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By Phil Talbot – go to guy | mobile ordering | saavi

Mobile ordering systems allow consumers to select, order and pay for goods using their mobile phones through small programs more popularly known as mobile ordering apps.

Mobile ordering and mobile payment

Mobile ordering apps are similar to another class of app, the mobile wallet, or mobile payment system — which just allows you to make payments, not order.

The most successful implementation of a mobile payment system, is M-Pesa in Kenya. This implementation is said to even rival those in the United States.

The Success of M-Pesa in Kenya has been attributed to:

  • Consumer need (carrying cash is a big risk).
  • Affordability.
  • Limited bank involvement (M-Pesa’s mobile network operator, Safaricom, is not a deposit-taking institution).

Consider the need

But both mobile ordering systems and mobile payment systems need to solve real customer problems in order to succeed.

VentureBeat takes the toll and parking payment system PayByPhone as a case in point. VentureBeat contrasts this with the mobile payment app Square Wallet, which VentureBeat says simply “replaces the marginal inconvenience of swiping a credit card with fumbling through a mobile app”.

Square is famously known for its Square Register app, which solves a retailer (not consumer) problem of making payment-taking through credit cards more widespread with the use of iPhone dongles. This is what technology writer Mike Elgan calls a solution that “pays the companies currently making their living from credit cards.” A solution that Elgan says is needed by companies, not consumers.

Mobile ordering apps solve a consumer need

What makes a good mobile ordering system better than just a mobile payment system is that it not only solves a business problem, it also solves a consumer need.

Take Starbuck’s newest property, La Boulange. Writer Rocky Agrawal posted his experience with La Boulange’s mobile ordering app, and how the mobile ordering app allows customers (who pre-ordered using the app) to avoid waiting in line at the restaurant.

Agrawal thinks a mobile ordering app becomes a hit if it meets these conditions:

  • The app is affordable for businesses (i.e. monthly flat fee instead of per-transaction).
  • Your brand is famous and highly patronized (like Starbucks and Chipotle). Even a locally famous brand can still benefit from a mobile ordering app.
  • The speed of preparing a customer’s order is reasonably fast.

Great mobile ordering apps are therefore affordable to implement and give convenience to customers. But they won’t make your products highly sought-after and your service speedy – those are up to you.

Source: Saavi Feeds

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