All establishments want to see their customers return again and again. Being the most desirable is a given to achieve it. However, your competition is probably aware of this, just as well as you are. This where loyalty programs rush to the rescue! You provide loyal customers with benefits, make them feel home with your business. Though, you need new tools to touch the newer generations.
Gone are the days when loyalty cards and stamps were cool. Customer loyalty programs are now on mobile apps!
Today, apps are an integral part of the daily lives of people from all walks of life. That’s why they are one of the best places to be for being with people all the time. Ideal place for a customer loyalty boost wouldn’t you agree?
Why is that so though? What advantages can a mobile app offer for a customer loyalty program? More importantly, what are the costs, and how would one start with it? Let us have a look at the answers now!
Mobile apps for customer loyalty programs: attractive for both the business and the customer
Getting your loyalty programs off the cards and on to apps is beneficial for both sides of the campaign. You will not need to bother with the logistics of printing loyalty cards and stamps and such anymore. Better yet, since a smartphone is almost always by its user’s side, so will be the apps installed on the device. This way, a reminder of your business can be a part of their daily lives.
Moreover, having an app used by your customers opens up opportunities, you can:
> Receive valuable customer feedback and/or run polls.
> Gain useful insights and analytics. For example, who buys what and when?
> Use this information to retarget the right customer with the right offer, and at the right time.
> Keep them interested by publishing content they would like, more on that in a bit!
This also makes the experience convenient for the user. Nowadays, using an app to make life easier has become the norm for almost all the demographics you can think of. Also, you can introduce gamification elements into your customer loyalty program quite easily with an app. Our brains are wired to like that kind of stuff! This way, your customers will like and want to keep piling those loyalty points on!
Finally, if you are running an e-commerce business, an electronic loyalty program goes hand in hand with your operation, especially on mobile platforms. Like we have said, mobile platforms are always by people’s side, and they are also quickly overtaking the web as the chosen platform for online shopping.
More customer engagement = more chances to improve customer loyalty!
A mobile app is a bridge between your business and the customers. The app can be used as their loyalty card, but also be used to keep them engaged with your brand.
Publish interesting content in the app, keep your users opening it up and seeing what you have. Use the power of push notifications. These actions will keep them interested in the app. If they are interested in using the app often, this means your business is always in their minds!
You can also use the app to give your customers a place where they can send feedback. Customers will feel valued and empowered with the ability to provide instant feedback. You will, in turn, have a great place to collect valuable customer feedback.
In short, while you can duplicate the functionality of stamp cards with a mobile app, their benefits are not limited to just that. An app will provide even more ways to increase customer loyalty for you.
How do I get them to use the app though?
Getting them to download the app can be easier than you think. Using the QR codes, you can make the process of finding and downloading the app incredibly easy for the customer. Better yet, you can incentivize the download: “get our app by scanning this code, and your next coffee is on us!” This way they’ll have their freebie, and already join the loyalty program before they know it!
Of course, getting the on the app is one thing, keeping them using it is another. But you can always keep them interested by feeding the right content into your app regularly! Say, you are operating a coffee shop? Give your users cool articles and stories about how can they brew some nice cups at home, or what are the nicest beans for the connoisseur! Don’t forget to throw in some “benefits of coffee” in there as well. Though, the real kicker would be using push notifications, which only come with a mobile app! Notify people of sales, campaigns, new products, etc. or just of a cool story you may have published, to remind them of their favorite shop!
So how and where do I start with a mobile app for my customer loyalty programs?
Remember, often a customer wants to be in customer loyalty programs as much as you want their continued patronage. Apps make it enjoyable and convenient for them while providing your customer loyalty programs with additional features and powers. It is the win-win solution for both you, the business owner, and your customers.
“How does one get an app?” you might ask. Followed most likely by “and how much does it cost to have an app?” It all depends. Having a custom app developed for you may provide an app tailored exactly the way you like. But it is often costly to do so. Moreover, wishes and realities can end up getting lost in communication between you and the development team.
**** It is not the only way though. Like CMS (content management system) technology has revolutionized the creation of websites, app builder platforms are now rushing to the rescue of small business owners! With an app builder system like MobiRoller, you can create and publish your professional app with a few clicks. No need for coding, at all! Best of all, it is very affordable. For more on that, check our article on how much does it cost to have an app.
How about you give a try? You can start using MobiRoller and create your app right now, and for free!
By now it is pretty well established that companies and influencers really should have a mobile presence. Mobile apps are very much the next web at this point. Though, with at least two popular platforms to support, having an app made for you can be confusing and costly. Native apps are built specifically for the operating systems they run on, and generally have the best hardware access and user experience. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) though, let you build once, and have it run on either Android, iOS, or even desktop. Which one suits you the best? Native mobile app or PWA? Let’s see their respective pros/cons.
