How Technology is Revolutionizing the Franchise Model in the Digital Age

Businessman using laptop

Technology has revolutionized business processes across industries, including the franchise model. Ten years after the economic recession of 2008, plenty of technological advancements have been developed to safeguard franchisors and franchisees in case another economic downturn occurs.

Technological opportunities for the franchise model

But a lot of franchise businesses refuse to keep up with the times, specifically those that are engaged in long-spanning agreements. Most operate under the mindset that it’s safer to stick to tried and tested systems and not implement any changes than to experiment with new technological developments. What they don’t realize is that the purpose of technology is to make life easier for franchisees and franchisors so they can focus on growing their business instead of running it.

The franchise model can benefit greatly from recent technological advancements, especially since most franchise businesses are in the retail industry. Innovations, such as customer-loyalty programs and cloud-based tools, make it easier to streamline operations, increasing the efficiency of business processes.

The fast pace of technology also gave rise to different branches in the franchise industry. The market has evolved, and you can now tap franchise opportunities for digital marketing services, online delivery service, and of course, e-commerce.

Among these advancements, here are some of the most revolutionary innovations in the franchise industry in the past ten years.

Mobile-first apps and online delivery

The advent of smartphones has created a mobile-first demand from consumers since they rely heavily on their phones for information gathering. Because 78 percent of global consumers own smartphones, with the average American checking their phones about 52 times each day, they prefer brands that also cater to the mobile arena.

For example, a restaurant that has an online delivery service is more likely to gain customers than one that isn’t present in the digital space.

Through online booking systems, franchisors can cut down the cost of staffing because of its automated processes. These also offer customers more freedom in making their purchases, such as personalizing the details of the product, choosing their preferred payment method and shipping address, and deciding when to have the item delivered.

KPI tracking

A franchise’s location is one of the biggest determinants of its success and provides the most important data a franchisor must monitor. A long-standing pillar of truth in the franchise model is that a franchise chain is only as strong as its individual franchisees.

Different software products allow franchisors to track the KPIs of their franchisees real-time. These enable franchisors to monitor the entire franchise chain’s health and quickly respond to the branches that need support. Through KPI software, it’s also easier to track the weaknesses of different locations and come up with a solution that will address these pain points.

Point-of-sale (POS) systems

Paying with credit card

Apart from providing a quicker and cashless option for transactions, POS systems can also be combined with other technologies, such as integrated accounting and automated marketing. This allows franchisors to observe purchasing trends and patterns in a single day and determine what time the store is performing well and what time it isn’t. It can also determine how often a particular customer goes to the store to window shop and how often he or she makes an actual purchase.

Insights like these help a franchisor develop more effective marketing strategies to increase its sales. For example, if a shoe store is typically dead during 1-3 PM, a franchise owner can decide to hold sales during that time.

Technology is ever-evolving, and as a business owner, it’s your responsibility not to keep up with the trends, but to make sure your competitors are not leaving you in the dust. Be smart in taking advantage of these innovations so you can serve your customers better.