We are in an age where the success of any business is heavily dependent on three components it uses in its marketing strategy – technology, data analytics, and behavioral science. It used to be that strategists would rely primarily on demographics and geography to reach the target audience. But that plus blanket advertising strategies are methods of the past.
Today, it is all about psychographics – understanding the personality of the market. One company who understands this shift and is using artificial intelligence to bring insight into restaurant patrons’ “individual behavioral traits” is Paytronix.
Paytronix uses “one platform to see patterns and learn behaviors.” They are “a customer experience platform for restaurants and convenience stores that uses artificial intelligence to convert your visitors into repeat customers and build recurring revenue with a custom loyalty program,” said Andrew Robbins, CEO of the Massachusetts-based firm. “The key is to keep reaching out to the guest. That is to learn about them and then use that information across all their experiences.”
According to Robbins, his firm provides a complete suite of solutions for the restaurant operator. “We provide electronic gift cards, loyalty programs, messaging, customer relation management solutions, email SMS, mobile phone apps, and online ordering.” Their loyalty programs, he pointed out, allows their clients “to build a tight relationship with their guests. And it’s more than a database. It’s a relationship. People want to communicate with you.”
“We always start with the consumer. Where they are now, where are they going to be in the future, and what do they need. Because if we can make their life more convenient and reduce friction, all they do is opt into things. They will give us methods of communication so we can text them, email them, send push messages to their phone and then they just visit more,”
With over 1,800 customers across 34,000 locations, Robbins said Paytronix saw a gap at the “intersection of convenience, loyalty, and payment and we said let’s be at that intersection and bring the power of cloud computing into the four walls of the restaurant.” That was 20 years ago, when his company started with combining punch cards and gift cards. Back then, he added, “most people didn’t even have DSL connections so that their stores could connect. But we always knew that we needed that as a prerequisite so that the information about the guest needed to be in a central database in the cloud.”
Over the years, the guest relations space became more crowded, but Paytronix have been able to stay ahead of the game by being innovative and delivering on their promises to their clients.
“We get people to visit 20 to 30% more frequently than they would if they don’t join. And anytime there’s a downturn or recession, those retention numbers go off the chart. During COVID restaurant spend was down 75%. If you were engaging in one of the program offerings that we have you only reduced your spend by 25%,” Robbins explained.
In this era where online ordering has skyrocketed, Robbins said, “pre-pandemic online ordering could have been 18% for many brands. Now it’s up around 33-35% and post pandemic it is staying there. His firm has tapped into that shift by adding a variety of payment vehicles as well as subscriptions which is attractive to the venture’s target market and lures the clients in for increased spending online. “It works for the packaged meals company where their clients can buy into more meals and get a better discount.” He added that “just as one would ask for recommendations when they are in a restaurant, we have designed a recommendation engine for the off-prem dining guest.”
For the fast casual enterprise, he said, their subscription recommendations may persuade a client to “come in for that afternoon chill time drink and when they’re there they also get an additional bakery item, a little snack and that is an upsell.” From all angles, Paytronix is catering to the needs of its restaurant client’s dining patrons whether they are dining out or in.
To learn more about Paytronix, visit their website