Mobile payments case study: Coffee chain boosts sales with “frictionless” payments app

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Artisan coffee chain Harris + Hoole wanted to give its customers a simple way of paying for their order via an app. This case study looks at how the new app drove 20% of orders in some H+H stores with a quarter of a million check-ins.

Case study summary

• Upmarket coffee brand taps into its mobile savvy customers with payments app
• Emphasis on simplicity help boost usage which fed into loyalty programme
• App drove 20% percent of orders with 250k check-ins
• User ratings on iOS and Android achieved 5 stars and 4.9 stars, respectively

The challenge

The key objective of this campaign was to create a mobile application that would improve customer experience and enable frictionless mobile payments for customers. The resulting app needed to help customers get their coffee faster and pay for it more simply. It also needed to help H+H serve customers faster during busy periods.

Harris + Hoole approached ribot to launch the system and to ensure the payment process integrated seamlessly within the mobile app, blending in with the physical experience.
Harris + Hoole has over 46 stores throughout the UK. The app needed to work in all of its stores.

The target audience was existing Harris + Hoole customers and coffee lovers in the UK who wanted to drink better coffee, get it faster and pay for it more simply.

The idea was to design a service that enabled customers to -- after checking in -- simply nod to the barista to indicate they want to pay using the app. No credit or debit cards or unnecessary tasks. Paying via mobile was the right choice for customers who were already adopting the mobile app and wanted the whole process of coffee ordering and paying to be quick, friendly and seamless.

Judopay created the payments process. All partners worked together to produce a pilot application, which was tested for four to six weeks. Customer feedback was gathered and applied to later versions, before the final version was launched.

The solution

The final application requires a one-time sign up process for payments. Consumers simply enter card details and securely top up with their preferred balances. In-store authentication is handled using face identification from a stored profile photo that appears on the cash register for each check-in. For an even smoother payment experience, customers can use the "auto-top up" setting, which automatically replenishes the balance if it falls below a certain amount. This service ensures that customers both never run out of coffee credit, and crucially never have to be asked about it. This design creates an effortless transaction experience for customers; it's ridiculously easy. The H+H app revolutionized the in-store payments process, seamlessly integrating with the till, CRM (customer relationship management) and payment gateway.

The entire H+H ordering experience is now simpler, quicker, more fulfilling and addictive than the competition. Customers are left with more time to enjoy what they came in for, because in the end, the experience is not about the till, or the CRM, or even the app, but about what it unlocks. Simply put, it unlocks a next generation social coffee experience.

The first version of the H+H mobile app was launched on the first trading-anniversary, so budgets for the initial release were very tight. By focussing the features of the app to best serve the customer -- ordering convenience and removing the need for paper loyalty cards -- H+H and ribot were able to work successfully within the confines of the project's year one budget.

The frictionless payments experience was incorporated into the existing mobile app to make the whole process of ordering and paying simpler for customers, so, as envisioned, they could enter a store and simply nod to the barista that they wanted to pay by the app.

The app was developed for both iOS and Android users.

The results

The launch of the H&+H app helped revolutionize the coffee-buying experience in the UK by seamlessly integrating with the till, CRM and payment gateway, creating an effortless transaction experience for customers.

During its first year, the app drove 20 percent of orders in some H+H stores, and had a quarter of a million check-ins. Customers rated the app very highly, and it had user ratings on iOS and Android of 5 stars and 4.9 stars, respectively.

The campaign enabled app-using customers to get their better coffee faster, and enabled H+H to serve more customers -- and serve them faster -- through the busy hours. The percentage of customers using the H+H mobile payments service is already in line with Starbucks, which set the industry standard. The whole experience is simpler, quicker and more fulfilling. Customers can seamlessly pay for coffee and food from their mobile app, without having to show or scan their mobile.

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