Blackboard has announced the launch of a new, integrated mobile ordering solution that enables students to order food and other items from their mobile devices. The Blackboard Mobile Ordering app is designed to enable campus dining operators looking for an institution-branded solution to manage resources efficiently, to grow on-campus sales, and increase student engagement.
Blackboard Mobile Ordering provides campus auxiliary services with its own personalized, branded app that is customizable to meet the unique needs of each campus. Features of the app include food ordering, dietary filtering, nutrition tracking, push marketing, announcements, surveys, and feedback.
“We know that today’s students want to order food in a convenient and familiar manner that works with their busy schedules, and institutions also want to maximize efficiencies in their operations and offer students even greater value,” says Jeff Staples, Vice President of Business Development at Blackboard. “Through our new Blackboard Mobile Ordering app, we will help institutions nationwide as they enhance student engagement and satisfaction and enable great user experiences in and around dining outlets on campus.”
Unlike other applications, Blackboard Mobile Ordering integrates seamlessly with the Blackboard POS system, giving students a variety of payment options, including the ability to pay with their meal plan. Additionally, the solution automatically synchronizes items and menus, consolidates order tracking, and centralizes management reporting.
“The full Point-of-Sale integration — including seamless item management, order fulfillment and reporting between the mobile app, point-of-sale terminals, kiosks and other devices — is only available with Blackboard’s QuadPoint Point-of-Sale system,” explains John Diaz, Vice President of Retail Solutions Product Management at Blackboard. “Clients without QuadPoint can still use the Mobile Ordering solution without the POS integration, but these aspects of the system must be managed separately.”
Blackboard Mobile Ordering will also be paired with the Blackboard Incentives solution, which helps universities to reward student engagement, allowing users to earn points for accessing a broad array of services across campus including dining halls, campus stores and retail purchases, athletic and other events access, class attendance and rec center visits.
“Incentives can help drive student behavior not just from a purchasing standpoint, but also other aspects of campus life,” says Diaz. “Rewards don’t have to be monetary; they could encourage student interaction on campus, participation in campus events and even going to class. We see this playing a key part in how Blackboard enhances the student experience and increases opportunities for their success on campus.”
Blackboard Mobile Ordering is initially geared toward on-campus merchants, but it could certainly be used off campus by schools who manage their own program, adds Diaz. “Integration with Blackboard’s Campus Cash (formerly BbOne) off-campus merchant program is also being considered.”
Blackboard will be rolling out Mobile Ordering to its first campus, Santa Clara University, in early October. “Santa Clara has been a great partner with Blackboard on many other new product launches and will provide valuable input as we launch our mobile ordering solution,” says Diaz. “Several other schools have also indicated that they would like to be early adopters of the Blackboard Mobile Ordering solution.”
“After pioneering mobile ordering on campus in 2012, we knew it was time to reassess our business needs and evolve to better serve our institution and our students,” says Nirmal Palliyaguru, Director of the ACCESS Card office at Santa Clara University. “We’re excited to bring a next generation mobile ordering and incentives experience to our students this fall – one that reflects the University’s brand and is fully integrated with our QuadPoint Point of Sale and back office systems.”