Most consumers believe technology improves customer experience

04 June 2015 by
Most consumers believe technology improves customer experience

Over half of consumers believe technology improves the customer experience, according to a new report.

Research conducted by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Orderella for the ‘Always On-Trade' report found the number to be even higher among 18-24 year olds, with 64% preferring venues with the latest technology.

Among the 2,000 consumers quizzed, 48% preferred to make reservations online, while only 50% thought staff interaction with customers was ‘very important'.

The research also found that one in five consumers have used contactless payment to pay for food and drink, but only 59% of ALMR operators members offered this service.

The ALMR predicted that this could mean business were losing £4.3b in sales due to outdated payment systems.

In addition the survey found that 24% would walk out of a pub or restaurant if it didn't offer their preferred payment method, with 88% and 86% responding that they expected to be able to pay by either cash or card respectively.

Making the case for mobile payment, almost half (45%) said they would try new methods of payment to get served more quickly.

Some 7% said they already used their smartphone or tablet for payment, rising to 11% among 18-24 year olds.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Our customers, particularly our younger, newer customers, are increasingly adventurous in their eating and drinking-out choices and sophisticated in how they engage with our businesses. The millennial market in particular is hugely tech savvy, using social media and associated technologies to get the best value for money, and in return they expect the same convenience on our part."

Dennis Collet, chief executive of Orderella, added: "It's not surprising that younger generations want more from technology in the hospitality industry; they are the ‘always on' generation. This demand for new, cutting-edge technology can't be ignored if the industry wants to prosper. It's this younger generation that will be frequenting their doors over the next 30 to 40 years on their nights out."

He added, though, that only 7% of consumers currently used an electronic device such as a phone or tablet to place an order, but this is expected to rise significantly as technology is adopted more widely.

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