Franchises have grown up since the days of the first McDonald’s in 1955 and single-shop owners who could be their own boss right out of the box. Today, franchises are run by multi-unit owners and often they are multi-brand franchisees. Accordingly to FranData, multi-unit franchisees currently own 53% of the 450,000 franchise units in the U.S. and own 5 locations on the average. Franchising has become a lucrative and competitive business investment, and certain key technologies have the potential to help franchises gain advantage over the competition.
Franchise Tech Trends
- Big and Textual Data: Customer reviews (Yelp, Amazon) or posted comments (Facebook) are more and more available to marketers. Franchises that can interpret and manage this data will be able to understand their market and use targeted advertising to increase sales and enhance interaction with their customers.
- Wearables: Though smart devices already allow 24-hour access to franchises’ target markets, customers with wearables are likely wear them all the time, providing round-the-cloud marketing opportunities.
- Cloud and SaaS: Provide franchises more sophisticated software programs and systems to manage the complexities of the business. As installed software goes away, Software as a Service (Saas) applications are now hosted in a secure cloud environment where they can be accessed from any connected device (computer, phone, tablet).
- Cloud Data Storage and Backup: Make it easy for franchisor and franchisee to access all data and management systems over the web via the cloud. A reliable cloud-based system with a robust backup system can create real-time uniformity in data across the entire franchise.
- Cyber Security: Security brings a different type of reputational risk for franchises, especially in the case of a breach in customers’ personal information. When data is not protected, every franchisee’s operation can be at risk. Investing in data security (for example, safer security monitoring programs, better payment technologies) is a priority for franchisor and franchisee alike.
- Mobile Phones and Beacon Technology: These technologies give franchises a huge opportunity for real-time, local advertising. According to Forrester Research, 82% of customers make purchase decision in-aisle, and 65% of retailers feel they are able to target customers down to the aisle level (with beacon technology). Geo-targeted campaigns, whether the customer is near a franchise location or in a store, can personalize a customer’s experience with timely messages, offers or coupons that can increase sales.
How Digital West Can Help
Digital West has IT services, consultation and infrastructure resources to take your franchise where you want to go. Our data center is SOC 2 Type 2 certified and our cloud services let your franchises stay connected with real-time, shared data. Our reliable, ultra-high-speed fiber optic Internet is extremely reliable designed to quickly and securely deliver even the most sensitive data, and you can count on our live, local Customer Service Team to be there when you need them. Here are four of our most popular programs for franchisors:
According to the Ponemon Institute (2014 Cost of Data Breach Study), a data breach can cost a business an average of $5.58 million, including costs for lost records, legal defense, settlement costs, notification costs, credit monitoring costs for those affected. In order to meet strict security standards and policies, many franchises have turned to Digital West to create a secure private network. We’ll also scan your systems for vulnerabilities, upgrade your hardware, and proactively monitor your network for malicious activity.
We the most sophisticated software available to manage backups of your desktops, laptops, file servers, as well as Exchange, SQL and other complex databases. You can take advantage of our colocation facilities and virtual resource pool to scale your resources up and down quickly. Digital West enables clients to meet compliance standards, maintain strong network security, and sleep soundly at night knowing their data is stored and backed up nightly.
Eighty-five percent of all online ads are viewed on mobile devices, and we give you the ability to target your customers with pinpoint precision using Digital West’s mobile advertising platform. In just five minutes you can enroll in the service, create your first branded ad, target it to your desired zip codes, and distribute it through a vast network of mobile apps. It’s that easy!