This blog has recently been focused on simplifying the shopping process. We’ve recommended ways that restaurants and c-stores can make the shopping experience more convenient and we’ve delved into the technologies that will help enable those experiences in 5 Ways To Help Create a Frictionless Customer Experience.
Additionally, greater detail on the subject can be found in the new Paytronix e-book: Convenience Is the New Currency: How Decreasing Friction Increases Profits.
Some of the biggest brands are adopting the strategies and technologies needed to achieve a frictionless shopping experience. But true frictionless commerce can be a moving target.
Take McDonald’s, for instance. The global burger icon received accolades in 2018 for introducing self-service kiosks that gave customers more control of their purchases. In a February 2018 CNBC article, the corporation’s CEO at the time, Steve Easterbrook, declared that the brand would be adding 1,000 new kiosks per quarter. The commitment to mobile and other technology was part of a larger effort to “build a better McDonald’s.”
A July 2018 Forbes story, “McDonald’s Says Goodbye Cashiers, Hello Kiosks,” stated that self-service kiosks will be installed in all McDonald’s locations by 2020. It then highlighted some fast-casual brands that are likewise embracing this trend. Panera has been lauded for improving the customer experience with kiosks and mobile ordering, while the Chili’s Ziosk is acclaimed for its pay-at-the-table convenience.
But the road to frictionless commerce has seen a few potholes:
- One of the biggest challenges was discussed in a recent Bloomberg story. “McDonald’s Finds a Flaw in Ordering Kiosks: No Cash Accepted” details how restaurant owners are faced with having to upgrade their kiosks in order to accommodate customers who want to pay in cash.
- A critique on Reddit complains about the poor customer interface of Panera kiosks. According to this self-proclaimed frequent customer, the kiosk is too hard to use and he is now visiting less instead of more.
- A TripAdvisor reviewer warns that the games on the Chili’s Ziosk are not free. While some of the features of the Ziosk were explained, she wasn’t aware that there would be a charge for the games her daughter played until seeing the final bill.
In the pursuit of frictionless commerce, the goal is always to simplify the customer experience. Anything that adds angst, confusion, or time is not going to cut it.
How can you avoid the pitfalls and criticism that can follow a less-than-perfect technology rollout?
Two of the examples above show the value of monitoring social media to gauge customer reaction to new technology. However, social media forums do not necessarily include a direct conduit back to the brand.
At Paytronix, we try to anticipate things that could go wrong and give you the tools to fix them. Our recently introduced FEEDbackSM tool is a new Order & Delivery module designed to help store managers measure and mediate interactions with guests who place orders online. It identifies those with unsatisfactory online experiences so the store manager can intervene quickly and ensure that they order again.
As we’ve seen, achieving frictionless commerce is not always easy. But Paytronix works closely with brands to help them implement the strategies and technologies that are most likely to be successful.