Restaurateurs and retailers are no strangers to the constant stream of new customer-facing digital technologies in the industry. Some examples of tech impacting the digital customer journey include mobile apps, online ordering, and a growing number of third-party delivery partners.
There is also an increasing amount of new technology designed to help automate in-store processes, such as digital kitchen display systems and kiosks. Business owners need to understand how to connect these two fast-paced—and even faster-changing—trends to improve operations, grow their customer base, and thrive in a digital environment.
“The channels your customers interact with are ever-expanding now,” says Gillespie. “Control is shifting to them.”
Now that a digital presence and technology are the new industry norm, Gillepsie speaks to the need for businesses to ensure customers can find them and constantly engage with them. He stresses the importance of ease of use and personalization to ensure positive digital customer experiences.
To stay on top of the ever-changing digital trends, Harris calls out consumer-facing products business owners should consider:
Online ordering (native apps, web apps, voice ordering)
Customer-facing displays at in-store registers
Digital menu boards
“I see a number of different levers in the industry, and the merchant is sitting in the middle of these,” Harris says.
Citing a shift in consumer behavior, growing consumer expectations and demands, increased competition and drive for efficiency, and evolving business models, Harris recommends customer-facing technology to stay ahead of industry change.
Learn more about consumer-facing technology
The technology you do—or don’t—decide to implement in your business will have a major impact on your brand, operations, and customer relationships.