Inside Self-Storage

MAR 2019

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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E very day we hear about technology innovations that can transform the way we live, work and play. For many years, technology in the self-storage industry went largely unchanged. Then, seemingly overnight, a litany of products and services hit the market. Their quality and usefulness vary, but the purpose of this article isn't to determine which tools are worth implementing. It focuses on something much easier to digest: Pizza! Yes, pizza. Just humor me and answer this question: When's the last time you called your favorite pizza joint and placed an order with a live human being? If you're like most U.S. consumers, it may have been a while. In 2018, Domino's and Papa John's reported that more than 60 percent of their orders came through their websites, social media or mobile apps, while more than half of Pizza Hut's orders were placed digitally. This comes as little surprise. In addition to being fast and easy, mobile and online ordering provides conveniences that can't be achieved via a phone call. From viewing special offers, to preloading past orders, to automatically applying coupons, to saving payment methods, to tracking order progress down to the location of the delivery person, digital platforms provide perks call-in ordering could never offer—at least not expediently or cost-effectively. Of course, casual dining is a highly transactional business and unlike self-storage in many ways. However, there's still a lot facility operators can learn from the world of pizza about consumer behavior and leveraging mobile technology to generate more revenue. Grab a Bigger Piz'za the Revenue! How mobile technology can help you generate more income By Will DeBord The Domino's Efect Overall, the pizza market is thriving, seeing annual revenue increases of 12 percent in North America. While the entire industry grew over the past year, there was one clear winner: Domino's. The Domino's story is remarkable. In November 2008, investors could pick up company stock for around $3 a share. Fast forward a decade, and the stock sits at $268 per share. Domino's has also reported same-store revenue increases for 24 straight quarters. Plus, it's primed to dethrone the industry's longtime No.1: Pizza Hut. Why is this important? The answer is simple: Domino's embraced mobile and digital technologies and left everyone else to play catchup. Now, like the large, multi-national chains, thousands of smaller, independent companies have begun offering online and mobile ordering. What Storage Operators Can Learn This isn't a story about appearing first in online search, though Domino's certainly does. Much has been written about search engine optimization and search engine marketing in self-storage. Today, most of the industry understands the importance of online placement and rankings. What storage operators can take away from the Domino's success story and the shifting landscape of the pizza industry can be boiled down to two things: customer convenience and the implementation of the right technology at the right time. Think about the way we all want to interact with businesses today. Consider these questions: • Would you rather renew your driver's license at the department of motor vehicles or online via computer or mobile device? • To go to the airport, would you rather call a cab company or order an Uber from your phone? • During the winter holidays, would you rather fght the crowds at the store or get the same deals, delivered right to your door, by shopping online? Chances are, you'd pick the online or mobile option in at least one of these scenarios. With today's consumer, the money generally goes where the convenience lies. Often, we're even willing to pay a premium for it. I haven't booked a hotel room or reserved a rental car with a phone call in years; I do it all via app. People of all ages LEARN MORE Learn more about mobile technology in the seminar "It All Happens on the Phone: Mobile Technology and the Tenant-Centric Experience," presented by John Traver at the upcoming ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, April 1-4. Get details and register at Can't wait? Check out the videos "How Mobile Technology Is Disrupting and Changing Self-Storage Practices" and "Like a Dog With a Phone: Mobile-Centric Marketing for Self-Storage," available in on-demand and DVD formats exclusively at 60 ISS I March 2019

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