Consumers and the way they shop is evolving. Customer experience with the brand starts long before they set foot inside the physical location, and continues beyond the initial purchase.
In-store engagement and customer experience have become a critical part of marketing and promotional strategies for all consumer-oriented businesses, and especially so for QSRs.
Consumers are no longer content with good food, quick service and lower prices; they expect brands to go above and beyond to create personalized and fun experiences. QSRs that acknowledge this need and put consumer engagement and customer experience at the top of their priorities will be able to create a loyal customer base that keeps coming back, even in today’s highly competitive environment.
QSRs and fast casual restaurants are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative solutions to attract consumer attention, drive sales, increase foot traffic and build loyalty. Leveraging mobile technologies, especially as a part of a cohesive omnichannel strategy, creates ample opportunities for QSRs to reach consumers across their entire buying journey.
Despite the rise of new online and mobile shopping channels, consumers still prefer shopping in-store. Data shows that 90% of purchases are still taking place in brick and mortar establishments.
The same rings true for the restaurant industry. People enjoy eating out, and this kind of social experiences cannot be fully replaced by online ordering.
Humans are fundamentally emotional beings and are drawn to brands that create experiences that make them feel something. Physical space offers QSR brands an opportunity to interact with consumers that is unparalleled in online world.
In today’s experience-based economy, things like price don’t matter as much as experiences, and making an emotional connection is what counts. Physical space is invaluable asset that QSRs can harness for that purpose.
Coming to a physical location requires effort. When consumer decides to get their food in the restaurant, as opposed to online ordering, they’re investing something valuable into your brand: the physical effort required to get to the location, the energy spent to interact with the staff and the extra time waiting for the order to be prepared.
Consumers who go to physical locations expect some positive “payoff”: an engaging and personalized customer experience, the ability to eliminate delivery fees, or they simply instant gratification by consuming the order immediately.
Physical locations offer something that online world fails to deliver: interaction. QSRs need to focus on providing an exceptional in-store experience, and the physical space is evolving to be better suited for that purpose.
One of the most painful drawbacks of in-store ordering for QSRs is the waiting time. The time consumers spend waiting on-location, be it standing in line or waiting to receive their orders, often amounts to a frustrating and negative experience.
Mobile devices have contributed to significant changes in consumer behavior and expectations from our favorite brands and dining destinations.
Engaging with modern consumers is a challenge. They live in a world of constant distractions, have increased expectations and are increasingly community driven and resistant to traditional marketing methods.
Retaining existing customers is of paramount importance to QSRs, contributing to proliferation of loyalty programs. According to Colloquy, in 2015 restaurants had 54.8 million loyalty program members, a staggering 107% increase over previous year.
As online ordering, evolving consumer tastes and expectations, proliferation of loyalty and rewards programs and other similar trends continue to grow, QSRs must differentiate overall experiences in their physical locations in order to stand out in today’s highly saturated market.
QSRs should strive to make customer experience fun and entertaining, encourage engagement, and provide value to consumers by reducing perceived waiting times, and boost profits at the same time.
They can achieve that by leveraging on-location gamified experiences and engaging in-store activations that create word of mouth, drive foot traffic, help keep existing consumers, and encourage them to introduce others to their brand.
QSRs need to find simple solutions that provide value and personalized experiences for their consumers, so that these will ultimately, boost loyalty and profits.
Using On-Location Gamified Experiences they can achieve all that, and more!
In one of the busiest Domino’s Pizza stores in the Netherlands, consumers have been aimlessly loitering about the restaurant for about 5-8 minutes between placing the order, and receiving the food.
Realizing, that this was a wasted opportunity for consumer engagement, Domino’s have been searching for a solution that would turn this inevitable waiting times around from a negative customer experience into a positive one.
A large screen, strategically placed near the waiting area, acts as an activator, attracting consumers to play a competitive, addicting multiplayer casual game on their mobile phones. Gameplay is designed to be challenging and entertaining, but at the same time easy to master in the short amount of time.
Each game round lasts for about 5 minutes. Players can track their progress on the screen and see how they fare against other players, adding a competitive element to the game. The winner of each round has the opportunity to spin the wheel in order to win a prize, ranging from a free meal, to a complimentary dessert with their next order.
The game is based on HTML5 technology, and requires no download in order to play, which makes it easy to access and requires no extra effort on the part of the consumer.
This activation enabled Domino’s to entertain consumers in a fun and engaging way, turn the negative in-store waiting time into a positive experience, increase brand loyalty, reduce perceived waiting time and create new purchase opportunities.
Want to learn more about how you can engage consumers on-location and enhance customer experiences in your QSR chain?
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