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5 Reasons Why Order Ahead for Restaurants is In Demand

5 Reasons Why Order Ahead for Restaurants is In Demand

5 Reasons Why Order Ahead for Restaurants is In Demand 5800 3866 PoppinPay

Order ahead for restaurants is revolutionizing the customer experience in the quick-service industry.

Our world is an on-the-go, have-it-now evolution of the supply and demand service culture. Consumers know what they want when they shop—from a tailored online destination to an adaptable mobile solution—and that creates an opportunity for savvy retailers and restaurateurs.

The modern customer experience demands innovative solutions from businesses that want to capture consumer interest and maintain customer loyalty. Fortunately, this challenge is one that order ahead for restaurants platforms understand well.

As a result, order ahead options and applications that help bridge the gap between consumers and businesses are thriving. Here’s why:

Millennials Are Ruining Everything

Millennials are ruining everything. It’s true. At least, that’s the media’s reaction whenever consumer trends show traditional industry taking a hit.

The benefit to millennials ruining everything is the opportunity presented by shifting customer preferences. Perceptive business owners know trends are never constant, and consumer habits tend to change. For quick-service restaurants, it was only a matter of time before the millennial generation (people born between 1981 and 1996) defined what customers wanted from the quick-service industry.

Today, mobile ordering, order ahead, and social media offers are how millennials tend to interact with QSRs.

Mobile Order Ahead is Modern

Mobile ordering is responsible for 60% of a restaurant’s digital orders, according to market research company The NDP Group, and mobile orders will represent for almost 11% of all QSR sales by 2020. The reality is simple: consumers prefer mobile options when it comes to interacting with brands and businesses. This is increasingly true for quick-service restaurants.

More restaurant chains and independent quick-service establishments are jumping on the mobile bandwagon. Traditional brick and mortar brands like Pizza Hut, Subway, McDonald’s, and countless others are investing in mobile ordering and loyalty program innovations. Things like branded mobile apps and social media discounts have replaced traditional punch cards and physical coupons, and customers are all for it.

This shift from analog to digital in the quick-service restaurant business paved the way for third-party and proprietary solutions to fine-tune the mobile experience. It’s easier than ever to offer a custom, intuitive, value-added customer service experience for consumers who want to order ahead at your restaurant.

Mobile Moves Money Easily

In 2017, U.S. Bank found that 47% of consumers surveyed preferred digital payment options over using cash. That was two years ago, and since then, mobile methods for moving money have gotten even more popular.

Mobile payment apps that dominate consumer and person-to-person transfers and transactions include:

  • Venmo
  • PayPal One Touch
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Square Cash
  • Zelle

Take mobile payment service Venmo as an example of mobile payment making waves. The company reported more than $21 billion in payments processed in the first quarter of 2019, outpacing most big banks. The writing is on the wall: people will use a mobile payment option when it’s available.

Pair that mobile payment mentality with order ahead restaurant functionality, and you’ve got an all-in-one quick-service solution that’s hard to ignore.

Order Sizes Increase with Order Ahead

Business News Daily cheekily attributes the increase in order size for order ahead customers to people feeling less guilty about what they order when there’s no one judging them at the counter. Business Insider avoids the judgment sentiment and instead hypes Taco Bell’s 30% average order increase through mobile and Starbuck’s 10% mobile share of total transactions in high-volume stores.

Order ahead for restaurants and mobile ordering apps are still in their early days, but (for whatever reason) signs point towards customers buying more when they order ahead. QSRs are recognizing the potential for increased sales and developing mobile order ahead options as a result.

Order Ahead and Mobile Offers Drive Repeat Business

Digital coupon cutting still incentivizes customers to order more, eat more, and pay less. This holds true when mobile and order ahead options enter the picture.

It’s easy for QSRs with reliable, intuitive order ahead and mobile platforms to offer customers discounts and track loyalty purchases. Analytics analysis also helps businesses better understand those customers in order to improve marketing efforts with data-driven decisions. All of this comes together to fuel the cycle of customer retention and repeat business.

Forbes reported that Starbucks’ mobile pay and ordering were big contributors in the first even in the first quarter of 2017, with mobile pay alone being responsible for 27% of all U.S. company-operated transactions. Customers are more likely to utilize a discount offer earned after a previous purchase, easily applied through a mobile app, if it means saving money without extra effort.

Order Ahead is On Demand for Good Reason

Not only is order ahead for restaurants a no-brainer from the consumer’s point of view, but the ability for QSRs to easily implement mobile order ahead options can be a game-changer for how you do business.

Mobile order ahead is disrupting the QSR industry. Restaurants can track and utilize consumer trends and also capture and retain customer loyalty, and customers can order how they want when they want. Plus, you don’t have to have an internal marketing department and a software development team for your restaurant to jump on the order ahead bandwagon.

Platforms like PoppinPay help make branding a web and mobile order ahead app a piece of cake. Contact our team of industry experts to get started and roll out your mobile order ahead solution today!

The Analytics Behind Mobile Order Ahead for Restaurants

The Analytics Behind Mobile Order Ahead for Restaurants

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Some say that mobile order ahead is just another trend: one of the latest and greatest innovations in the quick-service restaurant industry. They hear data on how the mobile ordering market will reach $38 billion by 2020 (encompassing 11% of all quick-service restaurant sales) and rush out to explore mobile options without really considering why it works or how to integrate it into their larger service strategy.

Mobile order ahead is the logical progression of QSR

It stands to reason that mobile order ahead would be customers’ preferred shopping style in 2019. It’s a system of mutual benefit. Customers can handle the transaction on their terms, order at their convenience, and have a faster checkout experience when they go to pick up.

