Why can McDonald’s, the 31st year in mainland China, continue to attract new consumers?


Introduction:McDonald’s digital transformation has been fully implemented since 2016, striving to enable consumers to enjoy McDonald’s products and services at any time, anywhere and in any way. The digital transformation has achieved remarkable results in the past few years! The introduction of Alibaba cloud data platform will become an important part of McDonald’s digital transformation in expanding the scene for new consumers!

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Near 12 o’clock, the “cooks” in the office are ready to move.

The dishes in the canteen are all determined by the mood of chef Zhang that day, and she doesn’t have the habit of cooking with meals, so takeout has become Xiao Wu’s best choice to solve three meals a day, but today Monday, she has another way to feed herself.

Open the mobile phone, enter Alipay McDonald’s applet, and find the “Alipay Monday member day” interface skillfully, get coupons for a pair of spicy chicken wings, and then click on a single 1+1, with a settlement of only 12 yuan.

Xiao Wu usually chooses to “pick up the meal at the store”, that is, after placing an order, the waiter will pack the corresponding goods in advance within about 5 minutes, and the meal can be picked up immediately after walking from the office to the restaurant.

The advantage of this service launched by McDonald’s is that compared with ordering at the store, consumers can select the restaurant in advance to complete the order, saving the time and cost of waiting in line to order and pick up the meal; At the same time, compared with placing an order through the takeout platform, it can also save 9 yuan of standard distribution cost

However, the electronic ordering scene highly praised by “Xiao Wu” is only one of the changes brought about by McDonald’s digital transformation in recent years.

Why can McDonald's, the 31st year in mainland China, continue to attract new consumers?

Three laws affect people’s dining choices

For most consumers, the choice dimension of lunch can not escape from the three major principles of “price, taste and distance”, while the McDonald’s restaurant next to the company just falls at the intersection of these three standards.

In terms of price, in addition to setting a “member day” every Monday (you can participate in the “Hi turn Monday” member exclusive activity), McDonald’s also launched a series of packages such as “500 cards” and “optional 1 + 1 = ¥ 12”, so that consumers can enjoy a variety of goods at a lower price.

Why prefer McDonald’s? Xiao Wu gave the answer of the vast majority of consumers. “Physically, McDonald’s hamburgers have more choices than chicken, fish, beef and so on.” but in fact, in order to better cater to the tastes of Chinese consumers, McDonald’s has been making efforts in the research and development of “Chinese new products” since it first opened a restaurant in mainland China in 1990, For example, the spicy chicken drumsticks, spicy chicken wings, grilled chicken drumsticks and crisp juice chicken, which were listed in 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2020 respectively, have captured a considerable number of fans as a popular single product.

Finally, distance is also a key factor for ordinary consumers to include in “influencing dining decisions” – if they eat out, distance means that they spend more time on the road; If it is a takeout delivery, it means that you need to bear the risk of food taste decline.

Fortunately, at present, McDonald’s has more than 100 restaurants in Hangzhou where Xiao Wu is located, covering the vast majority of office areas and business areas. She can always enjoy the freshest and hot McDonald’s fries in time, whether in the office or daily shopping.

Wendi, vice president of McDonald’s digital business in China, introduced that the location of stores is very important for the catering industry, because it is related to the core customer base that the restaurant can radiate and affect. On the other hand, with the rise of the new model of taking out order in recent years, the service boundary of offline restaurants that were originally limited by region has been broken, and consumers can complete the order action at any time and anywhere without restrictions.

For example, Xiao Wu can choose the nearest McDonald’s restaurant to complete the order through Alipay McDonald’s applet or McDonald’s APP in advance, then walk to the restaurant to complete the meal.

In the McDonald’s restaurant, the food will be sealed into the bag and placed in a special meal taking position. Xiao Wu can find the corresponding meal bag according to the number displayed after the order is placed without contact with people, complete the meal taking and return to the office.

This “contactless” meal taking has greatly ensured the safety of consumers during the epidemic and formed a wave of imitation in the industry. Now it has become the first choice for many “social fear” consumers.

This has always been through the mobile Internet and the whole consumption link process of offline restaurants, which can not be separated from the strong support of McDonald’s digital construction.

It is understood that McDonald’s digital transformation has been fully implemented since 2016, including the construction of official digital channels and the introduction of mobile payment, so that consumers can enjoy McDonald’s products and services at any time, anywhere and in any way.

Digitalization gives consumers the autonomy of online ordering

“Digital payment is the first step in the digital transformation of McDonald’s,” Wen Di said. In 2015, with the large coverage of mobile payment scenes, McDonald’s has been accessing Alipay and other payment forms. This also represents the new stage of McDonald’s full contact with consumers.

The impact of the epidemic in 2020 and the improvement and development of mobile terminal technology have greatly changed consumers’ catering ordering habits to a certain extent. “Now, about 70% – 80% of McDonald’s orders come from digital channels,” Wendi said, “It includes the touch-screen self-service ordering machine in the restaurant, the third-party platforms such as hungry, and the electronic order carried by the applet and McDonald’s app combined with the advantages of the first two.”

