Maximizing Fan Satisfaction: 3 Reasons Why Frictionless Checkout is Crucial at Stadiums

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Maximizing Fan Satisfaction: 3 Reasons Why Frictionless Checkout is Crucial at Stadiums

From long lines to outdated payment methods, checking out can be a significant source of friction for fans.

As sports fans, we all love the excitement and thrill of being at a live game, but the checkout process at retail and convenience stores inside the stadium can often be a frustrating experience. From long lines to outdated payment methods, checking out can be a significant source of friction for fans. Not to mention, a key catalyst of FOMO (a.k.a. the fear of missing out) on a major play, goal, or shot. 

A frictionless checkout experience is crucial to maximizing fan satisfaction at stadiums, arenas, and other event spaces. In fact, a 2021 Oracle study found that 38% of event goers want contactless payment processes. Why? Because a quick and seamless checkout process enables fans to save time, enjoy the game, and not only endure a great customer experience, but an even better fan experience. 

In this article, we’re diving into the power of the frictionless checkout experience and three reasons why it’s crucial to implement in stadiums.

What is Frictionless Checkout?

The camera-only frictionless checkout experience allows shoppers to anonymously purchase items in-store without having to wait in line, stop to scan or pay. With AiFi’s autonomous store solutions, fans are able to get the items they need and get back to their seats in just three steps: 

  • Shoppers can enter the store quickly with their credit card or an app.
  • AI powered computer vision begins anonymized shopper tracking and recognizes products taken.
  • Shoppers can head home completely checkout-free with receipts sent directly to their emails if selected.

Hear what ​​English Premier League Fans had to say about their experience with AiFi’s autonomous checkout at Leicester City Football Club’s home stadium. Learn more about League club Leicester City’s new Tap + Go frictionless marketplace at King Power Stadium here.

3 Reasons to Offer Fricitonless Checkout at Stadiums and Arenas

1. Fans Save Time During Their Stadium Shopping Escapades

There’s not much better than attending your favorite sporting event, getting a hot dog, a drink, and watching your home team win. But the last thing you want to do is spend a large portion of the game at the concession stand. According to Oracle, the maximum acceptable waiting time to purchase food and beverages is just 10 minutes. And when U.S. fans (over 70%) spend an average of $42 per game on food and drinks, optimizing the fan experience by shortening wait times is essential.

In fact, 59% of fans would spend more on food and beverages if wait times were shorter—making shorter wait times a critical factor in fan satisfaction and revenue generation. 

Frictionless checkout is the ultimate solution. With frictionless checkout, fans don’t have to:

  • Waste time waiting in line
  • Miss minutes of the game 
  • Go hungry or thirsty (for fear of missing a critical moment in the game)

Instead, fans can:

  • Save time as they shop for food, drinks, merch, etc.
  • Quickly grab their items and go
  • Enjoy watching their favorite team on the field or court

Discover how AiFi is bringing the speed of frictionless checkout to the NASCAR Phoenix Raceway for the Championship Races.

2. Fans Can Enjoy the Game with as Little Interference as Possible

Imagine being in a long line at a merch or convenience store in a sporting stadium or arena. While you’re choosing between your two favorite sodas, your team makes an incredible goal or basket… that you missed! If that doesn't incite FOMO in you, what else will?

It’s obvious, no true fan of any sport wants to miss out on even a second of the game if they can help it. Nearly 30% of fans across the globe marked being able to stay in their seat as a top priority for the overall fan experience.

In 2021, the NFL’s Detroit Lions (in partnership with the hospitality company Levy, Verizon, and AiFi) implemented a frictionless checkout store at the Ford Field stadium. The result? Fans were able to purchase food and beverages with the utmost convenience and speed. 

At the time of the stores unveiling, Sandeep Satish, Managing Director, DBK Studio & Vice President of the E15 Group at Levy said, "We know that our guests want to get back to their seats to watch the game, the concert or the convention that they're at, and it's really important for us to figure out how can we do that that's not the traditional concession stand model.”

Check out the AiFi To-Go store at the Ford Field stadium, home of the Detroit Lions.

3. Fans Will Experience an Autonomous and Anonymous Shopping Experience

The two main components of successful frictionless checkout are autonomy and anonymity. Autonomy is key when it comes to providing each fan with the capability to get the items they want, when they want them, and get back to the game as soon as possible. Meanwhile, anonymity is vital to protecting the fans’ privacy.

65% of people report that privacy is a top concern when shopping in an autonomous store. These people also reported that they prefer an anonymous shopping experience. The bottom line is that:

An autonomous shopping experience + anonymity = improved fan satisfaction

AiFi’s frictionless checkout stores incorporate privacy by design with 100% anonymized keypoint tracking technology and zero use of facial recognition or biometrics. Learn how our proprietary technology works here.

Final Thoughts

Improving fan satisfaction is dependent on the fan experience. To bolster the fan experience, it’s important to give fans what they want:

  • Shorter wait times for food and beverages
  • More time enjoying the game with friends and family
  • Easier and quicker shopping experiences

With frictionless checkout, not only will fan satisfaction increase, but the stadium will also benefit by: 

  • Generating more revenue (autonomous stores have the potential to increase profits by 2x)
  • Increasing basket size and throughput
  • Creating a positive brand image

Want to learn more about AiFi’s frictionless checkout solutions for stadiums and other event venues? Request a demo to see AiFi in action. 

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