Unified commerce: A practical guide
Last year, a qualitative study by Purdue University revealed an interesting link between military veterans and franchise ownership. It turns out that veterans have quite a knack for running successful franchises. Why? The training that troops typically receive - how to lead, delegate, understand the power of operations, and handle complexity under pressure - proves to be a pretty perfect match for the process-driven, people-oriented, fast-paced world of a franchisee.
This may be an intriguing piece of trivia for many, but if you work in franchise land, it’s probably not a surprise. Whether you’re running one, ten, or a hundred franchise locations, you know the value of operational efficiency. If daily processes aren’t ticking like the inside of a steel Rolex Submariner, things can unwind fast. And not in a relaxing way.
From easing day-to-day complexity to driving sustainable growth, here’s how your payments platform can lead your franchise operations into victory.
How do you provide seamless customer experiences? By creating seamless staff experiences. How do you outsmart the competition? By adopting intelligent, data-driven strategies. It’s often the most inconspicuous innovations that have the boldest impact.
Take leading Domino’s Pizza franchise, Daufood. The franchise doesn’t adopt new technology for show: they leverage payments to drive better staff and customer experiences in tangible ways. As Casper Mooyman, Head of Marketing at Domino’s Pizza, says, “Customers won’t buy Domino’s because we have digital platforms. But they will buy from Domino’s if it is seamless, secure, and hygienic.”
Whether it’s the back office of a hotel, behind the counter of a quick service restaurant, or in the millions of data points flying through your own company’s systems: franchise success is something that’s often cultivated from behind the scenes. Payments can be easily overlooked; but when done right, it can have far reaching, positive effects on your business, from operational efficiency and decision making to staff empowerment and customer loyalty.
In a world where every minute and every penny counts, having a reliable base to run your franchise operations from is mission critical. As our recent Retail Report shows, today’s consumers expect brands to not only sell across multiple channels; they expect an exceptional experience across every one of those channels, anytime, anywhere.
Unified commerce makes such an experience possible on the frontend because it streamlines your operations in the backend. Think of it as your ultimate mission control: the engine driving seamless, quality experiences from the ground up.
German quick service restaurant Beets&Roots is dedicated to making every experience as smooth as possible, regardless of whether customers are on their website or visiting a restaurant. As CEO Max Kochen says:
“Linking these two worlds, the offline and online experience, is one of our greatest challenges. In the traditional catering industry, customers know exactly what to expect. There are staff to interact with and who will help tailor the experience to suit your needs. So the biggest challenge is to emulate this in the digital world and make customers feel like they are ordering in a restaurant.”
The benefits of unified payments extend to your franchisor, too. Beyond successfully executing the franchise operational standard, bringing something innovative to your individual setup can drive new opportunities for the entire business. A scalable, intelligent payments platform is a cornerstone for long term growth. In Forbes and FRANdata’s annual ranking of US franchises, sustainability is weighted more heavily than any other metric, emphasizing the importance of a healthy system to the long-term success of franchise business owners.
What would you rather: your in-store terminal goes down, or your drive-thru terminal? As a franchisee, you’re probably choosing to sacrifice the in-store hardware to save the drive-thru, but the idea of either scenario is enough to make you wince. And you may not even have a drive-thru. What every franchisee should have, though, is the ability to adapt.
Having a unified payments platform allows you to add new channels and support evolving operational needs quickly because everything’s connected. Thanks to this inherent flexibility, you can enjoy far greater operational agility and thus countless backup plans. Take fallback processing options, for example. If your store experiences network connectivity issues, the right setup can default to offline processing, store and forward, or failover to 3G or 4G. That means you can continue to accept payments regardless of connectivity, and process them once you’re back up and running.
This agility pays off in multiple other contexts, too. If you’re thinking about expanding to new markets, your ability to cater to local regulations and preferences is essential. Adyen’s unified payments platform allows you to add popular local payment methods to your checkout, both in-store and online, with a quick and seamless integration. When it comes to expanding globally, having a user-friendly and secure checkout from day one is key to winning new customers and driving conversions.
The same goes for expanding to new channels; something that’s been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent complications: businesses who can quickly pivot their in-store sales to online channels fare far better than those with more limited operations. According to our latest payments data, 50% of unified commerce retailers have seen transactions remain consistent during the pandemic.
When the store is busy, you want to be on the floor, not manually crunching numbers in the back office. And at the end of the day, you’d rather be heading home, not sifting through reports. But when you can only access your backend system from your physical store, or from various separate accounts, you lose that freedom.
Adyen helps you streamline your accounts-payable workload globally across ecommerce, in-app, and POS for all your payment methods. This reduces manual work for your team, helps prevent errors, and takes the stress out of your close process.
Having all your payments data in the one platform allows you to reclaim your time and your operational control. It means you don’t have to swap between multiple accounts to get a view of the transactions in every franchise you run. And it reduces the eye-glazing spreadsheets, manual work, and multiple logins that eat up your hours. With easy reporting and reconciliation, you can really see the big picture - and actually have time to do something with it.
Once your payments are unified, more innovative tools become available to you. Our Sales Day Payout gives even better transparency into when you get paid out, and greater consistency: you know exactly when you’ll be paid out for any given day’s sales. With a centralized sales to payouts dashboard, you can see how sales result into payouts across channels and payment methods, broken down by day.
The most effective military leaders take responsibility for ensuring that they have the necessary information with which they can make predictive strategies. In the military, there are often two teams of planners: one focusing on contingencies in current operations and the other predicting the requirements for future operations.
Having all your payments data in one place gives you far greater visibility of sales, trends, and new opportunities. This is especially beneficial if you operate in several markets or have multiple franchises. Domino’s, for example, has found the sweet spot between a centralized overview and localized data insights for its franchisees. As Head of Marketing, Casper Mooyman explained:
“We want to offer our franchisees the best tools to run their businesses. If you split out your online and in-store payments you have all these different systems and tools and reports from which the franchisee must collect the revenue per day, often all by themselves. Unified commerce means we have a one-stop environment for franchisees to better understand what money they’ve made from which channels.”
Having cross-channel insights can help with both contingency planning - reducing manual work and the probability of error, while adapting to changes in real-time - and with future planning, such as when to roster additional staff for peak periods, what type of promotions to offer to foster brand loyalty, and how to adapt your pricing strategies based on average transaction value.
It’s often overlooked, but when leveraged correctly, payments can truly be a key strategic enabler for your business in a wide variety of ways. Consider your terminal: it’s the perfect opportunity to run a customer satisfaction survey while you still have their attention. With just one multiple choice question, the customer can pay, select their answer, be on their way, and you’ll have an extra data point to add to your growing collection.
Running a business yourself doesn’t mean you have to be by yourself. That’s the beauty of a good franchise, and the same goes for a good payments partner. Onboarding, integration and support should be a team effort. Our fully digitized KYC (Know Your Customer) process is designed to reflect this, making verification easy so you can get up and running quickly.
Here’s how it looks:
Investment in operations, technology and people are signs of a future-ready company. If you intend to become a market leader or expand your business, building functioning systems that create opportunities for innovation and growth is essential.
The right payments platform can empower you and your troops, while upholding the brand reputation and strategic vision of the wider franchise. It can give you the operational power to focus on the important things, the insights to connect with your customers better, and the agility to triumph for years to come.
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