Commentary

Mobile Kicks It Up A Notch: In-Chat Ordering, Curbside Food Pickup, Ticket Image On Phone

Mobile makes a lot of things faster.

In some ways, smartphones totally transferred the personal activity that could be done on a PC so that those functions could be performed anywhere and anytime, often on the fly.

For PC activity, a person typically would sit down and perhaps ponder what they were looking for, with surfing sometimes causing a sidetrack or two.

Mobile is more intense.

  • We need to find something right now based on where we are. Yelp the local restaurant; blow it off due to a quick scan of customer reviews.
  • Scan the UPC on a product in a store. Bed, Bath & Beyond refuses to price match? No prob: here’s an instant Amazon order while still standing in the store, which I’ve been driven to more than once.

As phones have gotten faster and speedier network connections, like where 4G or Wi-Fi are available, consumers have gravitated to taking advantage of the speed.

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Checking a product in store can quickly be converted to a smartphone search of that retailer’s website along with those of competitors. A consumer can have shopped in the store, found what they want via smartphone and be headed to a different mall before the current retailer has any idea what’s going on.

It was only logical for both suppliers and customers to push the limits of what can be done, what corners could be cut,  and how time, even if only a little, could be saved.

Here are just a few of the new crop of mobile time-savers.

  • Mobile ordering of food is hardly new, but now Applebee’s has added advanced ordering and curbside pickup, to shave a bit of time by not having to go into a physical location. Mobile payment in advance is included as a feature, of course. Starbucks and others have had advance ordering and paying so that customers can avoid lines when they arrive.
  • Users chatting on the Slack messaging platform in need of a taco need not even leave the chat. Taco Bell’s TacoBot provides the ordering of select menu items from their local Taco Bell restaurant without ever leaving the messaging platform.
  • To save that extra step of scanning a QR or bar code, Fandango introduced a new format that allows moviegoers to simply swipe a ticket image on their phone to gain entrance to a film. With its recent acquisition of Flixter and Rotten Tomatoes, the ticket platform is greatly expanded.
  • Store associates at Fossil, the accessories retailer, now have technology that allows them to move throughout the sales floor and assist shoppers with remote checkout. The sales associate also then has access to store inventory, along with customer loyalty information. The idea is to get the shopper checked out and on their way more quickly.
  • For those who need a pizza ASAP, a new feature added to the Domino’s Pizza app triggers a pizza order as soon as the app is opened. The consumer sees a timer and has 10 seconds to cancel the order.

There no doubt will be more mobile time savers coming along, features that make something just a little faster or perhaps reduce a function by a tap or two.

So what are people going to actually do with that extra time?

2 comments about "Mobile Kicks It Up A Notch: In-Chat Ordering, Curbside Food Pickup, Ticket Image On Phone".
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  1. Virginia Suhr from Lobo & Petrocine Marketing, April 13, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

    A chat function about products or services on your mobile phone while you are in a store or at an event would probably be a wonderful thing.  

    How nice would it be if you are looking at a new product and you want to ask questions about how it works, differences between models, product care, see product usage videos, while in the store.
    QR codes tried but they weren't interactive.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, April 13, 2016 at 10:59 a.m.

    That's kind of the dream scenario, Virginia. And you're right, QR didn't quite do it, although there is a chance with NFC, as in 'tap for info.'

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