When was the last time you went 24 hours without using your mobile phone? Or you left home without it? Or it was more than two feet away from you? You probably can’t remember, and that’s not altogether surprising. Everyone has a smart phone these days and everyone is effectively glued to theirs, scrolling on the commute, in lunch breaks, and in the evening. That makes them an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to marketing, and in particular, marketing through mobile apps. Why? Because all your key information could be right there at their fingertips as an on-screen app. Here, we discuss how your hospitality business could benefit from an app…
This January McDonald’s app launched its ