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Business August 13, 2021

How mobile order ahead technology is shaping consumer behaviour

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A consumer picks up an order placed ahead

Largely accelerated by the pandemic, mobile order ahead technology has radically begun to shift the loyalty and rewards space, eliminating queuing times, easing operational considerations, and altering customer behaviour at an unprecedented pace.

The rise of mobile order ahead

Mobile order ahead technology is becoming the norm as restaurants and coffee chains see their customers begin to demand speed and convenience. With Covid-19 and resulting lockdowns pushing independent retailers to adapt and pivot towards a takeout model, the move to mobile order ahead has accelerated, with more businesses beginning to see the benefits of this emerging technology.

It’s no surprise that mobile order ahead technology is spreading so fast. We know that mobile is king – our data shows that roughly 23% of online orders are from a mobile device. And mobile ordering is predicted to make up nearly 11% of all quick-service restaurant sales this year. It makes even more sense in a world of social distancing, reduced contact, and the increasing reluctance to use cash.

Mobile ordering has gone from a luxury to a necessity, with consumers expecting the convenience of having their orders ready when they arrive to pick it up.

How mobile order ahead works

Delivery is an amazing customer convenience when it arrives on time, at the correct temperature, and as ordered. But with increased use of third-party delivery apps, these basics are increasingly becoming sub-par, leaving customers disappointed and increasingly frustrated by delivery fees – in fact, nearly 25% of third-party deliveries disappoint.

One solution employed by a growing number of businesses includes encouraging customers to buy their food online – typically using a mobile app – and then pick it up in person. The process is known as order ahead, and the benefits include:

• Cutting out the third-party with regards to delivery times and communication with the customer.

• Knowing precisely when a customer will arrive, the business can execute an order to ensure it’s completed on time.

• Orders are paid for using the app, eliminating the hassle of onsite payment, and ensuring a seamless customer experience in turn.

• Loyalty rewards can still be logged and collected via order ahead functionality.

• Since the business captures valuable customer data, upsell and promotional offers can be tailored to customers picking up their orders.

• The business retains the data as it owns the app (rather than using a third-party delivery app).

• The business doesn’t have to pass on third-party delivery app fees to its customers, adding a large mark-up to their usual sit-down pricing.

Businesses that wish to stay successful need to understand how mobile ordering in advance can aid them in improving profitability and sales through convenience.

Technology is shaping behaviour

This increase in popularity with this technology cannot merely be attributed to a technological push, but is rather a by-product of a renewed approach to a carefully designed (and elevated) customer experience.

In 2019, only 56% of businesses noted they were either in progress or had completed their digital transformation, compared to a whopping 71% in 2020.

As such, it can be safely predicted that the retail experience of the future will be propelled by physical technology and advanced analytics to meet ever-changing consumer expectations, whilst allowing businesses to reset their operating models. Those brands that have endured to build better tools, will indeed enjoy that future.

Pushing your business to grow

Today, brands are under tremendous pressure to make equally critical decisions about supporting a mobile ordering environment. To avoid past missteps, focus on the long-term view.

Spend time researching a solution that can help you get more customers, spending more, more often, and offer the flexibility to support you either through new pivots or along the path aligned with your vision of the future.

And of course, that future is digital. Pandemic aside, businesses looking to grow their audience are faced with a demographic who spend most of their time online and are active on an ever-expanding array of channels. That kind of engagement is shaping a two-directional flow where customers are reaching out to businesses to get what they want or need on their own time.

What our products can do for you

With Yoyo’s ever-growing product stack enabling order ahead technology to be easily integrated into various point of sale systems, we can help you attract, engage, retain, and grow your customer base.

We provide an app (supported on iOS and Android) for order management, enabling staff members to accept/decline orders, mark items as unavailable, view a history of orders and pause acceptance of orders at particularly busy times. Our order status functionality also allows users to be constantly informed of the status of their order via both push notifications and our in-app live orders banner.

Want to get started?

Let’s connect.