Likewise, businesses benefit from the increased amount of customer behavior data they get through app interaction, and better engagement with their app-based loyalty programs. Of course, there’s also the revenue angle to consider. Mobile order ahead offers huge potential for capturing sales in situations where the traditional QSR experience just won’t cut it.

We’ve all been there. We wake up late, take a fast shower, and head out to the office in a rush. As we pass by our favorite café, we wonder if we have enough time to stop in for the morning fuel up—only to see a line out the door.

With traditional ordering, few customers would be willing to put up with the wait, but with mobile order ahead, it’s possible to serve these customers and reclaim that lost revenue. This is just one example of how mobile ordering solutions can empower a QSR business, and new use cases are appearing fast.

Order ahead adoption rates are growing fast

The benefits of a mobile order ahead solution for QSRs is highlighted by just how fast the industry is taking off. A recent PYMNTS.com study found that the volume of orders placed through mobile apps increased 130% from 2016 to 2019. Industry leaders thus far have been the big, national chains with their own branded apps: Starbucks, Domino’s, and the like. But QSRs of all sizes can find opportunities through mobile order ahead options.

Research on mobile order ahead adoption found that, among smaller QSRs, only 30.7% had their own mobile apps for ordering, with 31.7% more offering pickup via third-party service. With less than a third of QSRs currently using mobile order ahead solutions, there’s a big opportunity here for restaurant owners.

The earlier a business can get on board with mobile order ahead, the more likely customers will view it as a key part of the company’s service offerings. This can go a long way as a competitive differentiator, particularly for busy customers who are already used to ordering ahead. The studies referenced above highlight this well:

  • 86% of mobile app operators said their offerings boosted revenues;
  • 93% said apps improved guests’ experiences and encouraged repeat purchases.

The consumer preference for fast, simple ordering is clear, and restaurants are responding in kind.

Mobile order ahead as a customer experience strategy

Letting customers order from wherever they want has clear potential for boosting revenue, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. QSRs need to move away from thinking of the mobile experience as a luxury and treat it like the revolution that it is.

For example, many businesses are adapting their infrastructure to better support their mobile order ahead experiences. They’re creating dedicated pickup lanes for pre-orders, skip the line options, and group ordering tools that make it easier for customers to get what they want. We see this disruption all across the QSR industry, from restaurants to food trucks to cafeterias. Everyone wants in on the mobile order ahead game.

But this type of organizational buy-in is essential to the process. Stores need to commit to their mobile experiences and align their brick-and-mortar marketing strategies to support their customers’ preferences on all fronts.

Find the right mobile order ahead solution

Any analysis of mobile order ahead must come with a disclaimer: Find the right tool for your business!

Many bigger companies prefer to work with their own branded apps, but as we know, this is an expensive and time-consuming project. QSRs who work through processors like Square have it we see. Apps like PoppinPay integrate directly to your business’s Square POS and give you and your customers a complete mobile app experience that is branded to your business.

All it takes is a quick integration and you’ll be able to setup your app interface, pull products and pricing from your catalogue, integrate loyalty programs (Q3 2019), and enable customers to send payment and orders directly to your Square system. In short, it’s the fastest way to deploy an order ahead solution without the need for significant IT investment or project planning.

The future of mobile order ahead

Things are looking bright for mobile order ahead. Companies are starting to see just how powerful these tools can be, and more businesses than ever are giving them a try. We expect adoption rates to continue to rise as more by feel comfortable validating the technology, and those that commit early will have an edge over those who wait.

Look at your own operation and see whether your customers could benefit from a mobile order ahead approach. But be careful—once they try it, they won’t want to go back!

5 Mobile Order Ahead Features That Square Customers Love

5 Mobile Order Ahead Features That Square Customers Love

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Mobile order ahead isn’t just about convenience. It’s about creating a comprehensive customer experience that encourages brand engagement, loyalty, and repeat business. In other words, revenue!

But QSRs have their work cut out for them these days. Digital outreach strategies are making things more competitive, with more businesses vying for a limited amount of market share. If QSRs want to compete, they need to know which strategies contribute the most to customer engagement—and how to promote those strategies to their customers.

1. Fast Pickup In-Store

The biggest thing Square customers love about PoppinPay (a web and mobile order ahead solution integrated into Square’s point of sale system) is just that—ordering remotely and saving themselves the hassle of lengthy in-store pickups. Square’s in-store pickup features make this a breeze.

Merchants can accept web orders online or via the mobile app (powered by PoppinPay) prep them for pickup, and make customizations the customer needs. This allows for an omnichannel experience for the customer.

Compare this flexibility with other methods of ordering (such as phone or waiting in line) and the benefits are obvious. Communication is quick on both sides, taking place entirely through the app. It’s a great system where both the customers and the QSR have visibility, and control, in the ordering process.

2. Skip The Line

With all the above in mind, let’s point out another key benefit of mobile order ahead: Skipping the line!

From a customer’s standpoint, this is probably one of the biggest selling points of mobile order ahead. Nobody enjoys waiting in line for service, particularly when they have other places to be. And even the very presence of a line can be a determining factor in whether they’ll stop in. (For example, if they have only a few minutes to grab a quick coffee before work.) In situations like these, mobile order ahead can be a significant driver of revenue.

From the QSR’s perspective, mobile order ahead is a type of line busting strategy. Lines might indicate that business is good, but their presence is problematic when customers expect the quick-service restaurant’s service to be, well, quick.

3. Ability to Re-order Favorites

QSRs have a unique advantage in eCommerce retail: customer re-ordering. Generally, customers who leverage mobile order ahead, app-based purchasing, and other tools like these have visited the QSR a few times and have a feel for what they like. Unlike other types of eCommerce (like retail), these consumers are likely to order the same things again and again. Besides, if they do, you can bet that they love the ability to re-select their favorite options from their order history.

