Adam Davidson in a recent New York Times article writes about a disappointing shopping experience at Ikea. He had such a terrible experience, driven by less than par customer service that he didn’t return to the retailer for about five years. 5 years later when he went back he noticed that something had changed- because of better in-store management software, more staffs were present in relevant places where customers might require the most help. In the end Davidson contemplates whether even more sophisticated technology could actually help in-store retail staff to go beyond just being in the right place, and actually better do their job.
Davidson’s experience is not unique, and I am sure that all of us at one point or another have been to a store that for various reasons- we just can’t stand. This usually results in us avoiding that retailer at all costs, or at least until absolutely necessary. Perhaps mobile’s role in reconciling situations such as these has been somewhat overlooked. Although mobile retail is making traction: in-store mobile convergence is still missing and remains virtually unnoticed as a way to increase in-store staff productivity and ultimately sales.
Technology is the customer service enabler
Most staff in a retail store can be found at the POS, processing cash and credit cards, putting things in bags and passing over a receipt. But, with technologies on the move, such as mobile POS’s, self-check-outs and Bluetooth Low Energy (the technology behind Beacons), eventually less staff could be required when the customer is already finished their shopping.
BLE for example, enables a check-in by mobile phone, so that customers can be tracked through their purchasing path while in-store. Checked in customers can receive coupons, make payments and get digital receipts, meaning that less time and staff would be needed at the POS. Shorter transaction times, could also nix long lines and waiting times, which I’m sure both staff and customers would appreciate.
What’s more, BLE would enable store staff to start preparing orders while a customer is still browsing, and even identify store traffic patterns, so that staffing could be done strategically to deliver more customer service or product information in the busier sections. Imagine though if employees also checked in with BLE? Tasks and responsibilities could instead be delegated by mobile phone rather than in person, saving the time required to manage and hunt employees down.
Click and collect, a smart commerce system that also enables staff to provide a better level customer experience, is also making inroads amongst many retailers including: Zara, Sephora, KFC, McDonald’s and grocers like Carrefour City. Because the customer checks in on the way to pick up an order, which has been placed before arriving at the store, employees have the order prepared, packaged and ready for pick-up when the customer arrives. There is no transaction processed in-store, instead the customer just shows their order confirmation number, and gets on their way.
The death of the Shopping Mall
A lot of the talks surrounding the recent NRF conference centered on the changing role of the brick & mortar shopping store. Rick Caruso, owner of 3 shopping malls, in an opening address at the NRF 2014, claimed the “shopping mall is dead,” one of the big reasons one has not been built in the US since 2006. This reminds us just how drastically the retail store is changing because of new digital shopping trends, which inherently means that the role/tasks of in-store retail employees should also be changing too. The solution, like Davidson realized when visiting Ikea again after 5 years is- technology. Customers equipped with a mobile phone, will eventually want different kinds of customer services in-store, a nail that has yet to be fully hit on the head.
Read more on the New York Times about retail operations management software
With fifty million mobile devices in the hands of shoppers this holiday season, it’s clear that mobile is beginning to significantly impact retail. With more
consumers browsing, researching and purchasing by mobile phone this year than any other, smart retailers are starting to engage customers in new ways – on the channel where they spend the most time.
Today we have got some news on the mobile shopping frontier, with the announcement of a new collaboration with PayPal for the KFC Fast Track mobile wallet. Launched this year using AIRSHOP – our white label mobile wallet solution; Fast Track enables KFC customers to order and pay in advance by mobile phone, without needing to be in a physical store.
The new PayPal features announced today will enable KFC customers to complete transactions even faster and easier, and we are really excited about that! With the PayPal features, KFCcustomers can create a Fast Track account and pay using their existing PayPal account details by simply entering their username and password, without having to provide their financial details to a third party.
“With the majority of mobile and online commerce traffic being lost during login and check-out processes, we are very excited to work with PayPal to provide KFC customers with faster alternatives that streamline the customer experience,” said Jérémie Leroyer CEO & Co-Founder of AIRTAG. “We are already seeing the majority of Fast Track orders being placed by mobile phone, and these new features will make it even more convenient for those on the go costumers to
create an account, order and pay in the quickest way possible.”
The Fast Track mobile wallet along with the new streamlined payment features: bring us even one step closer to a wallet-less high street, where we can all go cashless.
“This collaboration is another step on the journey towards a wallet-less high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their smartphone or tablet. Our research shows that a third of people would choose their smartphone over their wallet when leaving home – while 80% wish they could leave their wallet at home,” said Rob Harper, Head of Retail Services at PayPal UK, “We predict that by 2016 you won’t need your wallet to pay on the UK high street – your smartphone will be enough.”
