Convergence of Digital Food Ordering Technologies Provides Next Generation Consumer Experience

New survey finds consumers interested in technologically advanced ways to order and pay for fast food

LOS ANGELES--()--E-commerce has transformed how consumers shop. Whether it’s purchasing airline tickets, shoes or music, the ability to order online has changed how consumers purchase goods. A new survey from EMN8 shows that consumers want this ability to expand to the quick service restaurants (QSR) industry.

Consumers are ready and willing to use technology to order from their favorite QSRs. The survey conducted online nationwide by Harris Interactive on behalf of EMN8 from February 19-21, 2013 among 2,230 (among whom 1,904 consumed fast food in the past 12 months) U.S. adults aged 18 and older, shows that 43 percent of Americans who consumed fast food in the past 12 months would be interested in ordering from a QSR in the next 12 months via computer and three in ten would like to order from their mobile device.

“Consumers are extremely comfortable ordering goods online and, as generations grow up with mobile technology, they will increasingly want to engage with their favorite brands through this channel. It is increasingly clear that the food industry as a whole needs to embrace methods of interaction where they are comfortable,” said Perse Faily, Chief Executive Officer, EMN8. “Through our research, it’s clear that QSRs can reach a broader audience by adapting to these desires.”

E-commerce continues to gain momentum in the QSR industry. While the majority of 18-34 year olds who consumed fast food in the past 12 months ordered in person (81%), this is predicted to decline over the next 12 months. Technology is providing the catalyst for this shift as mobile technology proliferates. Consumers are increasingly comfortable using this method with 30 percent of those who consumed fast food in the past 12 months saying they’d use their mobile device to order in the next 12 months. Additionally, 48% of 18-44 year olds would place an order via a computer in the next 12 months.

Loyalty Programs are More than Desired, They’re Necessary

Technology doesn’t mean just “connected devices” but also tools that provide added value to consumers. As companies try to capture data and insights about their consumers, loyalty programs have become increasingly important to not just the brand but also the consumer. What’s more, the integration of physical and digital with respect to loyalty programs has offered consumers added flexibility when it comes to buying at their favorite places. Today’s branded loyalty or gift cards often include pin data that can automatically sync with a customer’s digital rewards program instantaneously, making the transaction process a more seamless experience.

More than two in five (42%) of those whose favorite QSR does not provide all services would like their favorite QSR to use a loyalty/rewards/frequent buyer program that incentivized them for purchases. Additionally, 77 percent of those who consumed fast food in the past 12 months would use a stored value card to pay for their purchases if they could receive additional benefits such as loyalty points or extra coupons.

Interestingly enough, those whose favorite QSR does not provide all services between the ages of 45 and 54 said they are more likely to want to see their favorite QSR use a loyalty program than those age 18-34 (48% to 38%) – providing a new way to reach this consumer base. The 55 and older age group who consumed fast food in the past 12 months responded quite positively to using a branded store value card to pay for orders if they could receive additional benefits with roughly two-thirds (66%) willing – highlighting a new way for QSRs to attract this demographic.

“Everyone from the local neighborhood deli to big brands like Amazon use loyalty programs to increase their customer loyalty – and ensure repeat customers – yet we’ve not seen this in the QSR industry as much despite consumer desire,” said Hope Neiman, Chief Marketing Officer, EMN8. “Loyalty programs are one way to offer incentives that the consumer sees near instantaneously – and one they continue to want from their favorite brands.”

In addition to loyalty programs driving repeat business, more than four in ten (42%) of those who consumed fast food in the past 12 months stated that they were more likely to return to a quick service restaurant if their past orders were saved within the ordering system. Additionally, those between the ages of 18 and 44 (55%) were more likely to agree with this statement than those ages 45+ (30%) – highlighting the need for quick service restaurants to embrace technology that allows swift recent order recognition.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between from February 19th – 21st, 2013 among 2,230 adults ages 18 and older by Harris Interactive on behalf of EMN8 via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About EMN8, Inc.

EMN8, Inc. designs, builds and delivers self-service platforms for the restaurant and retail industries. The company’s digital solutions impact its customers’ bottom line while delivering operational efficiencies. By providing a variety of services, multi-location and franchise brands have the ability to integrate across a multitude of point-of-sale technology with EMN8’s multichannel platform including across online, mobile, in-store kiosks and call centers. Additionally, the company provides its customers with the ability to increase brand engagement through tools such as customer relationship management, direct-to-consumer marketing capabilities and loyalty programs. EMN8 currently supports tens of millions of guest transactions for global and regional brands such as Burger King, The Counter, CPK, Domino’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Taco Bell and YUM! Brands International. For more information visit www.emn8.com.

Contacts

Weber Shandwick on behalf of EMN8, Inc.
Chrystina Woody, 310-854-8238
cwoody@webershandwick.com
or
Jennifer Savage, 310-854-8280
jesavage@webershandwick.com
or
Twitter: @EMN8
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EMN8

Faster, Fast Food: How Americans order and pay for fast food is evolving with technology (Graphic: Business Wire)

Faster, Fast Food: How Americans order and pay for fast food is evolving with technology (Graphic: Business Wire)

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Release Summary

Whether it’s purchasing airline tickets, shoes or music, e-commerce has transformed how consumers shop. A new survey from EMN8 shows that consumers want this ability to expand to QSR industry.

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Contacts

Weber Shandwick on behalf of EMN8, Inc.
Chrystina Woody, 310-854-8238
cwoody@webershandwick.com
or
Jennifer Savage, 310-854-8280
jesavage@webershandwick.com
or
Twitter: @EMN8
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EMN8