Virtual Transactions for Food and Beverage: Reducing Friction in the Customer Experience

Cash may be king, but the food industry can benefit by dethroning it. Virtual transaction technology is giving grocery stores and restaurants new ways to cut costs while simplifying and enhancing the customer experience.  

Virtual Transactions

Cashless payments have been joining the mainstream for years, according to Endgadget. This technology streamlines the transaction process for customers:

When it comes to virtualized payment systems, we’re not talking about paying with your credit card number online, or even services like PayPal. We’re talking about the act of paying at a physical store with virtual means: your phone, for instance, or some forms of credit card. Perhaps you’ve got a special key for use at the gas pump, where you wave it near a part of the pump and you’re good to go? Same concept, except this is all payment scenarios (at major retail chains, anyway).

What is good for consumers is great for businesses. Imagine the transaction time saved when customers at drive-thru restaurants can pick up their food without stopping to pay with cash or card.

Advantages of Virtual Transactions

As changing dining habits and increasing competition push the retail food industry to find innovative ways to appeal to consumers, virtual transactions can significantly reduce frictions in the customer experience. Writing in Forbes, Ryan Rommann explains the upside for food businesses and consumers:

Money 3.0 will quicken checkout lines, reduce transaction costs, and let clerks focus on customer service instead of handling cash. Human errors are minimized when point-of-sale work is limited to scanning, bagging, and tapping the customer’s watch or finger, and there’s no need to calculate change. In addition, merchants can use smart technology to analyze customer spending habits to offer incentives and personalized shopping information.

Personalization

Coupling virtual transaction technology with custom smartphone apps provides even greater opportunities for brands to customize their customer experience. Shopping patterns can be analyzed to provide recommendations and reminders that spur customers to make more purchases.

An app could create customized shopping lists based on customer purchases, allowing them to easily place orders when it’s time to replenish supplies. Information could be provided about drink or food specials, based on their preferences when dining out.

To capitalize on virtual transaction technology, food-related businesses need a robust data infrastructure and the institutional knowledge to put generated data to the best use. Our LMS experts are experienced in designing and implementing the digital systems needed to create a seamless customer experience. Call us today at 800-257-5902 to learn how we can help.

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