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There’s nothing quite like the thrill of live sports in a stadium filled with fans or experiencing the heart-thumping sounds of your favorite band performing live on stage. And there’s nothing better than watching it with an ice-cold beverage in your hand. But what ruins the moment? Waiting in line and missing the big play or your favorite song because of staffing issues at the concession stand.
Clover Sport from Fiserv has a solution, integrating point-of-sale hardware with specialized software and services to streamline processes and create better fan experiences at venues across the country. Not only does Clover Sport allow stadiums to enhance operations, it also gives companies insight into their customer base, what’s trending, and how best to serve them.
Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson spoke with Sandeep Bhanote, Head of Clover Sport at Fiserv, to discuss Clover Sport, which powers commerce and streamlines operations at stadiums nationwide, plus the effects the technology can have on customer loyalty within those arenas.
Fan Experience Well Beyond the Stadium
Clover Sport powers in-stadium commerce for 300 venues across the country. The technology serves more than 50 major sports teams and arenas, such as the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum, the New York Mets at Citi Field and the New Orleans Saints at the Caesars Superdome. The technology is also in play at minor leagues and university facilities – such as UNC Chapel Hill.
The fully integrated omnichannel experience enabled by Clover Sport empowers guests to order how they want, where they want, by enabling contactless commerce, mobile in-app ordering, and self-service and marketplace concepts in-stadium. In addition, Clover Sport expands the fan experience beyond the stadium with online ordering, whether by purchasing the winning team’s sports jersey on the way home from the game or pre-ordering snacks and drinks on the way in. Regardless of the channel in which they are made, all orders connect seamlessly to the back-of-house operations.
Clover Sport can also enable additional experiences by integrating with third-party technology that ranges from loyalty and rewards, to digital ticketing and stored value. The technology is always evolving with new innovations for even more seamless transactions on the horizon.
On the operations side, Clover Sport gives the venue the flexibility to sell anywhere the fans are and accept all payment types – including popular mobile wallets. The intuitive software allows for less training and quicker checkout experiences as well. Management tools give stadiums the real-time data they need to track inventory and staffing to create the best user experiences and easily identify areas that need additional support and resources during an event.
Turning the Pandemic into an Opportunity
During the COVID pandemic, there was unprecedented change in the ways customers interacted with brands. The demand for contactless transactions evolved from a simple convenience to a health-conscious necessity. As a result, hybrid experiences that blend physical and digital interactions came to the forefront.
As fans have returned to stadiums, they have brought high expectations with them. The Clover Sport team has retooled the platform and accelerated the roadmap of innovations to enable venues to delight fans with feature-rich experiences that highlight contactless commerce.
One outcome from the pandemic was the heightened popularity of digital ordering and payments. Clover Sport successfully integrated many ways in which consumers can have a contactless experience, with more innovations underway. In addition to offering mobile ordering and pickup, many venues are increasing the installment of self-serve kiosks and looking to install self-checkout and grab-n-go technology.
Says Bhanote, “Coming out of Covid, we were told, the fewer things to touch, the better.” The emerging technology has answered consumers’ requests for low-touch yet engaging interaction.
Creating an Omnichannel Customer Experience
Clover Sport helps venues give their loyal fans a 360-degree experience. Bhanote notes that future in-stadium innovations may include integrations with sports betting applications in-stadium and with other third-party providers that can fully connect fan experiences through digital engagement. Other innovations, he said, may include embedded ecommerce experiences with apparel companies that allow fans to order promotional items in real-time during the event from the mobile app or website.
While a sports team can measure its success by the number of goals and amount of applause, Clover Sport takes a more analytical approach. In addition to measuring KPIs such as order fulfillment and total transactions, another metric that emerges as an omnichannel experience is measuring the impact of digital sales.
Bhanote noted consumers spend four or five times more when they order from the app than when they order at the concession stand: “Fans are telling us that they want more digital experiences. If you give them more, you will be rewarded with more orders. New KPIs will emerge as we continue to deliver more omnichannel fan experiences.”
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