1. Power Shifting Upstream. Traditionally, POS systems have been very sticky in Quick Service Restaurants. For any new tech, you previously had to go through the merchant to integrate with the merchant’s POS systems. But today, reservation apps such as HungryGoWhere, Chope and Eatigo, are increasingly gaining more leverage as they “own” customers top of funnel. Now they are looking at how they can become part of the online payment flow downstream and bypass offline POS systems in the process. The one to watch out for here is Instagram, which is one step upstream from the reservation apps in the value chain. If Instagram could roll out a reservations + payments capability in-app on top of discovery (as hinted here), this would be very disruptive.
2. Cashless Payments & Loyalty: Singapore’s push for cashless payments, particularly SGQR, will continue in 2019. More and more merchants have adopted SGQR, and loyalty apps like Fave and GrabPay have made their apps compatible with the SGQR framework. Loyalty and payments are becoming closely intertwined. Advocado’s fresh approach to loyalty and their extension into payments highlights this trend.
3. White-Label, Front-End Ordering Platforms: While there’s a category of merchants who find value plugging into third party delivery aggregator platforms such as FoodPanda, there are merchants who find the commissions too expensive (up to 30%). White-label, digital ordering platforms (for example, Eunoia and HungryGoWhere’s SmartPOS) can now enable multi-outlet merchants to offer customers the ability to order dine-in, takeaway and delivery - without downloading any extra apps. Retailers can offer their own in-house delivery capability, plug in their preferred logistics partners and save on commissions all at the same time.
4. Self-order Automation, Kiosk & Robotics: Manpower is always a constant struggle in F&B. If there’s any opportunity to automate ordering, reduce human error, streamline front to back of house operations, as well as improve margins, retailers are now more open to exploring options. McDonalds has always been the front-runner in this respect and their self-ordering kiosks are a clear evidence of this trend. Ordering at tables via a tablet device or mobile app is prevalent at Fast Casual and Quick Service Restaurants. Keep an eye out also for robots that prepare bubble tea drinks!
5. Mobile Payment & Loyalty App: The mobile device has now become a tool for retailers to establish a direct, one-to-one connection with their customers. Traditionally retailers had to push products via more channels (i.e. in-store, delivery, drive-through) to acquire more customers and rely on good service for repeat business. Today, we’re seeing a massive shift from product push to direct relationships. Retaining customers is now possible via the mobile device. Starbucks and BreadtalkRewards’ mobile payment & loyalty apps are leading examples of this trend.
6. Artificial Intelligence / Personalised Recommendations: Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics is clearly an earmarked sector for growth in Singapore. TabSquare has been at the forefront of this trend. It recently launched a SmartKiosk solution where guests can get highly personalised menu recommendations and promotions by entering their phone number or via facial recognition.
7. On-demand, Delivery & Pre-Order Apps: FoodPanda, Deliveroo and GrabFood have fueled consumers’ on-demand appetite to order food delivery and has now become part of everyday norm. Now there’s a prevalence of apps popping up (Waitrr, Eatsy, YQueue and CutQ) who are jumping on this on-demand trend to get consumers to pre-order food & beverage, skip queues and collect later. The one to keep an eye out here is FoodPanda, which is entering into the pre-order game.
Omise is a modern, online payment platform in Southeast Asia that specialises in providing seamless payment experiences for the F&B industry. With offices in Singapore, Thailand and Japan, Omise serves customers including McDonalds, Burger King, The Pizza Company and much more. Omise provides a customisable and robust payment solution which can offer capabilities for F&B retailers across the following segments:
· Web & Mobile App checkout (e.g. McDelivery, Pizza Company)
· Platforms, Marketplaces & Aggregators (e.g. FoodPanda, Eatsy)
· Payment & Loyalty App (e.g. Starbucks, Breadtalk, or pre-order native app)
For more information about Omise’s payment solutions or a friendly consultation on which F&B platforms are suitable, please visit www.omise.co.
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