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Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer…
Figures from leading hospitality tech company Zonal reveal that 80 per cent of consumers are interested in some form of personalisation when visiting hospitality venues. Zonal’s most recent GO Tech report shows that while financial incentives, such as personalised discounts and deals are popular, there are other previously untapped opportunities for hospitality businesses to drive sales and repeat visits through personalisation. The findings highlight both a generation and a gender gap when it comes to what consumers want from personalisation and the data they are willing to share to get it.
Commenting on the findings, Alison Vasey, Group Product Director, Zonal, said: “At its very heart, hospitality is about providing a personal and bespoke experience for every individual consumer. Traditionally this has been done face-to-face and in-venue, but now technology can help venues offer a personalised touch at every stage of the customer journey. “From offering customers discounts on their favourite drink to delighting them with personal touches in venue such as balloons on their birthday, there are numerous ways for businesses to further enhance the great customer experiences the industry is always striving to deliver. “There is perhaps a lack of awareness currently around what a SPRING 2022
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Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer… personalised experience could look like and a wariness around sharing data. However, our research shows that through clear communication and by offering the right incentives, venues can overcome this and create bespoke experiences that drive sales and encourage loyal and engaged consumers.” Across all consumers, the top five most wanted forms of personalisation are:
• Discounts and deals - A third (33%) expect tailored discounts and deals as a matter of course, and nearly half (45%) think they would be nice to have
• Loyalty schemes – Well over a quarter (29%) are interested in a loyalty scheme with rewards that are personalised to their habits and preferences
• Updates - 29% of consumers expect to receive updates about things like the status and timing of their orders, and a further 46% would welcome them
• Recommendations - Around a fifth of consumers now expect to receive tailored recommendations (20%), or to be presented with personalised menus that incorporate their favourite dishes and drinks (19%). Another 44% and 43% of consumers respectively regard these as nice-to have
• VIP perks - One in six (17%) consumers would like the ability to sit at a favourite table without having to ask, and some would appreciate celebratory details like balloons on a birthday The research was carried out in partnership with industry data and insight firm, CGA and tech specialists, Airship.
Karl Chessell, CGA Director - Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, commented: “As we emerge from COVID, it’s clear that consumer behaviour has changed in some fundamental ways. As they establish new habits in restaurants, pubs and bars, people expect their brands to treat them as individuals rather than numbers. It means that personalisation is increasingly not just a nice surprise— it’s an expected part of a hospitality visit. “Value is going to be important to the post-COVID consumer, especially at a time when disposable income is squeezed. But as our GO Technology research makes plain, good personalisation goes beyond money: it’s about the creation of memorable experiences that show people they are valued.
It will be a powerful driver of loyalty and recommendation in 2022 and beyond, and the brands that can deliver it best will have a huge head start on the competition.” Dan Brookman, CEO, Airship & Toggle, agreed: “Now is the time more than ever to get to know your customer. Personalisation, context of purchase and customer lifetime value are key drivers not only for marketing, but for overall growth. “Taking ALL your customers on a journey that represents your brand, that interacts across all the physical and digital touchpoints will deliver engagement. Be clear in your message, concise in your value exchange and keep it simple for your teams!”