KFC Fast Track is now available at select locations in the UK including: Southampton, Basingstoke, Woking and Slough. We have already received great feedback, and we’re sure if you try the KFC Fast Track mobile ordering and payment wallet you will save yourself lots of time and waiting in line too. Download the Fast Track app now on iTunes, or access the KFC Fast Track mobile website
Read the full KFC, PayPal, AIRTAG Press Release
Learn more about AIRTAG’s mobile shopping solutions
While many of the current retail commerce conversations have been focused on the mobile shopping strategies that tier 1 retailers are implementing, little has been said about how the mobile revolution is affecting the rest of retail. In the current state of retail with increasing online competition and new values over finding the best prices, every sized retailer should be thinking about how to get on board with mobile shopping. Here are some best practices that retailers of any size can follow to break into mobile shopping.
Mobile accessible: We first recommend that every sized retail chain has a website that is accessible by mobile phone. This is important because, 70pc of consumers call a business directly from search results and an additional 57% won’t recommend a business that has a poorly designed mobile site. Have your phone number, location, operating hours, and product catalogue easily available by mobile phone, to ensure you are not driving traffic to competitors.
Leverage what you have got: If you are already using an ecommerce site like Magento, Prestashop or Drupal, we suggest opting for mobile and web apps that can connect directly with these platforms. Learn more about AIRTAG’s ecommerce integration features.
Customize rather than build: For small to medium sized retail chains, that want their own mobile app or wallet, we recommend using customizable white label solutions rather than building a mobile wallet application from scratch. Building is incredibly time consuming, costly and requires very detailed technical management. You are better off customizing a solution which will save time, money and in the end headaches. Learn more about the benefits of white label wallet solutions.
Most importantly, many retailers have seen mobile as a real opportunity to increase sales, raise the frequency of in-store visits, and build strong customer relationships to foster brand awareness and visibility. We encourage all retailers to think of mobile in a similar way – as a crucial and growing, business opportunity.
Article by AIRTAG, originally appeared on Business2Community
Read our mobile shopping Case Study’s to learn more
The need to adopt more efficient means of customer engagement has been heating up the media. One of the industries most affected by the demand for new technologies is the fast food industry. This is because fast food, like the name implicates is supposed to be expedited; and every day as the speed at which we live our lives gets quicker because of the assistance of digital technology, we begin expecting the same from every brand that we interact with. Convenience and speed influence purchasing decisions so much that, 86% of us would pay more for a better experience. (Right Now)
Long lines and waits in the fast food industry have been a problem in search of a solution for quite some time. Luckily, thanks to mobile shopping fast food retailers now have a better means of controlling the entire customer journey, while delivering a level of service that in-store staff may not be capable of managing.
Here are a few examples of how mobile shopping has been transforming the fast food experience:
Food Trucks and Mobile Payment: Food trucks have been one of the quickest to adopt mobile payment out of necessity. With barely enough space for cooking, there is no room for bulky cash registers. Through mobile payments, these vendors only need a few small devices to efficiently receive transactions from their hungry consumers and to sidestep the pitfall of “cash only.” By better meeting the needs of their clientele, food truck vendors have watched their lines shrink and profits expand.
Kentucky Fried Chicken and Mobile Wallets: The mobile wallet AIRTAG developed for KFC, called Fast Track enables customers to place and pay for orders anytime and anywhere, cutting down waiting time by 60-70%. This solution has been live in the UK & Ireland since March 2013, as an exclusive pilot. Fast Track also includes useful features to add more ease in the customer journey such as a store locator and store details, information about products and promotions and a customer account for storing favorite orders and payment details to make placing succeeding orders even faster. With Fast Track, customers have a more seamless experience, and in turn KFC now has a channel to communicate with their customers.
Dunkin Donuts and Mobile Payment: Dunkin Donuts launched their solution just over a year ago, which enables customers to make payment by scanning a barcode with the app. To promote their service the brand has used real time twitter campaigns, as well as additional features including a store locator and in app incentives; such as free products and discounts. With more than 3.5 million downloads to date, a key learning from this app is that incentivizing a new service through exclusive benefits really gives customers a reason to switch to the mobile customer journey.
Take our video tour, of how Mobile Shopping can improve fast food ordering & payment and add more value to the customer journey.
Where are all of the fast feeders? A mobile strategy should be top of mind for fast food retailers of any kind, yet only 16% of all restaurants are currently offering a mobile app. (High Table) So many fast feeders are missing out on all of the amazing new opportunities that solutions such as the mobile wallet can create for initiating meaningful relationships with customers and providing better customer service. Keeping with the same old practices that have worked for decades simply will not entice the new mobile-fixated consumer in the same way that it used to.
