K3|imagine and the legacy of lockdown
Businesses need to be agile to respond to changes in the world
As we have all been reminded so decisively in recent times, change is inevitable, and it doesn’t follow schedules. Changes in the way people order food and socialise mean the world is becoming significantly more automated. Embedded digital offerings, like self-order apps, allow customers to order food on their mobile phones and collect in-store, adding to the personal comfort of customers, and reducing the time spent in store, or in close proximity to other members of the public, which may prove to be an pre-eminent concern in a post-pandemic market.
Right now, while confined indoors for an undefined period of time, customers require digital payments and delivery services for anything from pizzas and gourmet food to bottles of wine and groceries.
Clever strategies mean there needs be no loss of customer service during the transitional phase, but the period of closures and slowing trade due to Covid-19 could also present excellent opportunities for retailers to transition to touchpoints that consumers either need during lockdown, or will find reassuring when stores eventually reopen. Namely, those touchpoints that reduce the need for close contact with strangers.
At the moment, the main goal is to meet consumers where they are, which right now may well mean at home long term and relying on delivery. However, a time will come when customers are back out in public, and the way they wish to interact (or indeed, reduce interaction) may well have shifted.
Life under lockdown: Take-away only
The K3|imagine mobile Self-order app allows coffee shops and restaurants to focus their efforts on fulfilling orders, rather than taking them, alleviating time spent in queues. Customer satisfaction has increased as turnaround times improved, while online payments alleviate the need to handle cash, another key factor for a public health conscious consumer.
Pick-up areas are designed to allow customers the opportunity to interact with staff in a friendly way. The elements of comfortable seating, great atmosphere, and after-sales service are enhanced by the ability to order in advance, leaving more opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. Online menus include items like pastries, sandwiches and wraps, which enhance customer experiences.
Most relevant is the customer's overall experience. In recent years customers have demanded a faster, smoother and more comfortable experience, using mobile apps and placing orders with their own devices (BYOD) in advance. The coffee shop & restaurant environment is set to change just enough to streamline the ordering process without the loss of customer enjoyment.
To meet both the business and customer needs, K3 has developed a few solutions that will help coffee shops and restaurants to launch new self-service and self-order touchpoints quickly and at low risk. An extended version of the K3|imagine Café App, the Self-order App is now available, allowing businesses to offer full meals and beverage to their customers. These can be combined with the Kitchen Display & Order Ready Board modules that help keeping track on the orders. As response to the COVID-19 challenges, K3 also quickly developed a simplified version of the self-order app, the Take-away app, to provide coffeeshops & restaurants that did not apply the take-away concept before, with a quick & easy way to receive and track take-away orders.
Needless to mention: The cloud-based Self-order app and the simplified Take-away app are easy and simple for customers & staff to use. There’s no need to download anything: customers can order food and drinks by tapping, scanning or entering the URL on a mobile phone, and the kitchen display and order ready board can run on any device & Internet browser. If you would like to find out more about the app, please contact us today.
Lattes& pizzas after lockdown?
How will consumer behaviour in coffee shops and restaurants change post-pandemic?
Technology has had a significant impact on food & beverage and restaurant industries all over the world, with many customers preferring mobile payments, downloadable apps and mobile ordering systems for everything from coffee and fast food to gourmet food and wine delivery.
Competition in the industry is driving businesses to meet and exceed consumer expectations, but how will this affect the local coffee outlet or pizzeria around the corner? And does the impact of several months in isolation and observing social distancing create a greater demand for self-service options in the minds of customers?
But it's not only large businesses that need to prepare for the changing needs - small and medium-sized also must join the trend. The K3|imagine Self-service Kiosks and Self-Checkout systems are popular among customers due to faster shopping times and greater customer satisfaction, combined with low overheads self-service kiosks could generate $310 million by 2021. No need to rip & replace any of the existing systems – K3’s own integration tool K3|dataswitch ensures a quick and secure dataflow between the K3|imagine self-service modules and third-party backend systems or Point of Sale systems.
The K3|imagine Café App is making it easier for coffee addicts to access their favourite cup of java without the necessity to queue in close proximity to others, using the app to order, pay for and track their order which is delivered on time and hot - right to their table.
Not only do Self-service options meet customer expectations, they also create the kind of satisfaction that results in greater spending and revenue. E-Marketer notes that in a recent survey 71% of respondents listed a self-service app as a preference when it came to retail shopping, 65% of respondents wanted to purchase goods without going to a checkout, while 61% wanted to use an unmanned store. In its 2020 article, Marketwatch note that the Self-Checkout systems Market will exceed more than US 5 Billion by 2024 in the given forecast period, a definite trend to watch.
When customers can once again sit down and enjoy a traditional cup of coffee with friends this can be accommodated using mobile ordering, cashless transactions, and no queueing. To respond to these customer expectations, the K3|imagine Café/ Self-order App allows businesses to offer full meals and beverage to their customers – they just use their own smartphones, browse through the menu, place their order& pay it. Hygienic and convenient, with their own device.
If you would like to find out more about the K3|imagine Self-service Kiosk, Self-checkout or Self-order apps, please contact us today.