And the benefits don’t stop at convenience. For some customers, the option to re-select their favorite choices may even result in higher sales. Research into UX testing shows a clear correlation between complexity in the checkout process and willingness to go through with the order. In other words, the more steps they have to go through, the less likely it is that they’ll buy. Giving them the option to re-order their favorites is a simple step that any QSR can take to push the value of their mobile order ahead strategy.

4. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs work. There’s no getting around it. Customers love earning rewards for purchases they were going to make anyway, and the right incentives can encourage regular purchasing from a brand.

According to research, over 90% of customers claim to be equally or more loyal to their preferred brands than they were a year ago. And in terms of the biggest drivers of loyalty, two aspects came out on top: having a great product (55%), and offering great deals (25%). And fortunately, Square’s Loyalty program makes this process easy.

QSRs can tap into Square’s system to track loyalty status for each customer, including their personal details, point aggregation, history of purchases, and more. The customers love it, to be sure—but its real value (from the QSR perspective, at least) comes from the data it provides. It’s a win-win. Square will be integrating loyalty into their mobile API later this year.

5. Saving Payment Details

Given that mobile order ahead is all about the customer experience, it makes sense that customers love the choices to save their payment details in-app. It’s the ultimate convenience; rather than needing to fumble through their purses and wallets for every purchase, all it takes is a couple clicks to complete a transaction.

And while this might seem like a double-edged sword in today’s climate of data security, it turns out that many consumers aren’t deterred: Two out of every three online shoppers have their card information saved on at least one site, and 10% claim to always save their card info online, no matter where they are. Clearly, consumers have no problem handing their info over to trusted brands, and the brands that earn this trust stand to benefit more from the relationship in the long-term.

Planning for Mobile Order Ahead

Customers love the simplicity and features of Square’s POS. But the brands behind Square’s system are the chief drivers of the customer experience, and these companies shouldn’t be satisfied with simply meeting their customers’ expectations. They need to go beyond the basic and explore new solutions that encourage participation with the enterprise. And in terms of mobile app-based solutions, there’s no better option than mobile order ahead. Reach out today to talk to PoppinPay about getting your web and mobile order ahead solution for your business!

10 Staggering Statistics About Mobile Order Ahead for Restaurants

10 Staggering Statistics About Mobile Order Ahead for Restaurants

10 Staggering Statistics About Mobile Order Ahead for Restaurants 7952 3960 PoppinPay

Are you a QSR who’s still unconvinced that mobile order ahead is the way of the future?

We don’t blame you for being cautious, but mobile ordering is a trend that’s showing no sign of slowing, and the longer companies wait to get on board, the harder it’ll be to catch up. If you’re still unsure, maybe a few of these statics will change your mind.

1. Mobile orders are projected to make up 11% of all QSR sales by 2020

Taking a broad look at the industry as a whole, it’s clear that mobile is the future of the QSR industry. Projections estimate that over 10% of all Americans already used some type of mobile payment as far back as 2016—and as we move closer to 2020, it’s expected that more than one out of every ten QSR orders will be made through a mobile ordering system.

2. Only 45% of QSR customers prefer to place orders through employees

There are still a few customers out there who prefer a traditional approach to ordering, but these numbers are shrinking as time goes on. It’s hard to match the high level of customer service you achieve with a friendly, helpful staff, but with the right mobile ordering tools, you won’t have to. The convenience of on-hand, off-premise ordering can easily outweigh the familiarity of in-person ordering, particularly from a revenue perspective.

3. 25% of consumers spend more on off-premise orders

Research shows that customers pay more when ordering off-premise (ordering ahead or delivery) compared to dining-in. This could be explained by off-premise customers having more time to browse the menu, or being more willing to indulge their cravings in privacy, but either way, restaurants without these ordering capabilities may be missing out on this revenue. Think of this as a reason to start implementing a mobile order ahead strategy, if you haven’t already.

4. On-site meal pickup is still the most popular choice

Although delivery is a popular choice for off-premise food ordering, research shows that, in general, it’s actually less popular than placing an order online and picking up in person. In one survey of consumers, respondents were asked to rank their ordering preferences among the following choices:

  • On-site food pickup through branded app (57.7%)
  • Delivery through branded app (51.5%)
  • Delivery through third-party app (33.5%)
  • On-site food pickup through third-party app (31.2%)

The above data shows the percentage of customers who agreed that they were either “somewhat likely” to “extremely likely” to place an order through that channel. And without question, QSRs with their own branded apps come out on top.

5. U.S. restaurant visits paid by mobile app increased by 50% from 2017-18

Aside from being more proof of mobile ordering’s meteoric rise over the past few years, this data (provided by global intelligence company The NPD Group) speaks to the need for innovation. Smaller QSRs might not believe that mobile ordering solutions could substantially increase their traffic, but those who aren’t innovating risk falling behind.

…the ability to easily order food from a restaurant is no longer a nice-to-have, it is a need-to-have.”

– Warren Solochek, NPD’s senior vice president, industry relations.

6. Mobile represents 60% of all digital restaurant orders today

Further research from NPD Group details the prevalence of mobile ordering as it exists today: Mobile represents 60% of all digital restaurant orders. There are plenty of reasons why: Customers love convenience. They love the ability to customize their orders from a dashboard. They love the built-in loyalty programs and benefits that come from branded apps. Mobile order ahead solutions give them the best of these perks while affirming your company’s commitment to digital convenience.

7. Since 2014, digital ordering has grown 300% faster than dine-in

Still wondering whether a mobile order ahead platform makes sense for your business? Consumers are used to doing pretty much everything online these days, and food ordering is no exception. QSRs are living in the era of digital transformation, and companies that don’t embrace the changes will quickly fall behind.

