Article

2-way Customer Communication now available in Rakuten Ready’s ARRIVE Console

Carin Chan

Posted by: Carin Chan / October 7, 2020

With COVID-19, Order for Pickup has emerged from a nice to have in a merchant’s digital strategy, to a must have.  In fact as states are opening up, merchants are finding that Order for Pickup is here to stay – noting that when they remove options they’ve gotten complaints! 

As the volume of Order for Pickup increased dramatically, one of our priority focus areas was on assisting store associates – primarily in making their jobs easier and safer. As a result, we redesigned and added new features to our ARRIVE Console to meet the needs of the market, based on hours of user studies.

Today, we’d like to introduce 2-way Communications as well as other feature improvements to the ARRIVE Console. With these changes, the ARRIVE Console becomes even more of an essential “command center” for all your Orders for Pickup from any channel. 

Meet the new console

Regardless of whether you’re a restaurant or a retail merchant, store employees juggle many tasks at once – from greeting customers to packaging up the final order. When conducting our user studies, we aimed to learn how we can improve our existing workflow as well as learning what the top ‘nice to haves’ are.  

Below is a new view of the ARRIVE Console, which shows a complete view of your Order for Pickup queue, whether the orders are for curbside or in-store pickup. In this article, we focus on a curbside pickup order experience, but this can easily extend to a pickup in-store order. 

In the image above, the left hand side shows the outstanding pickup orders, which can be sourced from your online ordering system (such as OLO), delivery platforms, or entered manually by employees. This list offers a complete view for store associates so they can see and manage all upcoming pickup orders. If this store location is using ARRIVE’s arrival detection, the list will update based on the customers predicted arrival time to assist associates in preparing the orders that are coming sooner first. 

The right hand side is a dynamic screen. In this example, the right screen shows a mapped view of your site. The red shaded area represents what we call a parcel, which is a defined area that is typically mapped around your site, while the green shapes represent zones within your parcels. Zones are commonly used to define curbside parking spaces. When customers arrive, associates can use this view to see where the customer is parked to make it easier to find the customer. 

When customers arrive, the screen will change to a bold arrival notification screen to capture the associate’s attention as demonstrated below. When Elizabeth arrives, the store is notified that she has arrived with both an audio cue as well as the large red prompt on the right of the screen. Without having to dig into the details, associates can see Elizabeth has arrived and is in a Silver Nissan Sentra (if this information is being shared).

 

Store associates have an ability to view the order information by simply clicking on the order to bring up a new panel to the right: 

 

Associates primarily use this right panel to complete an order once the order has come in.  Besides marking the order complete, this panel can also be used to communicate with the customer using our new 2-way communication feature. 

Introducing 2-way Communication

While conducting our market interviews, we heard time and time again about customer satisfaction and how it has been redefined by the pandemic.  Underpinning all this was the need for prioritizing safety for both the customers as well as their employees. Many merchants wanted to more easily communicate a number of things with customers, such as acknowledging a customer’s arrival (sending a message to customers saying ‘I’ll be right here’) or that there is an order delay (asking customers to come a little later to pick up their order).

As a result, Rakuten Ready’s ARRIVE Console now comes with default messages that the associate can choose to send to customers. The image below shows a list of messages the associate can send to the customer depending on the need was well as what the message thread may look like. 

 

Associates are allowed to choose from a list of messages provided by the brand’s corporate team. While individual stores may not have access to personalize the messages, the messages can be customized by the corporate team (or someone with those admin privileges). 

We’ve just scratched the surface of the new and improved features within the ARRIVE Console

Rakuten Ready is here to help merchants provide the best experience

Rakuten Ready, the leader in predictive arrival technology, has powered online Order for Pickup programs since 2013, and we have years of proven excellence in delivering superior customer experiences, with brands of all sizes.

Our technology enables brands to deliver seamless, efficient, and safe Order for Pickup experiences with our Rakuten Ready ARRIVE solution.

Connect with us to understand how Rakuten Ready can assist your business with planning and executing superior pickup experiences.