Orders across multiple contacts can be uniformly accepted and properly handled by McDonald’s restaurants, which largely depends on the self built data center system that McDonald’s started to build in its early years.

Wendi introduced that McDonald’s has many systems worldwide, and there are many independent systems and functional components customized and developed specifically for the Chinese market – in order to maximize the guarantee that consumers can enjoy the same service and experience in different McDonald’s restaurants, Madonna has long divided various applications according to the different positioning of “front desk, middle desk and background”.

The “front desk” is mainly responsible for dealing with the changeable contacts in the business scenario; “Middle desk” is more like a logic layer, supported by multiple sets of data systems to do computing and sharing functions, such as cards and vouchers, to support the unification of multi-channel experience and ensure the efficiency of operation; The “background” is the base, which has accumulated all-channel original data.

At this stage, McDonald’s data system includes preference data for different markets, order data / access data from different channels, activity data from different scenarios (including both online and offline activities and activities from different online channels), and order frequency data based on new and old products. At McDonald’s, these data can be properly integrated by the “data center”, And applied to the front-end business scenario.

For example, in addition to the classic home products highly praised by consumers, McDonald’s will launch new products to deal with different taste preference groups every year, and more than 100 new products will be launched in 2020 alone – and this process involves a lot of data analysis of “people” and “goods”.

Why can McDonald's, the 31st year in mainland China, continue to attract new consumers?

For another example, with the omni channel ordering mode now fully implemented, Madong gives more autonomy to consumers themselves – consumers can choose the ordering mode independently. At the same time, even if they place an order online, McDonald’s can give consumers a full sense of control: “it takes time to choose close stores, choose goods, and then place an order; If it is a delivery service, you can also see the multi-dimensional information such as the rider’s meal collection, delivery route and distance in real time.

From the perspective of consumers, these data opened by McDonald’s no longer allow them to focus on the results of their “meal taking”, but enable consumers to know more about process details such as “how many people are waiting for meal taking before I enter the store” and “how long do I need to wait after I enter the store”, so as to maximize the sense of being served in the whole process of consumption.

Alibaba cloud data center is an important part of digital transformation

McDonald’s digital transformation has achieved remarkable results in the past few years, but Peng Jie, McDonald’s China Precision Marketing Project Manager, said, “we just complied with the needs of consumers and followed up the corresponding actions.”

In Peng Jie’s eyes, McDonald’s digital transformation, in the final analysis, is to provide consumers with more sophisticated services, and the series derived from “consumer satisfaction” are “unexpected” surprises.

In December last year, McDonald’s and Alipay launched the “0 yuan to receive Hamburg coupon” activities, triggering a sharp increase in the number of online stores and Alipay’s small program traffic, especially in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, where the number of transactions increased by 9.6 times on the same day.

As a region with relatively high consumption level in China, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai have always been the consumer market concerned by enterprises, and McDonald’s is no exception. In the face of bottlenecks in the growth of new users in this region, McDonald’s took the lead in Arivan’s data in 2020, and launched a series of precision marketing activities with Alipay and rookie two APP as the core front-end positions to re open the flow breakthrough in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai.

Why can McDonald's, the 31st year in mainland China, continue to attract new consumers?

Wendi told reporters that by the first quarter of 2021, McDonald’s had more than 170 million members in China. These members were uniformly stored in McDonald’s CRM database in the form of data through different channels, such as app and applet, “The overall operation logic at each end, such as point exchange, is unified, but some marketing scenarios can be divided into channel exclusive and general.”

The introduction of Alibaba cloud data platform will become an important part of McDonald’s digital transformation in expanding the scene for new consumers.

With the help of Alibaba cloud data’s ability in the global marketing scenario, since October last year, McDonald’s has locked more than 20 stores in Jiangsu and Zhejiang for opening attempts. Now the number of stores involved has accumulated to more than 500:

Step01: McDonald’s uploads some market data in Jiangsu and Zhejiang through quick audience, one of the core products of Alibaba cloud data center;

Step02: identify common features through quick audience;

Step03: link Alipay, cross match the market opportunities of the selected stores, identify the high latent parts (at the same time, drain the existing market share).

Step04: with Alipay payment page as the carrier, with established stores as radius (radius range selectable), marketing activities are pushed to specific markets.

At present, the scheme has been tested for four rounds. In Wendi’s view, “the existing effect data are good.”

“Because it is still in the trial stage and because of the particularity of the catering industry, it is not suitable to use an absolute value to measure the value of this scheme at this stage,” Wendy said, “I think this cooperation with Alibaba cloud data center is more like setting a standard for our further actions in this regard in the future, so that we can clearly know that when the cost is within this range, it is an acceptable value.”

As one of the world’s most valuable fast food brands, McDonald’s digital transformation continues. From electronic menu to electronic order, to digital payment and global precision marketing, every service link of McDonald’s is imperceptibly digitized.

“Catering itself is a relatively scattered industry. Each brand is a unique representative of its own field. They will also have their own unique digital path, and we also hope that this path taken by McDonald’s can bring some inspiration to other catering enterprises,” Wendi said.

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