8. 13% of total U.S. Starbucks transactions are made through its Mobile Order & Pay

For a business the size of Starbucks, this is a huge percentage. Starbucks has long been considered a global innovator in mobile payment solutions, adopting the mantle of mobile payments long before it became a QSR best practice. And while few QSRs have the resources of a company like Starbucks, this data illustrates just how powerful a mobile order ahead solution can be for the right enterprise.

9. 80% of merchants use Samsung Pay—even though it’s the least popular option for shoppers

There’s a bit of a disconnect in what QSRs companies provide and what consumers expect. For example, consider that 4 out of 5 merchants accept Samsung Pay, despite the fact that it’s one of the least popular consumer payment options. Consider this a lesson in customer experience management. The last thing you want is to lose customers at the point of purchase because you don’t accept their preferred payment provider.

10. 45% of customers agree that mobile ordering options encourage them to use online ordering more often

This is another one that comes back to revenue. Customer experience management is all about convenience, and to maximize revenue potential, your business needs to provide the ordering options that your market wants. And with data showing that mobile ordering options increase the odds of online ordering, a mobile, order-ahead solution is a no-brainer.

The Future of Mobile Order Ahead

In truth, it’s not fair to call mobile order ahead of the future of QSR. It’s not the future at all—it’s already here. Plenty of businesses have already gotten on board with the practice and have moved into deeper discussions of strategy. And as these statistics demonstrate, the push is happening fast enough that companies who wait to adopt will surely get left behind.

4 Ways to Promote Your Square Mobile Order Ahead App

4 Ways to Promote Your Square Mobile Order Ahead App

4 Ways to Promote Your Square Mobile Order Ahead App 7360 4912 PoppinPay

As we speak, mobile order ahead is disrupting the QSR industry. It’s not hard to see why, and given that you’ve recently implemented PoppinPay as your Square mobile order ahead app solution, we’re willing to bet that you’re ready to get in on the action.

There’s only one problem. Now you have to promote customers to start using it and try to figure out the most effective methodologies for doing so.

Low app adoption rates often come down to marketing visibility and the way you’re promoting the product. Fortunately, these are easy fixes, so let’s get more people using that app.

1. Train Employees to Sell It

Your employees should be advocating customers to download the app whenever possible.

If you’ve just recently launched the order ahead app, make sure you talk to each employee about it, and verify that he/she understands the app inside and out. Teach them about the app’s features/benefits, and the best way to explain those benefits to customers.

This will take a little salesmanship on your employees’ part to see results, but you can improve your odds by training your employees to focus on the end user benefits rather than the product itself.

For example, encourage them to explain how the app lets customers skip the line and get in and out of the store faster. They can set their favorite orders on the app for quick processing, and if they’re ever running late, they can use it to get their order ready as they’re heading towards the store.

The only limit here is what your employees are willing to do! Build this type of customer outreach into each employee’s training, and make sure to recognize the employees who go above and beyond in pushing the app.

2. Send Square Marketing Emails

Did you know that Square offers a marketing upgrade to its standard platform? With just a few clicks you can get some great information on your business, including customer details, promotion performance, and sales analytics that show you which areas are most profitable. And on top of that, it offers a detailed suite of customer engagement features you can use to raise awareness about your app.

Primarily, this upgrade helps tie your email marketing into your Square customer data. The upgrade lets you set up custom email campaigns targeted to specific subsets of users: One-time shoppers, loyalty program members, power users, and so on.

You can tap into these segmentation tools to find the customers most likely to download the order ahead app. From there, you can write personalized email messages that relay the benefits of the app to the customer in a way that gels with their previous shopping behaviors; e.g. “Tired of waiting for those cappuccinos? Why not order ahead and skip the line?”

This type of personalization goes a long way. In one survey, 70 percent of customers agreed that connected processes—such as personalizing emails with info from previous interactions—encouraged them to stay with a brand.

3. Display Signage Throughout Your Store and Site

This is an easy one. Marketing is largely about visibility, and you need to take advantage of that wherever you can. Draft a few signs promoting your app, and place them throughout your store. Put them near registers, entrances, bathrooms, even on the tables. If you’re using digital signage for your menu boards, create a new content template for the app that you can add to the display rotation.

Square Mobile Order Ahead App

Try to vary the signage language a little bit rather than printing out a single template and plastering it everywhere. Readers will quickly tune out signs that are all the same, but if different signs have different messages, readers will stay engaged longer and will be more prone to scoping out the others.

And remember to update your website as well! If you want maximum visibility, update your home page to include a mention of the app, either as a pop-up or within the design itself. You could also create an entirely separate page that describes the app, its benefits, and where users can go to download.

These subsidiary pages don’t typically pull in tons of traffic, but including the information is good practice for joining your mobile apps with your other web assets. Plus, the right mobile order ahead keywords may score you some SEO points for those search terms, which is never a bad thing for your brand.

4. Incentivize Downloads

Customers sometimes won’t do things for free. They need to get something in return. And yes, the ability to order ahead should be incentive enough for these folks, but it doesn’t hurt to sweeten the pot a little more.

Look at your inventory and see what kind of incentives you can offer those who download. Discount codes, BOGO, small gift cards, are all common choices, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to the classics. Get creative with your promotions and try to find new ways to catch the customer’s attention. (For example, entering a customer’s name in a monthly drawing every time he/she places an order through the order ahead app.)

Work these incentives into your marketing. A study on brand loyalty found that 57 percent of customers would like to engage with loyalty programs via mobile device, but 49 percent didn’t know if there was an app associated with the program. With a mobile order ahead app, they’ll definitely know where to look.

Building Momentum for Your App

There are two keys to success for any mobile order ahead app: How you promote it to customers, and patience.

