I’m writing this while sitting in a car on a journey to a destination unknown. It’s nearing lunchtime and I know that before I get to the final stop I’m going to be hungry and parched. Unfortunately, I’m on a deadline and there simply isn’t time to stop and shop around, wait in line and buy something at a service station (specifically, the Beaconsfield motorway services). Aside from the fact that the number of options available there confuses my brain (which means I spend at least ten minutes walking in circles, trying to decide what I want), it’s an extremely popular stop and the queues are long! Everyone wants to visit the only service station in the country to feature a Weatherspoons….
It’s times like this when I wish stronger than ever that more service stations offered a mobile order-ahead service. I’m rarely the driver (my husband doesn’t trust me with his car) so my hands are free to open a mobile app the second a road sign declaring an upcoming service station appears. 10 miles to go? Perfect, that gives me time to go online, browse what’s on offer and make my purchase before pulling in at the stop. Then I just hop out the car, head straight to the collection point, grab and go.
It’s a bit of a dream, but it doesn’t have to be. Airports and shopping malls and service stations all have similar makeups. They surround a central concourse with shops and food outlets belonging to separate businesses but housed under one roof. There’s no reason each of these venues can’t appear under one app. It would be branded to the service station, airport or shopping centre, while each active venue would retain its own identity on the platform.
From the consumer’s perspective, once they’ve have placed an order, the experience could be further streamlined by including a map that pinpointed the collection area. There would be no need for high-speed customers to run around like headless chickens searching for their pre-ordered caffeine fix. Additionally, one-touch ordering would mean regular customers – truck drivers or commuters – passing the same stop day-after-day, could place their regular orders at super-speed.
What makes my dream scenario more tantalising is working for a company that can make my dreams a reality. Preoday has shown with the launch of its local marketplace solutions that micro-aggregators such as would be needed for a service station, are simple to set up and successful when implemented.
So I’m making a call out, right here, right now: Beaconsfield, Cobham, Fleet, Keele and other popular travelling pit-stops – get in touch with the Preoday team. They have the ability to enhance your customer’s experience and pull in those hungry/thirsty travellers who, up until now, have been too time pressed to pause. What have you go to lose?
– Charlotte Bass, Marketing Manager, UK & Ire, Preoday
It’s not as catchy as: ‘When is a door not a door?’ (answer, when it’s a jar) but it speaks to the idea that in-car collection, and the technologies that support it, are flexible enough to bend to the needs of a business and its guests.
Delivery can be daunting to the uninitiated, and it might be tempting to sign up with a third-party ordering aggregator that offers the service, such as UberEats, but other options could suit your business and brand better. Here we present three different ‘levels’ of delivery, starting with the most basic – and cheapest method: doing it yourself.