There’s no question that self-service kiosks provide added value to your customers. When long lines abound, customers naturally turn to kiosks for convenience, according to Tillster’s Self-Service Kiosk Index.
While the study found that 18% of fast casual and QSR customers surveyed have used a self-service kiosk in the last 18 months, 60% would visit a restaurant more often if kiosks were available.
It’s no wonder that the big players are taking note: McDonald’s invested $6 billion last year as it continued to deploy its “Experience of the Future” design — complete with kiosks, of course. Wendy’s has kiosks in two-thirds of its store, and Taco Bell is planning them for all stores this year. Shake Shack even experimented with a kiosk-only store before settling on a more moderate approach.
The reason? Kiosks aren’t just a boon for rushed customers; they provide a massive marketing opportunity for operators thanks to big data.
The Days of Spray and Pray are Over
Personalized marketing is changing the game. Econsultancy found that 93% of companies saw an uptick in conversion rates due to personalized marketing efforts, while 59% of consumers in an Infosys study reported that personalization significantly influenced what they purchased.
The key to personalization, of course, is data collection through a logged in approach. Have you noticed that neither Amazon, eBay nor Booking.com offer options for guest checkout? There’s a very deliberate reason for that, which involves the collection of customer data. With customers logged in, these companies are able to link each purchase to an individual customer, a driving force for creating targeted marketing campaigns down the road.
In the food service world, however, logging customers in takes a little finesse. After all, you can’t require brick-and-mortar customers to log in before making a purchase. Or can you?
Offer rewards, and customers will be ready and willing to log in to earn points. A loyalty program ultimately provides you with valuable data about customer purchase habits and demographics that you can track across stores, your online ordering platform, and — yes — kiosks.
How Kiosks Build Loyalty
The perfect employee would be an ambassador for your brand
Promoting your loyalty program with every guest transaction. But we all know there’s no such thing as a perfect employee: they forget, they’re too busy, or sometimes they just don’t care enough to encourage guests to log in.
Kiosks, however, completely remove the margin for human error. When guests turn to a kiosk, logging in becomes a natural and automated part of the purchase process, with machines asking for loyalty credentials as the first step in ordering.
Not a loyalty member?
Not a problem. Several quick-service chains — including Burger Fi, Caliburger, Malibu Poke, UFood Grill and Wao Bao — are already using kiosks with facial recognition technology to store past order history and even payment information.
To avoid the creep-out factor and civil liberties concerns, guests must opt in, and it turns out they’re doing so. According to Burger Fi, 80% of customers who agree to use facial recognition allow the company to save their information to speed up future orders.
Much in the same way that loyalty programs allow personalized messaging, facial recognition enables targeting by age, gender and past order history.
Looking to the Future
While a kiosk takeover won’t happen overnight
The market is growing with incredible speed. KBV Research forecasts the kiosk market to hit $5.4 billion by 2024, representing growth of 26.4% CAGR during the forecast period.
As fast casual and QSR operators continue to adopt self-service kiosks, and as customers become more comfortable with the technology, the opportunities for personalized marketing will continue to grow.
Using facial recognition to log customers into loyalty programs is not only a possibility but an inevitability. And, while facial recognition presents incredible marketing possibilities today, linking the system to other mobile, online, and in-store ordering platforms through a loyalty program will allow for a complete omnichannel experience.
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