Like any other marketing goal, these strategies will take some time to germinate. But when done correctly, each has the potential to substantially increase your revenue. Why not give them a try? Oh, and if you don’t have a Square mobile order ahead app yet, reach out to PoppinPay today to get started!

Everything-Your-Business-Needs-to-Know-About-Mobile-Order-Ahead-in-2019

Everything Your Business Needs to Know About Mobile Order Ahead in 2019

Everything Your Business Needs to Know About Mobile Order Ahead in 2019 4605 2981 PoppinPay

Mobile order ahead has proven itself as a disruptive strategy for quick service restaurants interested in building out their mobile presence. And when you look at the benefits, it’s clear why: Mobile order ahead is fast and convenient, offering significant benefits for both consumers and retailers.

And while the practice has been fairly well-established over the past few years, many companies are still putting off their implementation. As we’ll review, these companies are missing out on a big opportunity—particularly as we enter 2019.

Mobile Order Ahead Is Expected

Even just a couple of years ago, mobile order ahead was considered a luxury. Domino’s Pizza launched its QSR system way back in 2014, with other market leaders like Starbucks and McDonald’s following suit shortly thereafter. At that time, customers weren’t used to the technology, and adoption rates were low.

Things are different in 2019. These days, mobile order ahead isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Customers are more mobile than ever, and they’re growing to expect completely seamless shopping experiences from the comfort of their phones.

According to research, smartphone users access an average of nine different apps per day, totaling 30 unique apps each month.

It’s clear that users enjoy the simplicity of mobile use when compared to in-person shopping, and when you look at the benefits from their perspective, it’s not hard to see why. For customers, mobile order ahead is fast, easy, and convenient. All they have to do is type their order in and pick it up—no fumbling at the register or waiting for service required.

And while sites like GrubHub and Uber Eats provide many of the same benefits (with added costs to the business owner), these services add an unnecessary middleman into the equation. Customers crave simplicity in their shopping, a well-established trend that continues to grow over time: Research shows that 86 percent of shoppers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

Now, just imagine what kind of impact you could make on these customers by providing this great experience while letting them pay less at the same time.

This is the benefit of mobile order ahead. It’s a way to managing customer shopping experiences that provides great benefits for both of you:

  • Give customers accurate and location-specific information on menus, ordering options, and pricing
  • Increase your brand loyalty with a branded mobile app, while making it easier on your customers for repeat orders
  • Provide access to exclusive in-app offers, discounts, and loyalty programs
  • Eliminate their need to handle money or credit cards at the point of purchase

Consider this a basic rundown of the benefits of mobile order ahead for customers. Of course, as we noted, the benefits aren’t limited to your customers—you’ll benefit just as much as they will.

Your Company Needs It

In the simplest terms, mobile order ahead is a customer experience management tool. With a dedicated mobile app, your business can learn a tremendous amount of info about your customers that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere:

  • What does each customer typically order?
  • What time of day does each customer order?
  • Which promotions do each customer take advantage of, and which are most useful for upselling?

The mobile order ahead process helps you tie purchases to specific customers accounts that can be monitored by time, location, and activity. It’s an important part of learning about your users and providing an omnichannel shopping experience at the same time.

For example, Starbucks might see that a specific customer always orders a coffee at 8 a.m. However, there might come a few days where he/she doesn’t show. Starbucks can recognize this disruption and send the customer a reminder the next day, complete with a 50 percent off coupon for a pastry to encourage them to come back.

Of course, this is just one use case for the data. Leaders in QSR like McDonalds and Starbucks understand the value of mobile order ahead in 2019 and offer significant discounts to users who order through their apps. It’s not unusual to find companies offering order ahead deals that come out to 25 percent or even 50 percent less than paying in-store. All are seeing an increase in revenue overall.

As we reach 2019, more companies will realize the benefit of this strategy. Offering a few dollars of discount will cut into margins slightly—but the trade-off of getting users to order in the first place and get engaged with the app is well worth it.

Implementing Mobile Order Ahead

The advantages of mobile order ahead are great, but businesses need to act sooner rather than later to reap the full benefits. Back in 2016, Business Insider predicted that the mobile ordering industry would reach $38 billion by 2020, encompassing 10 percent of all quick-service restaurant sales.

As it turns out, these impressive projections might have been too conservative. Early in 2018, Starbucks reported that 11 percent of its total U.S. orders came through its mobile order ahead app. And while Starbucks has certainly refined its strategy more than many of its competitors, they’ve already left BI’s projections in the dust.

By the time 2020 hits, there’s no telling how many more consumers will have gotten on board the mobile order ahead train. Companies interested in getting in on the action need to begin planning their implementation now. The QSR landscape is moving fast, and the companies that adopt new strategies early will always have an advantage over those that wait. Reach out now to bring a branded mobile order ahead app solution to your customers and see your revenue increase overall.

Increase-Revenue-with-Square-Marketing-for-your-Square-POS

Increase Revenue with Square Marketing for your Square POS

Increase Revenue with Square Marketing for your Square POS 1200 800 PoppinPay

The Square POS is a great tool for upgrading your retail strategy- from the way you manage customers to how you collect data. It works well out-of-the-box, but it provides the most value when it’s upgraded with additional systems that let you build out your marketing strategies in new ways.

With upgrades like Square Marketing, you can leverage your customer info, brand promotions, and data analytics to identify marketing opportunities and support stronger revenue.

What Is Square Marketing?

Square Marketing and Customer Engagement subscriptions are supplementary tools you can use to upgrade your Square POS.

These subscriptions help you create campaigns targeted towards your Reachable Customers—the people in your Customer Directories.

