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NEW YORK, NY, December 15, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Following a record-setting year in 2021, the popular restaurant guest experience platform, Koala, has reported yet another year of upward progress – including expanding its customer base and launching new features and benefits for users. At its core, the Koala platform helps restaurant and food service brands maximize exposure and profitability across their entire digital ecosystem, with simple-to-use, adaptable SaaS technology solutions for web, app, and e-commerce applications. In 2022, approximately 5 million unique users placed orders across Koala's Web and iOS platforms.
This year's standout accomplishments for the brand include the launch of machine learning cross-sells, which provides brands with insight about order mix, guest preferences and behaviors, peak traffic days and day parts, and even 'smart' digital upsells based on actual customer orders within an area, or even a specific restaurant location.
"Our initial release of AI-driven functionality for cross-sells sets an exciting precedent for what's to come in 2023 especially with regards to increasing personalized engagement for guests," said Melanie Norton, Chief Product Officer for Koala. "We want to build on the success of this feature with additional AI-driven features and widgets that brands can configure to simplify the guest experience, which results in higher conversion and increased guest satisfaction."
One such client currently employing machine learning is WaBa Grill, who has reported an average increase in guest check of 3.5% in the months since implementing the feature. "Technology plays a major role in strengthening WaBa Grill's brand," explains Adam Kinsigner, Director of Technology of Waba Grill. "Partnering with Koala has not only enhanced the guest experience, but also increased revenue generated by cross-sells."
Koala set out with a goal to streamline the path to access and place previous orders to improve the experience for logged in visitors this year. The launch of functionality such as Stored Addresses and the Reorder Widget perfectly align with that goal, with both features working to optimize the user experience in a way that reduces barriers to order. Both have resulted in a lift in conversion for brands.
"This was an exciting year for Koala as we brought to market a number of features acutely focused on simplifying the conversion funnel, especially for authenticated users," adds Norton. "Koala's ordering experience places priority on driving account conversion in order to support our brands in developing deeper relationships and engagement with their guests."
Koala's Stored Addresses functionality simplifies the ordering process for returning visitors ordering delivery by allowing them to select a previously used address - avoiding manual entry. Brands reported on average a 10.5% higher cart conversion rate for logged in sessions that used Stored Addresses.
The Reorder Widget clarifies the path to conversion for returning visitors. It allows guests to bypass much of the decision making required to create a basket and place an order by enabling them to select a recent order early on in the ordering process. Brands that support optimized reorders see a 3X increase in reorder usage for their logged in users. Leading to a ~2% increase in conversion for logged in Web sessions.
"First and foremost, technology has to make things easier for operators," said Brett Spiegel, Co-Founder and COO for Koala. "Brands have simply grown tired of cumbersome technology that ends up slowing down speed of service, frustrating customers with inaccurate orders, and creating inconsistent experiences for guests as they navigate different digital spaces." Koala's SaaS approach to elevated UX means all brands have access to all platform updates, allowing operators to activate features as they need them, without waiting for new builds, or compromising on performance and functionality.
Other Koala platform features that have caught the attention of restaurant brands in multiple segments include on-premise ordering via QR codes and dispatch tracking. With Koala, brands can throttle online ordering in real time to manage order flow, adjust pricing for specific items due to scarcity or inflation, or customize menu items and pricing based on individual locations or markets.
"Koala is currently working on exciting UX/UI updates that bring basket configurations relating to the time and handoff mode for guest orders. By moving these elements earlier in the flow, we aim to reduce error rates on checkout by providing real-time feedback regarding basket incompatibilities or item unavailability," says Norton. "As we look ahead to what restaurants need tomorrow and in the long-term future, we are actively working on technology solutions to rise to those challenges and help brands become leaders in their categories."
Koala is a guest experience platform that empowers restaurants to elevate their guest-facing digital touchpoints and increase sales. Koala's SaaS technology enables both established and emerging brands to quickly launch, manage and optimize commerce and guest engagement across web, app and kiosks, all in one place. Recently recognized by Olo as their first Certified Platinum Partner, Koala is now trusted by over 30 brands across 4,000 locations to deliver elevated digital experiences to their guests. To learn more, visit Koala.io.
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