Levi’s Stadium Goes Mobile
In an attempt to entice football fans away from the comforts of their couches and plasma screen TVs, Levi’s Stadium, new home to the San Francisco 49ers, has launched the first mobile app designed to enhance the stadium experience. The app helps fans find parking spots, avoid the most crowded restrooms, watch instant replays and even order food and beverages from their seats. Over time, the app also aims to gain a better understanding of fans’ individual preferences and use that to deliver a more enjoyable and connected experience. For example, by tracking past behavior patterns, the app is able to strategically offer food and drinks at optimal times throughout the game. This can shorten lines and make going to the game almost as convenient as watching from home.
In addition to providing a better game-day experience for fans, the app is designed to increase revenue for the 49ers by eliminating ticket printing costs and boosting concession sales. The focus on user experience is a win-win for fans and stadium management. Companies would do well to consider how they can similarly leverage mobile to provide better experiences, particularly in situations where analytics haven’t been applied yet. It’s worth looking at how data gathered via apps can improve a variety of real-world experiences.
Restaurants Taking Mobile Steps Forward
Special promotions and coupons aren’t enough to guarantee customer loyalty anymore. The fast food and casual dining sectors have worked, in recent years, to build stronger relationships with customers through the development of apps. The wide variety of food service apps available today (as we’ve written about previously) allow restaurant patrons to make reservations, view menus, order, pay digitally and engage in “preferred customer” programs with ease. Customers benefit from an improved user experience, while restaurants are able to learn more about their customers and thus develop better targeted marketing campaigns.
Continuing this trend, several restaurants, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Taco Bell and Applebee’s, are beginning to offer “click-and-collect” services to meet the needs of tech-savvy customers who are crunched for time. Mobile ordering technology will allow customers to order and pre-pay from their smart devices. Dunkin’ Donuts announced it will debut its new ordering technology early next year. “For our guests, there’s an opportunity to improve order accuracy and speed,” Justin Drake, the brand’s public relations manager said, “and our restaurants have an opportunity to improve throughout, which is something we’re excited about.” Developing mobile apps, analyzing their usage and iterating on their capabilities is a smart strategy for the foodservice industry (and beyond).
Google Now Crowned Most Accurate Virtual Assistant
Google Now was crowned most accurate virtual assistant platform in a study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting last week. The study compared Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, tracking mistakes in the “knowledge” returned by each app. Google Now produced correct answers 88% of the time, while Siri was correct only 53% of the time and Cortana was correct only 40% of the time. Google Now can send users smart alerts on everything from weather and traffic to flight information and package tracking. It does this by pulling information from users’ email accounts, combined with their current locations, search histories and more.
Last week Forbes dove into what Google Now could mean for mobile search, but what does the app (and others like it) mean for developers and the future of mobile? As mobile device capabilities evolve, people expect the apps they use to not only respond to their direct inputs but to predict their wants and needs in real time. This trends means APIs are more important than ever. That’s because apps need to be able to access a wide variety of data streams quickly and efficiently in order to perform at the level users will come to expect. When mobile apps and mobile data work together, the result is a better, more contextual user experience. For mobile experiences to continue to evolve, we don’t just want to see more apps — we want to see better ones.