Square Marketing helps you create personalized email campaigns and promotions you can use to market to these subscribers:

  • Campaign creation tools
  • Customer segmentation
  • Email marketing automation
  • Analytics and performance monitoring

As users know, the Square POS automatically captures customer data on every purchase made. And as we’ll review, Square Marketing is the easiest way to put this data to work and drive more value from your existing campaigns.

Learn more about Square Marketing Pricing.

Unlimited Campaign Creation
Square Marketing offers a user-friendly selection of templates and designs you can use to create your email campaigns.

Users choose between different themes, layouts, and colors—complete with a searchable stock image gallery—to build email communications from the ground up. Each of these options is customizable to align with the brand’s specific voice and style.

While these tools are available on a pay-as-you-go basis for Square users who haven’t subscribed to Square Marketing, those with a Marketing subscription have access to unlimited monthly emails at no extra cost.

This means that subscribers can create as many different email layouts as needed to find the ones that resonate best with their target markets. With unlimited campaign creation tools, you can A/B test different aspects of each email and find which styles, themes, images, and color layouts produce the highest email engagement rates.

Non-subscribers who send limited amounts of email may do fine with the pay-as-you-go approach, but companies that want to push their email marketing revenue need the flexibility and freedom to create as many campaigns as they need to find the ones that perform best.

Customer Segmentation Tools
Square Marketing also lets you segment your customers based on their level of engagement with your brand:

  • New customers
  • Existing customers
  • Customers subscribed to loyalty programs
  • Return customers who haven’t visited in a while

And so on. Customer segmentation isn’t an optional aspect of effective email marketing; it’s a necessity. Segmentation is required for email personalization, but without the right data management tools, it can be hard to keep track of your growing customer database.

The Square POS streamlines this process and gives you a simple system to categorize and sort your customers based on whatever parameters make sense to your business. From there, you can generate targeted email communications that encourage specific actions from each segment.

For example, your company may define an “existing customer” as any customer who has made a purchase within the past 90 days. If you notice that more and more of your customers are falling out of this group, you can create an email campaign that encourages them to come back with a specific discount code.

This type of outreach is personalized to certain groups of customers, and as such, tend to resonate better than regular email blasts that lack specificity. If your current segmentation strategies are lacking, Square Marketing is the perfect way to get a handle on the approach.

Email Marketing Automation
Square Marketing lets you set up campaign automation tools that do the communication work for you.

These automation triggers are based on the data included in your Customer Directories and can be set to create customer-specific promotions based on their behaviors or personal info:

  • Create automated promotions for customer birthdays that offer them free items;
  • Track the progress of loyalty programs, and automatically inform customers of when they’ve earned a new reward;
  • Monitor how many purchases a customer makes over a given time period, and reward your power users with special promotions;
  • Set up referral systems that automatically sends discounts and perks to customers who get their friends to make a purchase.

The list goes on and on. Each of these use cases encourages repeat business and are powerful tools for driving brand loyalty. With Square Marketing, you can set up these triggers with minimal effort and reap the benefits for as long as you need.

Analytics and Performance Reporting
Another key benefit of the Square Marketing subscription is the wealth of data and performance analytics you receive.

For every email campaign or promotion you make, you’ll receive real-time data on its performance and how well it was received by your customers:

  • Email open rates (based on a percentage of total emails sent);
  • Total promotion redemptions across all customers;
  • Sales attributions that show you how much profit was gained from each promotion;
  • Timelines of when customers redeemed the promotion.

Naturally, this data is incredibly helpful when assessing the effectiveness of different promotions.

For example, knowing more about your email open rates can tell you what types of subject line copy is most effective at grabbing a user’s attention, while your sales attributions can indicate which discounts are most enticing to your customer segments.

Use Square Marketing to track this information each promotion lifecycle.

See below for an example of a Square marketing campaign (Valentine’s Day) and the return on investment from it:

Digital Receipt Promotions
With Square Marketing, you can send your customers promotions—even when they aren’t subscribed to your mailing lists.

Square Marketing lets you include promotional offers on each customer’s digital receipt. This is a great way to connect with new customers or returning customers who haven’t actively entered your marketing funnel.

By sending these customers promotions, you’ll give them a taste of what types of discounts they’ll receive by signing up to your mailing list or rewards programs. If they’re a fan of your products, this can encourage them to visit more often or sign up for your other email communications to see what other deals they’re missing out on.

In essence, this strategy turns your receipts into a lead generation tool with minimal effort on your end—exactly what small businesses need to build out their marketing strategies.

Advanced Marketing Through Square
The Square Marketing subscription lets you market to both new and existing customers in ways you may have never considered. And alongside these new strategies, it provides great data that any business can use to drive more revenue from its existing marketing tactics.

And these benefits will only increase over time. As your database grows from dozens to hundreds to thousands of consumers, you’ll get more data on what works, what doesn’t, and what you can do to encourage more customer engagement with your store.

In addition to Square Marketing, be sure and check out Why Your Business Needs a Square Mobile Order Ahead App Now.

Why Your Business Needs a Square Mobile Order Ahead App Now

Why Your Business Needs a Square Mobile Order Ahead App Now 1200 800 PoppinPay

Business owners managing their own cafés, restaurants, or coffee shops need no introduction to Square.

The payment processor has reported consistent increases in revenue year-over-year since its inception, and for good reason—it’s an innovative system that breathes new life into a static business model.

We certainly attribute Square’s success to its innovative nature; one of its key value propositions has always been its convenience for both consumers and business owners. It’s a flexible way to standardize payments, coordinate assets, and provide a natural and seamless customer experience for shoppers.

Of course, Square has been around for a while. Businesses wanting to stay on top of the payments game need more. They need solutions that haven’t yet become the standard—it’s the only way to provide unforgettable customer experiences.

