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Food for thought for bakeries and coffee shops: How to implement digital ordering the right way

Food for thought for bakeries and coffee shops: How to implement digital ordering the right way

The coffee and bakery industry is undergoing rapid change fuelled by consumer demand for a better customer experience, mobile technology adoption and demographic shifts.

Food for thought for bakeries and coffee shops: How to implement digital ordering the right way

Coffee is big business and it has attracted big investment in things like technology, loyalty programs and new caffeinated drinks from coffee retailers competing to serve the first cup in the morning and the last cup at night.

Taking advantage of mobile and online ordering technology means companies can meet customer demands for convenience, increase revenue through larger orders and increase the number of customers who order.

Mobile technology such as mobile ordering provides a great opportunity to grow the business and satisfy customers, but it needs to be done right. It’s not an add-on channel or a fad that consumers will grow tired of or abandon. Mobile ordering technology has the potential to act as a catalyst that can drive the transformation of a business and position it for long term success.

To achieve the full potential that this technology brings, we recommend coffee and bakery businesses consider the following:

1. Make sure mobile and online ordering is embraced as part of your identity and not just as a check-box effort. Enabling customers to interact with you digitally means that you have a wealth of data at your fingertips. Moreover, you should expect a mobile and online ordering solution to give you significant insights through intelligent analytics. This data will help improve your insight into the operations of your own business as well as help you know and understand customers better. Your customers already know you have their data and when you engage with them on a more personal basis they understand you are paying attention to them and they feel a connection. Your mobile ordering solution should give you insights into customers both at an individual level and at segment levels so you can target individuals and segments with personalised messages and marketing. For example, you may develop a segmentation strategy with demographic groups that receive specialised offers to encourage group usage. This might be a group of people who work in the same office, support the same sports team or have some other common interest.

2. Consider other elements that can be digitised at the same time and how the different technologies can complement each other. How can mobile ordering be integrated with your existing loyalty scheme? Rather than having a separate digital loyalty solution or a paper-based one, integrating loyalty into mobile ordering will enable you to better offer personalised discounts and offers. For example, if one of your regular customers or high spenders doesn’t visit for a while, you can send them a personal message to encourage a return visit, with a special discount, applicable to their favourite item. Equally, digital gift cards or vouchers can streamline what otherwise can be a complicated and time-intensive process for staff.

3. Make sure your technology platform is future-proof. Customer demands evolve at a similar speed to the technology industry and in equally unexpected ways. It is impossible to guarantee that what customers want today from an online and mobile ordering solution will be the same in two years. That is why the solution you invest in needs to be reliable and robust today, but flexible enough to change to suit customer needs. Moreover, it needs to be scalable so that if it takes off as you hope, it isn’t crippled by its own popularity. Businesses need to partner with a technology provider who is focused on mobile technology, has the industry insights to know what customers need and the technology-savvy to ensure that your pre-ordering facility is always the best around.
The potential and growth of online and mobile ordering is enormous and coffee shops and bakeries around the world are fully embracing it. Businesses that want to compete need to see it as part of a greater plan for digital transformation to realise the full benefit, rather than seeing it as a passing trend or simply a supplementary sales channel.

Find out more about how we can help coffee shops, bakeries and sandwich shops here.

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