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Vita Mojo Unveils Trends Set to Shape the Customer Journey in 2021

New data from Vita Mojo has revealed a prodigious shift in the way customers are engaging with hospitality brands as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting how digital ordering is driving up consumer spend and new ordering channels are gaining traction.

The data, which has been aggregated from analysis of Vita Mojo’s customer base and hundreds of sites across the pub, restaurant and QSR sectors, shows how digital transformation has accelerated across the hospitality sector this year - and how it will continue to shape operations in 2021.

Digital ordering is driving higher customer spend. The data shows customers are spending on average 20% more through digital ordering channels compared to EPOS sales*. This difference highlights the power digital is having on helping operators improve their bottom line. The key driver behind this increase has been the ability to customise and add extras allowing customers to design the perfect meal. For pubs, additional time to explore the full menu, without the pressure of holding up a queue, means customers are choosing higher margin food and drink options.

Digital ordering has replaced traditional ordering methods. At the start of 2020, up to 95% of transactions were through traditional ordering methods; orders manually taken, entered, processed and paid via EPOS. Now, the reverse is true, with only 5% of transactions via this method and up to 95% through digital ordering. Ordering and paying at table has seen an extremely high adoption rate amongst customers and, on average (and when permitted to trade) accounted for up to 90% of transactions.

Flexibility to take orders through multiple channels has been essential to keep revenue flowing. The first lockdown supported a jump in Click & Collect and Delivery with these channels averaging around 58% of total orders throughout this period. The summer months reset customer expectations on safety and contact with July to September driving a much higher adoption rate of ordering and paying via own devices (88%).

Omnichannel ordering has become the norm and is here to stay. As operators continue to tackle the challenges presented by tier restrictions, omnichannel ordering will continue to unlock huge opportunities. Prior to the most recent lockdown in England, the stand out channels used by consumers were Click and Collect (17.2%) and Mobile Order and Pay (73.2%).

Nick Popovici, Co-Founder and CEO at Vita Mojo, commented: “As we draw a close on what has been the toughest year, it’s fascinating to see how the pandemic has driven new behaviours and how operators have responded. Before the summer, Order and Pay accounted for a tiny proportion of actual transactions, and now it has become an accepted habit. It’s remarkable how quickly this has become rooted in our everyday lives.

“This behavioural change can unlock a whole new world of opportunities for operators as they become less reliant on staff to place and process orders and take payment, allowing employees to focus on guest experience and value-adding activity. It also opens up the ability to collect large quantities of valuable customer data with these rich insights potentially transformative for businesses, allowing them to make smarter decisions and personalise the customer journey.

“Digital ordering will continue to play a huge role in the hospitality customer experience in 2021. The operators who are thinking holistically about tech, and are able to unlock its full potential will be those who survive the short term and thrive in the long term.”

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