Looking to make 2023 your best year yet? One of the biggest opportunities we’re seeing carry over into 2023 is channel blurring. This refers to when brands provide goods and services that aren't normally associated with their industry. While this is not a new practice, it has become increasingly popular.
Consumers don’t care about the divisions between industries. From concerns about public health to the cost of gas, they want their needs met efficiently and effectively. And it will be the brands that can service a wider range of consumers’ needs that will win their loyalty.
This presents a major opportunity. By expanding their offerings brands can increase traffic to their locations. But it is imperative to deliver these new offerings properly in order to earn repeat business. Here we will discuss how a combination of customer surveys, inspection software, and mystery shopping is the best way for brands to find success and capitalize on this growing trend.
Channel blurring in the field
A great example of channel blurring has been the competition between convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants. The popularity of food at convenience stores has continued to grow. Recently, 76% percent of consumers reported having purchased a prepared meal from a convenience store. The top reasons provided were the ability to purchase gas, the speed of service, and convenience of location.
For their part, quick-serve restaurants have been working to adopt some of these differentiators. Drive-thru-only locations allow restaurants to focus on delivering the fastest service possible. Conveniently located smart fridges, stocked by nearby quick-serve restaurants, present commuters with an alternative to convenience stores. Even electric vehicle charging stations have begun popping up at some restaurants. This means owners of appropriate vehicles can fill up while enjoying their meal.
Channel burring and you
How brands can best capitalize on this trend will vary across industries. But what is universal is the tools necessary to do so successfully.
A voice-of-customer program is essential to gauge the reception of any new offering - from goods to services or amenities. Similar to an NPS score, those most and least enthusiastic will give you the best insights. This is because those who are neutral won’t be the ones to truly move the needle. Understanding both ends of this spectrum will not only let you calculate the potential return on investment but also highlight key elements to execute on if you move forward.
Execution is where inspection and checklist software become crucial. Locations offering new products or services will need guidance in order to ensure a successful launch. Inspection software allows you to centrally manage and monitor the execution of tasks. This means you can easily roll out step-by-step instructions for your teams in the field.
Once your teams are set up and executing your new processes, mystery shopping provides the perfect companion to ongoing consumer surveys. These shoppers can experience your additional offerings through the lens of everyday customers. Then they report back on key points along this new customer journey.
Combining responses to customer surveys with mystery stoppering reports and ongoing operational data will give you a 360° view of your business. And, because you’ve implemented centralized checklists with inspection software, if you need to make any adjustments based on challenges or successes at individual locations you can immediately update the process used by teams across all your locations.
So what additional needs can you fill? Whatever your goal. Whatever your industry. Our team is here to help. Contact us today to chat about how we can help you exceed expectations.