Location-Based Mobile Ordering: The Natural Evolution of Customer Service
Customer service businesses must engage their customers where the money is: on their mobile device, writes RoamingAround's Michael Arner.
With 6 billion people worldwide said to own a mobile phone, rare is the occasion that anyone heads out to the casino, hotel pool, sporting event, or an evening of dining and drinks, without their preferred mobile device in hand.
The growing reliance on mobile wallets — and the unwavering trust that there is always “an app for that” — means that customer service businesses must engage their customers where the money is: on their mobile device.
The prodigious success of mobile ordering apps like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Dominos has proven the value, demand, and ROI that comes with the convenience of location-based mobile ordering. These big brands allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to integrating location-based intelligence, working out the bugs, and pushing clever marketing to consumers who were once skeptical about the technology — but now are hungry for more. Starbucks generates about 20 percent of its revenue through their app; now, smaller businesses can offer similar technology without the prohibitive costs.
Technology service businesses can now leverage GPS, Wi-Fi, and BLE Beacons to accurately locate and deliver orders to customers at a table inside a restaurant, around a pool, or at a seat in an arena or a table in a casino. The orders can be routed to a tablet or a wearable device so the wait staff can deliver the order to the real-time location of the customer.
How It Works
Location-based mobile ordering can be added to any service business by working with a location-based service provider. Companies can work with developers to install a Software Development Kit (SDK) into their existing mobile applications. Integration into several popular POS systems is also available. Arenas, casinos, hotels, restaurants, bars and retailers of all sizes can add location-based services to engage their audience, increase their revenue and streamline their service.
In most cases, the location-based ordering app and infrastructure can be given to participating merchants with no capital expenditure. The business owner and app provider enter a revenue share agreement on the orders taken through the app. The patron is treated to a frictionless VIP ordering experience.
Line anxiety, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and the losing battle for a bartender’s attention are just a few of the reasons customers of all ages are compelled to move to mobile ordering. In the nascent days of geolocation, businesses had quite a few barriers to overcome — not to mention, worrying whether customers would even turn “location services” ON. Cash was king and the established way of ordering and serving was good enough.
Now, improved technology allows seamless integration with a POS server and advanced locationing techniques utilizing WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth beacons to pinpoint the exact location of the customer.
Use Case #1: Increasing Casino Food and Beverage Revenue: Many casinos who currently provide free drinks can increase revenue and improve service by giving casino players the opportunity to order premium beverages, food, or other services directly to their table. Those charging for drinks can up sell players by offering food, snacks, and services like neck massages without distracting customers from the gaming experience.
Use Case #2: Making poolside ordering a breeze: Imagine yourself relaxing at the hotel pool. You might be reluctant to leave the kids unattended, to enter the bar in your swimsuit, or to commit to staying in one place until your drink order arrives… but darn it, you’re on vacation and you do want that margarita! You may have left your wallet in the room, but you’re never without your phone. Bars and eateries that set up poolside mobile ordering can come out ahead with these consumers.
Use Case #3: Delivering Orders Inside a Stadium: Have you ever been at a sporting event and experienced the roar of the crowd… from a concession line? Spectators who don’t want to miss a minute of the action waiting in lines while searching for food and drinks can simply take out their phone, place an order, and have it delivered right to their seat. Fans get to feel like MVP’s even in the nosebleeds. And so it goes with sports, the numbers always speak for themselves: 1 extra $9 beer X 3,500 seats = $31K per event.
*Dr. Michael Arner is the CTO of RoamingAround. RoamingAround has just released the RoamAbout mobile app that grants businesses with complete access to RoamingAround’s Location-Based Service Platform.