Changes in Consumer Behavior Inspired Retailers and Restaurants to Use Technology, Reports Square StudySandeep Babu
COVID-19 has changed consumer behavior. Now, more and more people are expecting seamless digital experiences across industries. This means companies have to adopt the latest tools and technology to delight customers who are increasingly becoming digital-savvy.
According to the latest Square study, retailers and restaurants are adapting to consumer behavior changes and turning to technology to grow in 2021.
How Businesses Are Responding to New Normal
Here are the key findings of the Square study:
Future of Restaurants
The coronavirus pandemic hit the restaurant industry hardest. So there is no surprise that restaurants are fundamentally changing the way they do business.
According to the Square report on the Future of Restaurants, 67% of consumers like to use a restaurant’s own website or app when they order food.
However, only 58% of restaurants choose to use their own app or website for delivery.
The Square report further notes that:
- 3 in 4 restaurants are planning to offer contactless ordering and payment options across all channels
- 61% of restaurants are accepting contactless payments on-premise
The above findings indicate that measures restaurants took to address COVID-19 challenges are going to stay.
Online channels are playing a significant role in driving sales for restaurants. In fact. 62% of revenue, as stated in the report, to come through online channels.
Also, restaurants are trying hard to adopt the latest technology to serve their customers well. 91% of restaurants have made (or are planning to make) investments in kitchen automation technology.
If you’re running a restaurant, paying heed to these findings can help you grow your business in the new normal.
You should explore new channels to find customers and adopt the latest technology to delight your customers.
Bruce Bell, Head of Square for Restaurants, said,
We’re seeing more of a hub-and-spoke model, with the kitchen at the center of it all. Restaurants are embracing new channels for customers to interact with their business, effectively meeting them wherever they are. Each of these channels represents a revenue stream for the restaurant, and they connect to the same kitchen and are all managed by the same centralized POS system.
Future of Retail
The most significant change the pandemic brought in consumer behavior is that customers are now increasingly shopping online. This has forced retailers to have the capability to sell online.
The Square report on the Future Retail finds out that 88% of retailers are now selling online.
Social media users are growing. In 2020, there were around 233 million social network users in the United States.
So you can expect that social selling will increase day by day. In fact, online buyers purchased an average of eight products from social media sites directly in the past month, finds the report.
Are retailers prepared for social selling?
The answer is yes.
84% of retailers who sell online are already selling on social media or plan to do so this year.
For small business owners who own retail stores, it is imperative that they should work on offering an unparalleled customer experience.
Having an online store, selling products on social media, and integrating the latest technology to improve buying process are critical things no retail store owner can ignore.
David Rusenko, Head of eCommerce, Square, said,
Retail has changed rapidly over the last year. But the transformation is giving retailers a chance to slow down and invest in doing things smarter across both in-store and online channels. The changes aren’t a way to simply make it through — they’re permanent and redefining what a meaningful retail experience can look like.
About the Study
Square collaborated with Wakefield Research to prepare a study that surveyed 500 retailers, 500 restaurants, and 1000 consumers across the United States to drive conclusions. The study aimed to know how restaurants and retailers are adapting to new challenges. You can learn more about the study here.