Read our Mobile Shopping Solution Case Study’s to learn more about Mobile Commerce Benefits
A video look at how AIRSHOP is re-shaping retail and improving customer relationships
Mobile is proliferating everywhere. With smartphones in the hands of more than 125 million U.S. consumers, it isn’t a surprise that mobile is changing the way that consumers go shopping. In today’s world, a shopping trip could start anywhere; by reading a review on a blog, browsing on a tablet, receiving a mobile coupon, or purchasing in-store.
At AIRTAG, we just released our latest video about the AIRSHOP mobile shopping solution. AIRSHOP is our all in one solution, that enables retailers and brands to offer their customers a better experience; while shopping, using coupons or collecting loyalty rewards.
Take the video tour
As transactions continue to double on mobile devices, in comparison to those placed on the regular web (comScore), retailers and brands, are looking for new ways to engage with their customers. Whether it is offering mobile couponing, mobile loyalty programs, or ordering and payment capabilities AIRSHOP helps brands meet the needs of an increasing segment of everyday shoppers that conduct their daily lives by mobile phone.
Learn more about the AIRSHOP Mobile Shopping Solution
Last week, the Annual Grocery Shopping Habits Study, revealed that consumers are more ready than ever to embrace mobile grocery shopping. The study also indicated how frequently consumers
visit grocery stores, with more than 85% visiting once per week and 42% visiting more than twice per week; leaving Grocery stores probably one of the most frequently visited proximity retail locations that I can think of.
But, while consumers are going grocery shopping often, at the same time only 13% actually feel loyal to a specific grocery brand. Considering the frequency of store visits, the readiness for adopting new mobile services and the lack of brand loyalty, I can’t think of a more relevant scenario for mobile shopping intervention.
With a mobile wallet grocery retailers could actually build more loyal customers by bringing together services like ordering, payments, loyalty and couponing, to make their store the preferred shopping location, all the time.
What’s more is that, the increasing competition from the likes of mobile commerce giants like Amazon, with its new mobile grocery ordering service, could eventually become a big threat to grocery retailers. Those who do not converge could risk being left behind and losing market share.
How Mobile Shopping fits into the Customer Journey
In the typical “grocery shop”, there are essential items that we need, items we prefer to choose ourselves (like fruits and vegetables) and then there are also times we just need a couple things and want to be in and out as fast as humanly possible.
Catering to these complex customer journey’s, the Mobile Wallet we developed for Carrefour City, enables shoppers to pre order and pay for essential items, but also add additional products to the basket in-store. When the customer arrives at the store, orders can be picked up at a designated check out. Because nobody likes waiting in long lines, users of the service get to skip the line, no matter if they add additional items or head right to the check-out to pick up their order. This whole process cuts down ordering and waiting time by about 60-70% and also increases the average ordering amount by almost double.
But, this only scratches the surface of how mobile can improve grocery shopping. Take for example couponing. With 76% of grocery shoppers adding additional items to their intended grocery shopping list, couponing could be better used to influence real time purchasing decisions. A customer is walking down the cereal aisle, and receives a discount on a cereal brand, they weren’t going to buy cereal during this visit but eventually will, so that discount in-store at the right time can really inspire purchasing. What’s more is that customers really want to receive those coupons.
Today’s grocery retailers need to know, that by delivering mobile services, there is little to no risk in losing customers; things can only get better. Nowadays, with 52% of consumers already visiting a grocery retailer’s site or mobile app, they are already used to mobile shopping all the time. Enabling the option to order and pay while browsing that content is only going to make things easier. Customers can still shop in the traditional way and those who prefer to shop by mobile phone will now have access to mobile services with more benefits and increased savings.
Read more on the Annual Grocery Shopping Habits Study
Learn more about the AIRTAG Mobile Wallet for retailers, AIRSHOP
A couple of years back, almost everyone thought of a wallet as a human accessory used for storing the daily essentials. Fast forward to now and the wallet has mobilized and is quickly becoming the newest Smartphone trend. A quickly evolving technology trend, with many different players, doesn’t always make for user friendly understanding. So, here’s our GO, at doing some user friendly mobile wallet simplification.
Mobile Wallets, putting it simply, are apps that have payment functionalities. Most wallets right now incorporate online payments which could mean; credit card, 1 click, Digital Wallets (like PayPal), prepaid, gifting etc. The idea behind a mobile wallet is simple, but the lines are continually being blurred between apps and wallets. While payments remain the core differentiator between a wallet and an app, from our perspective, wallets need to include features beyond payments to add benefits to the customer journey and to help drive consumer adoption.