One of the issues of getting an app is having it low cost, multi-platform, but still with the strengths of native apps. Is this possible? Well, read on
Good old native apps!
Sometimes old is gold. Native apps are still the way to go for providing the absolute native UI experience of Android or iOS, or accessing some advanced hardware capabilities. While the performance and compatibility of PWAs have already gotten very good, the native option is still the more overall stable one. Especially with lower end devices, your app is more likely to offer a fast flowing and hiccup free user experience this way.
It is not all roses though. Like you may already know, native apps are custom built to specifically run on the platform they are built for. Code an Android app, build it, publish it on Google Play Store, code an iOS app, build it, and then publish it on Apple App Store. Sometimes the apps are in sync with each other, other times they offer wildly different user experiences and features. Oh, and, it isn’t unknown for one of the app stores approving your app, while the other rejects it. Having two different native apps, especially if built by two teams can end up being rather costly for you. And as you see, the headaches and overheads to deal with do not end with the cost itself.
Finally, when you want to update your app (and you should frequently, it is one of the common qualities of successful apps), you will need to go through a lengthy process of re-coding features, re-building the apps, and re-submitting the updates to the stores, for each platform. Obviously, with almost all the hassles involved the first time around…
If you want to have an app with quick and frequent updates, and with a low cost on both platforms, the answer for native mobile app or PWA may not be the native for you.
New kid on the block: PWA
Where there is a challenge, there will come a solution. For all the advantages native mobile apps have over mobile web pages, they have almost as many disadvantages. Indeed, before the PWA, the question was “mobile apps vs mobile websites“. If you’ve read our post on that though, you will know that mobile websites were hardly the answer most of the time. They offered limited-to-no access to hardware features, they did not offer the true app experience, and they did not perform as well.
PWA technology bridges the two. A PWA is a web application that will run great on any standards-compliant browser. However, it is not just a webpage trying to pretend to be an app. PWA will have access to most app features and hardware that make native apps powerful, and can be an icon on the home page like a native app. Push notifications, camera, and location sensors, offline working capabilities, they are all there.
The main advantages however, are where the native apps suffer. The PWA will run on Android, iOS, and even desktop systems just fine! Develop it once, and it’ll work the same on all the platforms. They are quick and easy to update too. As long as browsers do not act up, they work great. Thankfully, the browser incompatibility issues, and lack of compliance with web standards are things of the past for the most part. So, now when we ask “native mobile app or PWA”, the answer seems obvious right?
A custom mobile app not only provides a platform to order conveniently but also works as your one-stop solution for increasing customer engagement. A mobile app can provide additional value to your customers which will help you rank above the competition.
7 ways in which mobile apps will help your restaurant to outrank your competition:
With the option to order their meals from a mobile app, they can easily place an order when they are stuck in traffic or on the way to pick up the kids. Mobile apps provide the freedom to order from any place at any time without pausing everything and making a call to the restaurant. Reward your customers when they order via the app.
This data will provide crucial inputs on the items your customer likes to order together, the time he usually prefers to order and several other metrics that you can help you to constantly improve your business and eventually increase revenue.
They are either going to visit the store or most likely place an online order through the app or website and they are definitely going to order other items from the menu.
Investing in a mobile ordering app for your restaurant will definitely provide a breather for you and your team. By incorporating online ordering into their work routine, your team can leave the monotonous tasks to the software and concentrate on better things like promoting your brand new mobile app. A mobile app acts as your virtual storefront which enables customers to place an order, see it while it is being processed and track its location when it is out for delivery.
Customers prefer to place their orders on their mobile devices. Customers spend more when they order through an app as they have more time to make a decision.
Mobile ordering is a complete package, not only does it help in bringing more orders but it also takes care of other things like scheduling events, reducing errors and food wastage.
With the increased smartphone usage and availability of a wide array of mobile apps, it is important for restaurants to capitalize on this technology so they can increase their margins and also be better equipped for the future.
By Michelle Tempesta, head of marketing, Paytronix Systems Inc.
Online and mobile ordering took off in 2019, with 37% of restaurants now offering digital orders per a recent National Restaurant Association Study, and the global market for on-demand food delivery is expected to grow 31.76% annually for the next two years. The opportunity is clear, but for brands that don't properly plan for the switch, the excitement can quickly turn to chaos.
In order to explore how best to manage these issues and ensure that online ordering will consistently deliver an ideal guest experience, Paytronix synthesized the experiences of hundreds of client conversations across more than 400 restaurant and convenience store brands. Quick service and fast casual brands typically experienced the same common challenges and pains when implementing online ordering and delivery programs.
Here are five takeaways for how to ensure your online order goes right:
1. Consider in-store, front-of-house operations. When delivery drivers or customers arrive to pick up an order, you want to get them in and out of your store as soon as possible. Eliminating the option to pay in store helps speed the pickup process. Operating a separate pickup area prevents those picking up meals from interfering with dine in processes.
