Pubs, banks, shops, newspapers: they’ve all been around for hundreds of years. But enter the 21st Century, and the age of the smartphone has meant that these traditional establishments have had to adapt to fit into the lives of digital natives. Why go to the bank to deposit a cheque when you could transfer money from one mobile to the next via a phone number? Why leave the house to get some fast food when you could order it on your mobile and have it delivered to your door before you’ve even tied your shoelaces?
But whilst we hear about lot about the business and industries being disrupted by new tech, there are also a slew of traditional industries that have done a great job at transitioning into the digital age. Here are a few examples:
Going to the bank is a rare event for millennials, as mobile banking has made personal finances easy to manage remotely; note the look of horror should a cheque ever come their way. Bank balances can be checked with the click of a button, and online payments set up in a few simple steps. It is actually quicker to report a lost card via an app than it is to call the bank itself, and security no longer feels as great a risk as it used to; fingerprint ID and complex passcodes ensure that mobile accounts are as unimpeachable as possible. We now even pay for things in person with virtual cards, signalling a serious shift in how money changes hands in 2017. Banks have done a truly stellar job of adapting to the digital age.
Gone are the days of lengthy check-in queues and flimsy boarding passes: all you need is a booking reference and an email address to log into most airlines’ apps, from which you can make amends to your booking, check in, and retrieve your ticket. Travel is therefore more hassle-free than ever, and airlines have managed to streamline travellers’ airport routines in the process. Just make sure your phone is charged when you get to the gate!
Online retailers are doing an amazing job at creating dedicated spaces for themselves on people’s devices via glossy apps, which gamify the process of internet shopping. Rather than just clicking quickly from one online retailer to the next on a browser, clicking onto an app is more intentional; and the swiping and scrolling process creates a smooth and personalised user experience that is usually more intuitive than clicking through a web page. Not only this, but spending time on an app is often what we’ll do when we’re bored on a train or waiting for somebody. Making sure they are available during these moments is giving retailers more and more face time with their customers than they would ever have got when relying on a simple storefront, online or otherswise. Very smart.
- Fast food
Ordering a gourmet meal to your house from your phone is a booming area of the revamped food delivery economy. Long gone are the days when takeaway orders were placed with the essential tools of leaflet and landline. Now, ordering a Michelin star meal to your door is commonplace. Apps allow you to pick and choose from different restaurants, time it’s arrival to coincide with your return home, and even trace it’s progress through the streets. It might be bad news for the local curry house, but it’s great progress for the gourmands who just aren’t satisfied with a lukewarm korma any more.
- Pubs & restaurants
The scope of pub and restaurant apps is huge, as are the perks and services they offer. From loyalty points and happy hours at GBK and Be at One, to discount codes and table service (on the Wetherspoons app you can actually order food and drink to your table) and recipe ideas (such as those from key industry figures including Annabel Karmel). Such services increase brand loyalty, with discounts in particular encouraging users to return to a certain establishment. The foodie apps that include original content such as recipes and cooking tips are even smarter, creating engaging content that makes them more than just a digital loyalty card. The apps are fantastic examples that add value to customers at all times, whilst still encouraging them to get themselves down to the venues – smart thinking.