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Amazon vs. Online Ordering: Answering the question, ‘How much could everyone else’s customer data really be worth?

Author: Sean Keith, Business Development Director at Eagle Eye

This is a challenging time for the food services industry.
 
With unprecedented impacts for businesses across scales, we’re only now beginning to start thinking about what the future can look like – and about what ‘winning’ in the ‘new normal’ will consist in for our food service industry partners.
 
The current circumstance is creating a unique moment for the industry, as new and existing customers are driven in droves into these new channels to transact with their favourite restaurants. In addition to the facts around drivers nibbling on orders, and controversy around how fees are managed between franchisor and franchisee, customers are sharing mobile data, address and phone information, local store information, ordering preferences, etc., and inviting a two-way conversation with whomever is able to facilitate their transaction.
 
One thing we’re seeing clearly already:
 
Leading multi-banner food services businesses are increasingly seeing spikes in eCommerce sales, channeled largely through online ordering platforms like UberEats, DoorDash or SkipTheDishes.
 
This isn’t a new trend, so why is this important right now?
 
This unique and challenging moment is accelerating adoption timelines from an organic process to one that is supercharged by the current and unfolding state of the economy and its associated closures in Canada and the US.
 
At one point, retailers saw another quick-win, outsourcing their online ordering capabilities in a measure that seemed benign and presented some favourable economics in the short term. That option was Amazon.
 
Amazon is to retail as third-party online ordering services are to the F&B space.
 
Your customers and potential customers have never had more ways to engage with your business, or more options when it comes to trying your competition. Part of the differentiating experience for many is going to be driven by the ability of businesses to leverage customer data to recognize when, where and how customers want to interact through personalization, informed by a real-time single-customer view and the ability to track engagement from end-to-end and across channels. To that end, the customer journeys are becoming more nuanced, the channels are diversifying and the ability to cut through is increasingly challenging.
 
Against this backdrop, I can imagine Jeff Bezos asking the question rhetorically: ‘How much could everyone else’s customer data really be worth?’
 
Online ordering platforms benefit financially from their share of your revenue, but arguably more so in the long term given their ability to aggregate customer data across businesses – yours and your competition’s – to understand what their customers (read: your customers) want, and to serve them accordingly. Competing against a business that learns from the industry and owns the connection to your customers is analogous to the moat Amazon has built around itself. It’s only recently and after significant retailer carnage that businesses are beginning to take the reigns and see the deal wasn’t what it looked to be in the early days.
 
How can we help?
 
With digital ordering, loyalty rewards, digital marketing, mobile apps and app functionality to extend your existing offerings, we’re ready to support the evolution of your programs to deliver a differentiated digital experience for your customers.
 
Whether that is a full-scale online ordering capability, or the ability to own and manage some portion of that flow of customer engagement, we see a sizeable opportunity for businesses to take control of their own data. As these new experiences and ways of transacting are gaining traction with a broader audience, we’re in a position to bring the data in-house, enable you to own your own audience and reap the rewards of that connectivity.
 
Eagle Eye AIR delivers the capability to connect and identify your customer, enabling a diversity of journeys, rewards and promotions to drive more visits, stretch spend and enable personalization at scale. With tens of thousands of connected stores globally, we deliver the capability to help you manage and leverage your customer data at scale.
 
Putting money where the mouth is: Incentives to get started and win the recovery.
 
Given the current climate, we’re offering significant incentives against our standard setup costs and monthly fees to prepare your business for the forthcoming recovery. Our focus is powering the connections you’ve earned with your customers, enabling experiences that will build affinity and create a unique data-driven advantage through the recovery.
 
We’d love to talk about what that looks like for your business.