same shape, right? IHOP is also keeping a list of social media users who tweeted negative sentiments during last year’s promotion. The only way to get off this “Bancake List” is to tweet something positive about the brand.

In this season of increased burger consumption, you should give some thought to the innovations that are impacting the food industry and how restaurant chains are responding to new consumer preferences. For more information, check out our on-demand webinar, “Grilling Up Plant-Based Proteins on Your Menu,” and consult our data brief for tips on deciding what your menu should feature next.