And in terms of innovative payment strategies, there’s no better option than a dedicated Square Mobile Order Ahead App branded and tailored specifically to your business.

Isn’t the Square Online Store the Same Thing?
Let’s clear up one bit of confusion right off the bat. Square does offer an Online Store for its users, but this option is a far cry from a dedicated mobile order ahead application.

The Square Online Store works great as a makeshift way to bring your products online, but it’s not the most elegant solution. When you build a store, you have to re-enter all of your store’s inventory into the online database, which can become quite labor-intensive—particularly for restaurants and cafés that frequently update their offerings.

It’s also somewhat limiting in the number of details that you can add for each item, which can create situations wherein users are unfamiliar with what to do and how to proceed in the store. In many cases, this leads to them disregarding the Online Store altogether.

Yes, it’s a good start for bridging your physical and digital customer experiences, but businesses that want to create unforgettable customer experiences need to push further.

Order Ahead Apps Keep Your Customers Happy
When it comes to the customer experience in hospitality, there’s no better solution than letting customers order ahead. Customers have always loved the convenience of ordering what they want, when they want, and being able to do so through their favorite channels.

Mobile ordering is one of the best examples of this type of service. Mobile technology has finally become widespread enough to make mobile ordering a viable option for nearly any restaurant that wants to get customers in and out fast. Unfortunately, these efficiency goals often conflict with industry-wide mandates, such as the recent push in the U.S. to adopt EMV credit card processing as the national standard.

Square surveyed 1,000 consumers back in 2016 and found that 37 percent of consumers were frustrated by the way EMV chip cards slowed down their checkout experience. In fact, slow transaction times were the number one complaint users had with chip cards.

Of course, customer security is a top priority for any business, but there has to be a middle ground between security and efficiency.

Mobile Ordering Supports the Customer Experience
This is where order ahead solutions—such as the Square Mobile Order Ahead App—come back into play. According to what we know about industry-wide trends in hospitality, mobile order ahead apps present powerful business opportunities to companies that use them.

Consider research gathered by Wi-Q Technologies. Their data describes how 94 percent of Millennial consumers already use their smartphones inside restaurants, cafés, bars, and coffee shops. They also found that a majority of these consumers would like to have the option to order food ahead of time for delivery or takeout from their mobile devices.

But the desire to skip the lines is more than just a trend for the impatient—the ability to get in and out quickly is fast becoming a competitive differentiator for businesses.

Business Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile ordering will represent a $38 billion industry by 2020, with mobile order ahead apps encompassing over 10 percent of all quick service restaurant (QSR) sales. This trend maps out to an impressive five-year annual compound growth rate of 57 percent—one heck of a boost for the slow-moving payments processing industry. Business Insider offers insight into why mobile order ahead is taking hold so fast:

“…mobile ordering is not a simple substitution for in-store purchasing, but a channel that can enhance the lifetime value of QSR customers. This makes mobile order-ahead a critical channel contributing to the growth of the QSR industry.”

With that in mind, we have to ask why so few companies are taking advantage of this—particularly those that rely on Square for the bulk of their payments processing. In truth, we expect it’s because there just weren’t many mobile ahead ordering solutions available on the market until recently.

However, thanks to PoppinPay, businesses that utilize Square can easily break into this market and reap the ROI of these new solutions.

Your Business Needs to Get On Board With Mobile Order Ahead
Dedicated mobile ordering apps are strategically designed to drive ROI for businesses.

While any customer can use these apps, they’re most commonly used by engaged customers who are already loyal to the brand. These are the audience segments who will be most receptive to deals, promotions, and upsells made at the point-of-purchase.

According to research sponsored by GrubHub, restaurants that used online ordering were able to grow their takeout revenue by as much as 30 percent. And as of now, PoppinPay is the only mobile order ahead solution on the market that integrates directly with Square’s point-of-sale system.

This partnership let’s businesses build a custom Square Mobile Order Ahead App that are tailored to their unique brand identities. These applications sync directly with Square and even let customers redeem loyalty rewards directly from the application.

But really, these benefits only scratch the surface of what a Square Mobile Order Ahead App can do for your business. To learn more, check out the details. A stronger ROI and better customer experience are at your fingertips—and they’re easier to find than you think.

Advantages of Square’s Point of Sale for Small Businesses

Advantages of Square’s Point of Sale for Small Businesses 1500 1000 PoppinPay

If your business hasn’t yet adopted a Point of Sale (POS) system for handling customer transactions, you may be falling behind.

POS systems have become one of the easiest ways for small business owners to process payments, manage their digital assets, and gain a higher level of business intelligence that supports future growth. In this arena, Square’s POS system is one of the best options; it’s easy to deploy, easy to master, and comes with a wealth of features that help small business owners improve their payment processing.

Let’s review just a few of the advantages that Square’s POS application offers small businesses.

Payment Processing

Most directly, Square’s POS gives your business a modern way to instantly process customers’ credit and debit payments. Square offers merchants a transaction fee of 2.75 percent per swipe—ranking well within the average for mobile processing vendors and perfect for small businesses with lower transaction volume.

Platform Customization

Square’s POS is ideal for customization. Regardless of your business, you can set up your store any way you’d like and group products, services, and add-ons in whichever categories make the most sense to your team.

This simplicity has two key benefits. It’s great from a customer UX standpoint, but it’s also ideal for employee training. It’s simple to understand and easy to learn, perfect for getting new employees up and running. And speaking of employees…

Employee Management

Square’s POS goes beyond payment processing and acts a complete employee management tool. Managers can set up specific employee accounts for each worker, complete with custom permissions that restrict access to specific functions based on the employee’s role in the company. It also provides handy clock-in tools to help with payroll tracking.

