Focus Brands wants digital and loyalty sales to mix 50 percent of the business within the next five years, a feat requiring full-fledged transformation of its online platforms.
The solution is a united front end—a single, best-in-class digital platform that can be replicated across all seven chains: Moe’s, Jamba, McAlister’s, Schlotzsky’s, Carvel, Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s. That means creating an online presence with fewer steps during the ordering process and the ability to add messaging and functionality to the entire system at once.
The next major journey is building the unified online platform. Focus began with a test market with Schlotzsky’s who had a small digital footprint. As Focus becomes confident, more traffic will be diverted into the updated platform.
“This is a long-term journey,” CEO Jim Holthouser says. “It's a good three to five years. The nice thing is you don't have to wait three to five years to start unlocking value. … You're just learning. You stand up teams and you're solving problems. And sometimes you figure it out. Sometimes you don't. If you don't figure it out, you pivot and you go back.”
As part of this overall shift, Focus will fold personalized recommendations before and during the purchase, such as storing order history and taking customers deeper into the menu by suggesting items others have enjoyed.
Focus is also planning AI-powered loyalty offers in lieu of wide-casting generic ones that are often expensive and less effective.
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