Frictionless Concessions for Live Event Venues

Live event concessions go way beyond the traditional hot dog stand experience. Increasingly, tech companies are removing friction from the buying journey, solving one of the key problems with the concessions model – viewer anxiety about missing out on what’s happening on the field or on stage. due to long waiting times and slow orders and payments. process.

For example, last month NFL team the Detroit Lions partnered with restaurant and hospitality company Levy, telecommunications company Verizon, and retail artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider AiFi, have opened a frictionless food and beverage store in their Ford Field stadium.

“I think it helps a lot of different pain points,” Sandep Satish, head of the sports and entertainment analytics practice at Levy and E15, told PYMNTS in an interview. “First and foremost, speed of service – we know our guests want to return to their seats to watch the game, concert or convention they are attending, and it’s really important for us to understand how can- let us know that this is not the traditional concession stand model.

The opening follows point-of-sale (POS) company Square’s initiative to offer “seamless commerce” at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, implementing contactless payment capabilities. Additionally, the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena, which opened in November, offers mobile app ordering, self-service kiosks and take-out markets powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.

Related News: LA’s SoFi Stadium, 10-year agreement with Square Ink for contactless payments

NY Islanders teams up with Fiserv for contactless payments at UBS Arena

Frictionless grip

This type of cashless food drive is gaining traction in and out of stadiums. Increasingly, leading restaurant and grocery brands around the world, from Tesco to Starbucks, are offering consumers the ability to pick items off the shelves and walk out, capturing consumers’ desire to take the journey into their own hands. sale to detail.

While Satish offers a far from impartial view on the matter, he relays that, even in early trials, consumers get on board very quickly when they overcome the shock of going out without stopping to pay.

“They really like technology,” he said. “Where we launched it across the country, we keep getting comments like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.'”

Research from the PYMNTS 2021 study, Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey: The New Retail Expectation, created in collaboration with Toshiba, which featured a census-balanced survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers regarding their shopping preferences, found that 28% of consumers used self-service options to pay for their last in-store purchase, and 4% had used payment on their own device.

Read more: Consumers want self-checkout options, but rarely use them

Frictionless technology takes the benefits consumers are looking for in self-checkout options even further. The study found that the desire for speed was the main reason consumers choose self-service, followed by the desire to avoid queues. On the other hand, the most common reason given for using traditional payment options with a store attendant was that it was the only option available.

Get to know the audience

One of the key benefits of computer vision-powered frictionless checkout for retailers and restaurants is that it provides complete insight into how consumers move through the store, and since each transaction is digitally processed, it provides additional visibility into purchasing habits.

“With a frictionless payment market, all of a sudden you can offer customers a lot more to meet data-driven demand – what do they want to buy?” Satish said.

For example, he recalls being surprised to see that consumers are more likely to buy packaged goods, especially for non-alcoholic beverages, which he attributes to the growing availability of premium packaged options.

What’s in store

In the kind of spaces where cashierless payment is possible, Satish hopes the method will account for 100% of purchases. Additionally, he expects other food retail formats to increasingly resemble this fast, contactless experience.

“You think of all the underutilized or unused user space in stadiums and convention centers – how can we make a frictionless checkout experience even easier?” he said.

For example, he noted that even along a wall, sites could install coolers, through which consumers could use their credit cards and remove an item, thereby monetizing additional space. Additionally, he believes this cashierless checkout process could extend to all on-site consumer activity, creating a unified, frictionless experience.

“I think you’re going to see a few sites that won’t be [frictionless] …where you have the option of using your credit card or app before you even enter the stadium or venue,” he said. “Think of how powerful this is going to be, where you can walk to any food hall, any concept, any merchandise store, pick up whatever you want and walk back to your seat without really care about this process.”

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Joseph K. Bennett