3 Tech Trends Impacting Franchising This Year | International Franchise Association

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3 Tech Trends Impacting Franchising This Year


How ‘near me’ search, voice adoption and online reviews will become a more important part of your franchise strategy.


By Tehsin Daya


Franchisees are constantly sizing up new trends to stay at the forefront of technology and marketing. At Uberall, we’ve identified three trends that are making an impact in 2019 and beyond.


Trend 1

‘Near me’ search will continue to grow in mobile.


Over the past year, “near me” searches have exploded – especially on mobile. In fact, more than 80 percent of consumers have done a “near me” search on their mobile device. This number is staggering, and it’s likely to grow in 2019. It also means that “near me” search is a key factor that franchisees and franchises, including quick-service restaurants (QSRs) should pay extra close attention to moving forward. The reason is that consumers now find more stock in proximity and convenience – even more than brand loyalty. What’s more, as people opt to keep GPS and location services on when using their device, they’re in better position to keep take advantage of proximity-based searches. Looking ahead, “near me” search offers tremendous opportunity for both franchisees and QSRs that’s worth paying attention to.


Trend 2

Voice adoption will grow, which will be a boon for franchises.


In three years, voice search may make up 50 percent of all searches. For QSR brands keeping up with SEO best practices, this new method of search is a game-changer. It’s a relief to know that many of the functional differences between voice and standard search are subtle. However, the result of performing well in voice search can mean less competition and more sales for businesses ready to take on the challenge.


Voice search is changing the game for SEO by taking the need for screens out of the equation. Since digital assistants only tend to relay a single answer to voice search requests, the QSRs that fulfills that top answer could feasibly multiply the number of consumers visiting their locations. In the New Year, expect more brands to optimize their website’s keywords for voice search, to be present across more business listings and multiple search engines, maps, and apps, and to optimize search relevance with positive reviews. These three tactics will maximize findability among voice searches.


Trend 3

Franchises will proactively monitor customer reviews.


Almost one-third of consumers believe that online reviews are important. As people keep spending more time on their mobile devices, it’s easy for them to look at reviews before deciding to spend money somewhere. Further, 65 percent of consumers believe that stores should respond directly to customer reviews. This means that QSRs and franchisees will need to spend more time checking them and responding if they want to win over potential customers. But it doesn’t stop there. Customers aren’t going to be satisfied with a generic response from an establishment. They’re also looking for personalization to show that they really care about them. So franchises need to keep providing thoughtful responses to online customer reviews if they want to win over new customers and keep the existing ones happy.



Tehsin Daya is Vice President of Business Development for Uberall. Find out more about Uberall.