When it comes to dining out, 70 per cent rated the overall experience to be as important as the food or drink.
Hassle-free experiences when actually paying for something have become just as important.
“Get that wrong and customers may turn away and you lose out on sales,” says Daniel Mathieson, Barclaycard’s head of sponsorship.
“Customers expect paying to be quick, easy and pain-free wherever and whenever they engage with your brand.
We’ve seen great success from simple solutions such as contactless payments at the events we’re part of, such as Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.
“Given that contactless saves seven seconds per transaction compared to Chip and PIN and 15 compared to cash, if you’ve got a line of customers to serve, the time saved really can help cut down the queues.”
Ensuring the payment process is smooth means vendors can focus on the overall experience for their customers – regardless of location.
It’s a business move the boutique London bakery and Barclaycard client Bad Brownie has embraced 100 per cent.
Co-founder Paz Sarmah observes: “The growth of Bad Brownie has been driven by customer experience and demand for agile methods of payment. We ensure that they feel a part of all that we do – whether that’s leaving a lasting impression through impactful festival pop-ups (which now accounts for 15 per cent of our total annual revenue) or engaging with followers on social media to inspire and shape our ever-changing menu.”
The research also revealed the popularity of pop-up stalls, restaurants and shops continues to rise with over 20 per cent of respondents saying they had visited that type of store in the last year.
Consumers are also increasingly looking for brands located more off-the-beaten track brands. For diners and drinkers, after quality of food or menu (87 per cent) and value for money (83 per cent), the overall experience (81 per cent) is the most important factor when it comes to deciding where to go to eat or drink out.
Exclusive access to promotions offers, making people feel valued and special, also goes down very well, as does transparency: 58 per cent said they prefer to buy from brands and retailers that are open about how their ingredients or products are sourced.