Our entire industry is built on the deep understanding of how much our customers value their time. Henry Armour, President and CEO of NACS, speaking recently at the Asia conference quoted West Star Corporation’s mission which “We sell time, quickly & easily, to people in a hurry!”
Today’s blog post celebrates a new retail technology solution that addresses a pet peeve of mine in the restaurant sector – waiting for the bill after I’ve eaten and I’m ready to leave. Wagamama UK has last week announced the app that I’ve been waiting for – which takes my payment without penalising my time! Described as the ‘Uber for Diners’, in partnership with Mastercard, the app creates a seamless, cashless solution that reduces friction. Time savings have been estimated at 12 minutes per bill – time that will also allow the restaurant seat other diners more quickly. What’s not to love?
This type of retail innovation is a fantastic example of the type of challenge that our industry is keen to solve. More and more thought leaders are driving the search for solutions that ‘eliminate friction’ – people within our industry such as our own advisory board member, Bob Stein, or people from other industries such as the well-known entrepreneur Gary Vaynurchuk.
Some of the key insights around eliminating friction called out recently at the NACS Asia conference do focus on technology – but Armour’s insights also highlighted that simplifying the customers journey also reduces friction. This can be as easy as creating meal deals or simplifying our product assortment to ensure a simple and enjoyable transaction with customers.
For me, this important idea was first introduced in the great book ‘Don’t make Me Think’. Published nearly twenty years ago in the context of online website design, Krug points out that ‘people are good at satisficing, or taking the first available solution to their problem, so design should take advantage of this.’ In my experience with both loyalty programmes and convenience retail, ‘don’t make me think’ is an excellent mindset from which to review our customer’s journey throughout our stores and drive loyalty. In an increasingly commoditised world, solving for simplicity let’s us focus on creating enjoyable moments rather than simply transactional sales. Armour’s message is clear – not all friction is bad, so the twelve minute delay that Wagamama’s app is saving, can perhaps now be in some way spent enhancing the customer experience.
Whether it’s a digital app for quicker payment, or a fun game that engages customers, Stein’s key message is that we need new ways to eliminate friction, ‘for building loyalty, winning repeat customers and showing them that we care.’
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Liquid Barcodes is a leading global loyalty and digital marketing technology company specialized for the convenience store and foodservice industries. Our proprietary cloud-based technology platform allow retailers to create and manage their digital marketing campaigns with a proprietary process we call the “customer connection cycle’ to engage, promote and reward customers activities in real-time across digital and media channels.
How we do it:
We have developed the most advanced loyalty and digital marketing technology platform specifically for convenience store and foodservice retailers globally.
Retailers use our self-service dashboard to create and manage loyalty driven marketing campaigns that increase purchases with their existing customers, as well as effectively target and acquire new customers through partners or paid media channels.
One core component of live loyalty is gamification. We have gamified branding, loyalty and promotions. We believe this approach is essential in order to get customers’ attention and ultimately truly engage them with repeatable actions thereby winning their loyalty.
Check out some of our exciting/proven results here:
Chief Content Officer, Liquid Barcodes and Independent Loyalty Consultant
With over twenty-five years marketing experience, I specialise in loyalty marketing consulting, managing consumer loyalty propositions, strategy and operations. In addition to working with Liquid Barcodes, my clients have included Telefonica O2, Three Mobile, Electric Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and The Entertainer, as well as Avios – the global points currency for some of the world’s top airlines. I am also a judge for the Loyalty Magazine Awards.