It’s also noteworthy that Square tracks sales based on these employee accounts. Compared to traditional payment processing, this visibility gives management information about who’s performing the best. This can open new doors, such as building employee incentive programs and prioritizations to support the company’s top earners. From an employee satisfaction standpoint, this type of intelligence can be a great way to keep employees motivated.

Customer Management

Square’s POS can even act as an entry-level Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. By logging and storing all pertinent customer data (either provided directly or tied to the card used for payment), Square lets you create customer directories directly within the app.

You can search, sort, and organize these directories to learn more about your customers and their behaviors. Plus, this database of customer data can help improve the experience of your most valued repeat customers. By storing their vital information in the system, you can enable one-click ordering and remote ordering options that saves time at checkout.

Inventory Management

When paired with Square’s Dashboard app, the POS system can be a great way to manage your company’s inventory. Each sale is logged, organized, and made available for review at later dates within the Square platform—all built on the customized entries you create for your business. Think of it as an inventory tracking tool that’s seamlessly coordinated with your CRM. This gives the small business owner visibility into their inventory, but also lets them tie specific purchases to customer profiles.

When combined, this type of business intelligence provides valuable information about which customer demographics are most likely to purchase specific items, and which marketing strategies will best resonate with each customer.

Metric Reporting

Square’s Dashboard gives you insight into the metrics that matter most to your company. The platform generates sales summaries, inventory reports, rundowns of your best selling items, and side-by-side comparisons of performance over time. These types of analytics are important tools for monitoring business growth—particularly for smaller organizations—and are a necessary part of the due diligence that all small business owners must perform to keep their companies competitive.

Third-Party Integrations

Aside from the benefits that the POS system itself provides, Square’s application can seamlessly integrate with other applications you need to keep your business moving. Financial management tools from Intuit, advanced inventory management platforms like Shopventory, and ecommerce integrations like Weebly are just a few examples. Square was built to integrate with the tools small business owners need to expand their business, and the POS system is a natural extension of this goal.

Comprehensive Business Planning Through Square

There are few platforms on the market as helpful to small business owners as Square. From POS functionality to customer relationship management to inventory tracking and reporting, the platform can expand your business in ways you may never have considered.

This is true regardless of what type of business you run—it’s certainly not limited to retailers. For example, restaurateurs who get Square’s POS up and running can leverage applications like PoppinPay: A mobile order-ahead app that gives customers new options for interacting with your establishment.

And at its core, this functionality is what Square’s POS is all about. Regardless if you need a new way to process payments, a new system for employee management, or just a new way to accept payments outside of your brick-and-mortar store, POS systems will do the job.

Benefits of a Mobile Order – Ahead Solution for Square

Benefits of a Mobile Order – Ahead Solution for Square 1500 999 PoppinPay

Technology is more prevalent than ever with businesses and standing out from their competitors is vital in today’s market. Square’s POS has become popular for small businesses and works well when you are selling food, coffee, etc… Square’s point of sale system has a dashboard that is built to help businesses make better decisions, such as showing best selling items, comparison to previous performance, and much more. Whether you want your business to sell gift cards, the ability to send invoices, have easy email marketing, or an easy integration with accounting apps, Square’s POS has much built into one system for your business with the exception of one thing.

In 2015, Starbucks Coffee Company announced the availability of mobile order & pay. Publix Super Markets, Inc. has also rolled out a mobile app for order-ahead items such as deli meat, sub sandwiches, platters, bakery, and much more.

The only thing left that Square’s customers were begging for was a mobile order-ahead solution for Square. After all, mobile pre-ordering is expected to be a 38 billion dollar industry by 2020. Well not any more! PoppinPay, founded in 2017 by a successful restaurant owner, is currently the only mobile order-ahead application that directly integrates with Square’s POS (with no additional hardware needed).

Below are the main benefits why Square businesses are implementing a mobile order-ahead solution:

Your App. Your Brand.

PoppinPay’s mobile order-ahead solution incorporates your brand that lives on the consumer’s mobile device (Apple and Android) all the time. No more going to a website to place an order-what kind of user experience is that anyways? This means that every time your customer thinks of coffee or food, they see your business and select it first before seeing a laundry list of competitors. And that also means no more paying for fees to be on directories with other ad hoc solutions.

No More Standing in Line

There is nothing worse than standing in line. We all hate it and have grown to become impatient in waiting. The only thing that is keeping us from complaining as much is we stay occupied by looking at our phones while we wait. Right or wrong, waiting can affect businesses and not just in customer reviews- actual missed revenue opportunities. If one thing can be agreed upon, it’s that we are all getting busier with life and are looking for ways to simplify things. What businesses are forgetting to realize is that consumers are more likely to go somewhere else with their money than stand in line. This also builds loyalty with your customers due to the convenience factor.

Increase in Loyalty

Having a Square mobile order-ahead app gives you a reason to utilize Square’s loyalty program. Did you know that 68 percent of millenials say they wouldn’t be loyal to a brand if it doesn’t have a good loyalty program? Reward your repeat customers and offer promotions via the mobile device. If your business is already using the loyalty program, do not worry when implementing PoppinPay’s mobile order-ahead app because each user’s rewards carries over seamlessly.

Increase in Revenue

Mentioned last, this probably should be the number one reason Square businesses should implement a mobile order-ahead solution. Taco Bell has seen 30% higher average order values on mobile compared to in-store and Starbucks has already seen 10% of total transactions contributing to sales (in 2017).

In Conclusion

Businesses need to utilize everything and anything they can to increase customer loyalty and generate more revenue. The wait for a Square mobile order-ahead app solution is now over and won’t require you to take out a loan to implement. To learn more about implementing a Square mobile order-ahead app for your business, reach out or call 770-599-2700.