Clover | ValueAct

Research Recipe for 5-Star Restaurant POS Platform

Robust POS…with reservations

Point-of-sale (POS) platform, Clover, offers a powerful set of built-in and add-on features. Yet the company’s prior research showed that merchant users weren’t fully engaging with the platform to the same degree as users of similar competitor POS systems. Clover investors at ValueAct Capital asked Primitive Spark for an outsider POV. We customized our research approach to validate some of their theories and expanded existing knowledge regarding merchant perception of the platform and overall level of satisfaction with Clover’s UX/UI.


Order up! Restaurateurs dish

“>Our client asked us to focus our research on restaurants, a pivotal business vertical for Clover. We recruited a set of Clover restaurant merchant users, plus users from three key POS competitors in the restaurant space, Toast, Upserve, and Square. We conducted 8 in-depth interviews with hand-picked restaurant owner/operators whose restaurants had reported revenues of $15,000+/month. These users reported engaging in extensive daily use of their POS system, including back-office features for more complex tasks such as inventory, reporting and marketing.

Short order

Restaurateurs are too busy barely keeping all the balls in the air to have time or patience for anything extra. Users we interviewed understood the potential business value of leveraging additional POS platform features. Yet they were wary of adding anything new to their existing workflow. Product feature value was often unclear. And overabundant feature choices were a turn-off and a barrier to change.

Restaurant Dive

Nourishing connection

One guiding insight emerged from the interviews with restaurateurs. Restaurant businesses are about more than a good meal. They’re social enterprises. And restaurateurs are extremely attentive when it comes to nurturing customer connections. We saw an opportunity to deepen the connection between merchants and the Clover POS as a way to help restaurateurs get the most out of the platform. We cooked up the concept of “ongoing onboarding,” with a set of actionable holistic steps to ensure Clover continually nourishes the ongoing relationship between restaurateurs and the POS platform.

UI/UX needs seasoning

We synthesized insights gathered from user interviews, competitor demos, and hands-on product reviews, along with a deep-dive heuristic analysis of the Clover platform. The resulting recommendations cited specific strategic and tactical opportunities to improve Clover’s UX/UI, including ways to make platform setup more intuitive and methods for closing usability gaps in the UI to make the platform infinitely more appetizing to restaurateur users.

Digestif: soup-to-nuts insights

Our research activities surfaced information that Clover hadn’t previously uncovered and put a spotlight on the very real challenges and issues restaurants deal with daily. We distilled our research into an engaging presentation, capturing key takeaways in a way that was authentic, emotional and actionable. Our comprehensive, detailed recommendations naturally flowed from the research findings and exceeded client expectations.