2. Modify in-store, back-of-house operations. Where will orders be assembled? Nine out of 10 order mistakes occur when employees pick and pack an order. Some brands go to extremes and only allow managers to pick and pack orders. Consider this process when preparing for ordering and delivery. You will need a dedicated area to put orders together and prepare them for delivery driver or customer pickup.
3. Successfully deliver your product. Packaging is a serious consideration and millions are being spent on research and development of hot food packaging. Keeping fries crisp, and the order hot is just the beginning.
Today, operators must keep delivery drivers out of the order and ensure the customer that the food has not been tampered with in route. After all, when there is an issue with the order, the brand is on the hook, not the delivery company. Some restaurants are getting special bags for ordering that are tamper evident, some are using seals to close the bags. Do your research and test packaging before going to market with order and delivery.
4. Make it right, when something goes wrong. The first challenge is finding out that something went wrong. If it's a financial issue, the customer will likely let you know. You'll need a way to handle chargebacks and delivery fee refunds. However, quality is another challenge. When a quality issue arises, adjustments need to be made immediately.
Survey carry-out customers within two hours of the order and then delivery the results to restaurant managers in real time. Give them the ability to make it right by the guest.
5. Reward customers for choosing your brand. Whether ordering online or in your store, say ‘thanks' to your customers by making it easy for them to earn and redeem loyalty rewards. Make ordering engaging by enabling them to redeem points for items – 300 points for a cheeseburger and fries – for example.
With third party delivery partners in the mix, having direct access to your customer data, you need to find a way to maintain those hard-won relationships regardless of how they order from your brand. Make it more fun, easier, and more convenient to do business with you online, via an app, and in store. Your ability to enhance the customer experience with promotions, like instant wins, and personalization powered by AI will increase their likelihood to order from you again.
Reward your members for doing the things that help to increase your membership and sales, and add to your bottom line
Select which Profitable Customer Behaviours suit your business needs
Using Whisqr, we provide your business with the means of encouraging more than just the "Buy 10; Get 1 Free" behaviour that a traditional rewards program does.
The Basic Punch
This is the most basic and versitile Punch. You can award a Basic Punch for anything you want because you decide what receives a punch. The Basic Punch is triggered automatically when an employee scans a customer card. The Basic Punch is usually worth 1 punch but you can make it worth more if you need to and you can also allow employees to select the punch amount.
You may also decide to award one or more extra punches to employees.
The Regular Customer
Do you have that customer that never fails to visit? Do you want more customers like that? Reward customers for always coming back.
First Customer of the Day
Want your customers to race each other to be the first to buy something from you? Reward your customers for coming in earlier.
The Daily Repeater
Get your customers to come back multiple times in the same day. Activating this behaviour will award more punches for every visit in a single day after the first visit.
The Opportunist (Specials)
Encourage customers to purchase specific products or services with bonus punches. Optionally; you can vary the punch value and availability for your Specials, based upon the time of day, day of the week or season.
Encourage your customers to bring their friends and coworkers to your business for extra punches. Activating this behaviour will add a button to your puncher that your employees can use to record how many new customers were brought to your business. Use the following counters to define the number of Punches that customers will be awarded for the products or services that customers can suspend for the use of others.
Use this option to provide a means through which customers can buy a product for someone who needs one. Make Positive Social Change your business's actual policy by actively promoting, facilitating and rewarding small acts of kindness.
The idea is simple: Customers pay for two items; but only take one. The second item is "Suspended" until anyone who asks for it claims it for free.
The Location Explorer
Do you have more than one location? Increase traffic at all of your locations by encouraging your customers to visit more than one.
The Facebook Sharer
When customers share your Specials and Events in their Facebook feeds; your business both increases its reach and gains the benefits of a personal endorcement. Get your customers excited about sharing your important messages. Make sure you create Ads for your customers to share.
Most Frequent Customer
Have your customers competing with each other to be the one who visits most often. Awarded once a month; the customer at each location that came more often than all of the other customers gets a special prize. The draw will only occur if there have been a minimum number of cards punched.
Have one registered customer, picked randomly once a month, receive bonus punches for no reason other than it's their luck day. All registered customers are eligible to win; regardless of how frequently or recently the customer has made purchases.
The Returning Customer
Remind customers who have been away a long time to return. Activating this behaviour will trigger an email to be sent to long absent customers; encouraging them to return with bonus punches.
Encourage customers to register their cards by rewarding them for doing so.
Reward employees who punch the most cards in a month. Give your employees an incentive to work to increase your Loyalty Program participation by awarding them punches of their own.
We will do all this for you or you do it yourself, whenever you want to. Just let us know.
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