An example: Retailer Mobile Wallet: Retailers, like KFC, Starbucks and McDonald’s, have been quick to define a mobile wallet strategy, and as a result are becoming big influencers in the eco-system. Retailer wallets, in addition to other features, enable shoppers to make purchases via mobile phone by means of credit card, 1 click, digital wallets like PayPal, prepaid or gift cards. Retailer wallets have a huge advantage, because the value proposition is very clear. If a retailer wallet can improve the customer journey, and bring together all of a retailers value added services such as fast ordering, loyalty, couponing, in a more organized way, then consumers will be quick in their adoption.
Digital wallets are mobile wallets that enable users to make 1 click payments via mobile phone; because the user’s card information has already been stored securely in the cloud. This is a more convenient payment means via mobile phone, because the user only needs to enter their credit card information once, rather than needing to type card details every time. It could be possible that a mobile wallet actually incorporates a Digital Wallet, such as PayPal, MasterPass or V.me as a payment means.
An example: MasterPass Digital Wallet: MasterCard’s MasterPass aggregates cards into the cloud, so that consumers no longer need to enter their credit card credentials and billing information every time they want to make a purchase online. In order for this to be a viable payment method, retailers and online merchants need to add the Master Pass API to their site or mobile wallet, meaning they need to add the “Buy with Master Pass” button, so that shoppers can have the option to pay with MasterPass; like choosing to pay with any other payment option: MasterCard, Visa or PayPal etc.
When it comes to wallets, each of the key players in the eco-system; retailers, financial institutions, MNO’s, technology providers, cell phone manufacturers and payment providers, are going to have a very different strategy and offering. For example a retailers mobile wallet which begins with a customer journey is going to have a different infrastructure from a financial institutions whose business core is payments. The key for each however, will be to find a way to bring something uniquely valuable to end users to incentivize the shift from physical to digital; and bringing that value is exactly where AIRTAG fits in.
Learn more about the KFC Mobile Wallet
Learn more about the MasterPass Digital Wallet
Don’t forget to join the Mobile Shopping conversation on Twitter.
The quick and steady growth of the Retailer Mobile Wallet; has created a call for action from retailers. But, the word wallet naturally implicates payment, when payments are only a part of what a retailer mobile wallet CAN do to improve in-store shopping. This week, we came across an article we really liked, “Why mobile wallets alone will fail”, which articulated why mobile payments fall short in bringing real value to both retailers and shoppers. “Alone, mobile payment won’t take off with shoppers in a big way, but only as part of something that lifts up the shopping experience radically and fundamentally.” (Fortune)
That said, not all mobile wallets are centered around payments. Both of our retail focused Mobile Wallet solutions AIRSHOP Order and AIRSHOP Loyalty have been built on the idea that value added features are the key to driving user adoption. For example; fast ordering and payments so customers can order anytime and anywhere, geolocated couponing that is relevantly timed to inspire purchasing, skip the line incentives that cut down in-store waiting and lines by up to 60 or 70%, loyalty so customers can feel appreciated for giving their business to a retailer, real time product availability so customers can rely on what is actually available for purchasing in-store. The benefits will drive the adoption, and when that occurs, retailers will have a big time tool to manage their customer relationships; something which just can’t be done as well through traditional shopping. Once the benefits are established, expedited payments can only make the customer journey even better.
Don’t get us wrong, Mobile Payments do have a very relevant place in the retailer mobile wallet, and are principally important in the mobile commerce, web to store and mobile to store customer journey’s. Especially considering that there is a 66pc mobile shopping cart abandonment rate. In these cases, mobile payments still play an essential role in winning the sale; and retailers need to make improvements by adding more 1 click payment options, PayPal, and digital wallets like MasterPass and V.me. But, considering that payments are still only the last step of the customer journey, the greater importance remains in actually getting customers there.
At AIRTAG when we’ve got big news, we really like to share it, and today we’ve got some big news! We are very excited to announce a partnership with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in the UK. KFC has chosen our Airshop solution to launch their first ever mobile and web app for advanced ordering and payments, called KFC Fast Track. This partnership is good news for shoppers who can’t get enough of their Smartphones because now they can order delicious KFC meals on any connected device; anytime and anywhere.
Airshop is an end to end mobile commerce solution enabling retailers to launch self-branded mobile and web apps for advanced ordering & payments. KFC will very soon launch Airshop in 10 locations across the UK which is a lab for international technology testing and roll-out.
