This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
Writing the last article on fintech progress underscored the pace of change in the various industries we are working with. While we usually get excited for big innovation and disruptive new business models made possible through digitalization, there are some quite cool, smaller-scale tweaks that are having large (and maybe a little unexpected) impacts, often pretty quickly... Two of those we recently came across during our work, which I would like to highlight here today.
Stress-free self-service increases basket size
Digital ordering kiosks cropped up a few years back in QSR chains such as Burger King, Starbucks and McDonalds. Digital kiosk systems enable businesses to tailor which menu items to showcase, making up-selling and cross-selling far more straightforward, as they encourage guests to customize their orders.
The introduction of these kiosks eases the need to train staff to up-sell. Gone are the days of “do you want to add fries to that?”. Additionally, with no long, restless queue behind them, customers are typically more relaxed, and inclined to respond to one-on-one marketing experiences.
The surprising result of all of this: In the US, kiosks are reported to boost consumer spending by a staggering 30%*.
The scope of self-service technology is far-reaching - From Amazon Go’s epitome of self-service whereby customers just walk in, take their groceries and walk out, or CaliBurger’s AI facial recognition ordering feature, to the more elementary product information kiosks found in IKEA furniture stores.
The progress made by self-service pioneers has led customer expectations ever higher. Today’s consumers want retail experiences that are not only efficient, but also personal, engaging and rewarding. As Forrester Analyst Brendan Wichter says on the topic - “Everyone is comparing you to Starbucks, Uber and Nike”.
The tipping point
As more businesses opt to go cashless, smart solutions are needed to ensure merchants don’t miss out on the huge opportunities in digital tipping. The introduction of an explicit tipping step for contactless payments actually leads to significantly larger overall tipping amounts.
Take Berlin’s trademark St. Oberholz cafe & co-working space for example, which is now a completely cash-free establishment. By improving the cashless payment experience to add a smooth tipping step for customers, St Oberholz saw tips go from next to nothing, to making up a substantial 7.9% of overall revenues in just two weeks, as guests tend to opt for the standard 10% suggested tipping amount.
The introduction of this smart, seamless tipping step eliminates awkwardness for customers, who no longer need to stand at the counter and (incorrectly) calculate the appropriate amounts in their heads - or worse still, fumble nervously in their wallets for loose coppers, which inevitably results in very small tipping amounts. At the same time, the step emphatically tunes-up the social pressure to leave a tip, as in order to shy away from tipping you must explicitly decline by pressing the “NO TIP” button - A brash move for even the most lion-hearted, close-fisted guests, standing in front of a beaming waiter or waitress.
Couple this tipping step together with an exceptional loyalty program (as Oberholz did) and you’ve got the foundations for an outstanding customer experience and of course, happy staff. (Check out all the details in our case study).
“Journey” to success
The examples mentioned are all part of the customer’s end to end journey. A good customer journey requires exceptional digital experiences, and exceptional digital experiences require a strategic mindset, expertise and agile delivery. Embarking on digital transformation projects can be a complex, multi-dimensional task, particularly if they relate to sensitive, heavily regulated industries such as fintech and payments. But such initiatives tend to pay off, even in unanticipated ways, such as some of those described above.
In order to succeed, businesses must identify and implement the best experience for both customers and staff, whether that starts with your pos system, self-service kiosks, a smart loyalty program, or something unexplored.
If you’re looking to explore digitalization possibilities, we’d be more than happy to help. Just give us a shout via the address below.