The future of Coffee Company
According to Mastercard’s chief payment officer a payment is a by-product of a consumer trying to do something else, and using technology in the payment process is about making that thing you are trying to do that much easier (BusinessInsider, 2015). We took the essence of this, the convenience customers are demanding, and applied it to Coffee Company, a Dutch chain of cafes. Essentially, by investing in the correct technology we believe Coffee Company has the opportunity to improve the way you get your morning coffee. This technology is mobile payments, but first let me explain how we arrived at this conclusion.
Currently Coffee Company has little information of their customers on a general level, and even less to no information on an individual customer level. Furthermore, their loyalty programme is made up of the generic stamping cards typical for coffee houses. In an age where understanding your customer needs and having good insights into customer satisfaction is key, Coffee Company has a lot of opportunities to grow and learn about their coffee drinkers. Therefore, the company must come up with a method for collecting individual customer data and directly interacting with them in a way that is convenient for the customer as well.
The peak times for most Coffee Company cafes are during the morning rush hour and lunch, however currently all three phases of getting your coffee need to happen at the point of sale (i.e. in the cafe). These three phases are 1) ordering 2) paying 3) pick up. However if it were possible to eliminate the first two steps then the customer would save time in the store, and the staff in the store could be focused on the most important phase from them; making coffee.
Mobile payments emerged as the optimal solution for Coffee Company because it addresses both of the problems we identified in our analysis of the firm’s current use of IS and their overall business. Additionally, it allows them to counter the threat of competitors offering similar services, such as Starbuck’s Skip-the-line application that is slowly being introduced.
So let me walk through how we imagine the application would work: I open the main menu and my three favourite items to order appear at the top of the list, alongside a current offering Coffee Company believes would be the best fit for me; all based on my historical data and the embedded loyalty card in my application. I then choose the items I wish to order, pick a pick up location in my vicinity with a time frame of when it could be available for pick up. I then click the ‘pay’ option with a card that I entered when I first registered my account.
The type of mobile technology that is being used here is called Wireless Application Protocol, because my phone is acting as a payment platform. It was essentially we chose a mobile technology that allowed us to pay before arriving to the café, because this would the Coffee Company customers to skip the queue ask skip right to step 3) picking up their order.
This mobile application with the embedded loyalty card and mobile payment capabilities is the transformation Coffee Company needs. The information that can be gathered through this application will provide Coffee Company with a continuous and growing wealth of knowledge on their customers that was not possible to collect in a non-intrusive way beforehand. They can then use this information to inform their strategic business decisions because they have a better understanding of their customers. Then when these strategic decisions are implemented in the form of new offers or improved operations in the store, we come full circle because the customer benefits from these informed changes.
Au and Kauffman. 2006. The economics of mobile payments: Understanding stakeholder 3 issues for an emerging financial technology application. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.misrc.csom.umn.edu/seminars/2007-03-09/au_kauffman_ecra2007_galley_proof.pdf. [Accessed 13 October 15].
Bloomberg. 2014. These Apps Mean You’ll Never Wait in Line for Coffee Again. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-11-26/preorder-food-coffee-apps-can-boost-restaurant-sales. [Accessed 11 October 15].
BusinessInsider. 2015. The future of mobile payments: Are we heading toward a cashless society?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/sc/mastercard-mobile-payments-2015-2?IR=T. [Accessed 14 October 15].
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