KFC well understands changing consumer behavior and the new opportunities mobile commerce is creating for retailers. Paul Borrett, IT Director of KFC UK & Ireland who worked closely with us on the project explained the importance of streamlining the customer ordering experience and hints at the exciting future plans we’ve got lined up for KFC Fast Track. “Our customers lead increasingly busy lives and KFC Fast Track is focused on helping them order, pay for and collect their food faster than ever before, delivering a great experience throughout,” said Paul. “We look forward to working closely with AIRTAG and adding many more innovative features to KFC Fast Track in the coming months.”
Beyond a mobile app, our CEO & Co-founder Jérémie Leroyer spoke to the importance of mobile commerce adoption as essential to a retailer’s success. “To launch a mobile ordering and payment app for Yum! Restaurants International is a real milestone for AIRTAG. KFC Fast Track will renew the ordering experience in a way that meets new consumer demands for efficiency onset by the increasing importance of multi-channel commerce shopping,” said Jérémie. “We are very pleased to work with KFC in carving out a mobile presence that brings real value to end users and we are very excited for the programs roll out.”
KFC Fast Track Customer Journey Snapshot:
- Download the iPhone app in the app store https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kfc-fasttrack/id604869919?mt=8
- Select the closest or preferred ordering location from a geolocated list of KFCs with the service
- Compile an order by selecting desired products and pay by credit card
- After the order is paid for, check your device for a QR code and order confirmation number for order pick up at KFC.
Customers can pick up their order at KFC anytime on the day an order is placed. When the customer gets to KFC, they will do a “mobile check-in” and then skip the line and proceed directly to the check-out specifically designated to KFC Fast Track users to pick up the order. No long lines, no big waits, KFC Fast Track users will have an easier more convenient ordering experience than ever before. It’s really just that simple. KFC Fast Track users can also save their ordering history, favorite stores, favorite orders and payment details to make re-ordering even easier. It won’t be long before KFC Fast Track includes “Geofencing” so customers can do the mobile check in, even before getting to KFC.
KFC recognizes that the future of fast food retail is rapidly changing. To stay ahead of the game KFC has chosen our Airshop solution to go mobile; the perfect recipe for success!
What is Airshop?
Airshop is a turnkey solution for retailers, including everything needed to launch an entire mobile and web ordering platform for advanced ordering & payments. Airshop as its title suggests enables retailers to digitize there stores and no longer be confined to the walls of a physical store. With Airshop retailers can meet new demands onset by the increasingly mobilized consumer that expects to purchase from a retailer on any and every channel in real time, from anywhere.
We hope to hear from you soon, so don’t forget to join the #MobileShopping conversation by Tweeting @airtag and by using the #KFCFastTrack
This years, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25-28, will focus on, “The New Mobile Horizon,” showcasing the imminent ways mobile is continuing to enhance all of our lives. By the end of this year alone there will be more than 15 billion connected devices, out-numbering the world’s population. The mobile phone is re-shaping the world as we know it, and becoming ubiquitous to the way that we connect, interact and live. AIRTAG will attend this year’s MWC to connect with other industry leaders and other players in the mobile commerce eco-system to share our experience in Mobile Shopping innovations that are helping to re-invent the consumer experience of going shopping, making purchases and paying. Our demos this year are focused on continuing to streamline the user experience with the introduction of NFC technology into existing customer journeys. AIRTAG’s MWC demos for this year, will include:
GoMcDo: now live in 60+ McDonald’s France locations. GoMcDo enables users to order and pay ahead for McDonald’s products, check-in on the unattended “Easy Check In” Kiosk to pick up an order, and then skip the line. We will be demo’ing this solution with NFC check-in capabilities to show a further simplified user experience.
McDonald’s iPad ordering: A solution that helps McCafé (The coffee chain branch of McDonald’s) baristas take customer orders by iPad directly at the table.
AIRPASS: AIRTAG’s comprehensive customized white label mobile wallet solution, enabling retailers, financial institutions and MNO’s to deliver self branded mobile wallets with NFC payment capabilities. AIRPASS will be demo’d at MWC with the inclusion of mobile commerce features: McDonald’s fast ordering and Loyalty program integration.
AIRSHOP Loyalty: An innovative Loyalty solution for processing Mobile & NFC Loyalty cards directly at the POS giving shoppers ‘real-time’ access to rewards balance updates. Shoppers have the ability to choose when and where to burn their rewards in ‘real-time’.
We hope to see you at the MWC 2013! If you are interested in meeting us on the road, contact us here to make arrangements prior to the show.
Lear more about the Mobile World Congress.