Woolworths Launches Mobile Order, Pay And Collect With wiGroup

New mCommerce platform enables mobile order and pay in retail stores by leveraging existing infrastructure.

South Africa’s hyper-competitive hospitality and quick-service restaurant industry has just received a shake-up with the launch of Woolworths’ innovative NOW NOW concept, powered by mobile transacting technology specialists wiGroup. NOW NOW is built on a new mcommerce solution developed by wiGroup that enables on-demand mobile ordering and payment without disrupting any of the hospitality chain’s existing in-store processes.

According to wiGroup’s chief executive officer, Bevan Ducasse, customers can now order their desired product from their favourite retailer through a mobile app, removing the need to queue and bringing a new wave of convenience to the customer experience.

“Consumers choose the products they want and input how long they are likely to take before arriving at the store. In-store staff then process the order through the jobber app, pack the items in a specially marked bag, and add it to an express pick-up lane for collection. Our software enables customers to pay via their app by linking a relevant bank card; from there it’s one-click payment for each transaction. Our point of sale integrated platform then closes the transaction at the till meaning stores will experience no disruption to normal operations as the solution is implemented.”

Disruptive on-demand trend impacts global hospitality market
In the US and UK, mobile order and pay services are immensely popular: more than 20% of coffee giant Starbucks’ transactions are now done via mobile phone, with mobile order and pay accounting for 6% of total revenue. This has increased the transaction volume for the coffee chain by 15-20% and helped lift Starbucks’ revenue by 17% year-on-year between 2015 and 2016.

Locally, on-demand mobile ordering recently received a big boost with the launch of UberEATS in select suburbs in SA’s large metropolitan areas. “Services such as UberEATS are great for single-store or small-scale franchise businesses who need an innovative delivery service to complement their in-store offering. We’ve also seen the impact of a revamped Mr D mobile app experience. However, this is the first on-demand mobile order and pay solution for the large chain hospitality sector, and is custom-designed for stores that generally experience a large volume of foot traffic,” explains Ducasse.

Woolworths already live; more brands to follow
The first implementation of wiGroup’s new solution is with long-term client Woolworths, whose NOW NOW app launched in April. NOW NOW offers a Woolworths Cafe breakfast and lunch menu via an app at its stores in the Cape Town CBD and Mutal Park in Pinelands; The Silo at the V&A Waterfront will be added soon.

Ducasse says: “We spend roughly 10% of our turnover every year on research and development on innovations linked to major local and international trends. The big trend right now is on-demand, and we’re seeing companies and brands scramble to add some form of on-demand offering to their customers. We’ve worked with our customers to jointly develop new solutions that can increase revenue, improve the customer experience, and build long-term brand loyalty. We believe the new mcommerce solution brings a much-needed competitive advantage to a highly-saturated market.”

wiGroup currently works most of South Africa’s major retail chains, including Woolworths, NOW NOW, KFC, Dischem, Burger King, Shoprite Group, Nando’s, Mugg & Bean, Pick ‘n Pay Group, Primi Piatti, Kauai, News Café, MassCash, Hungry Lion, Spur and Vida e Caffe.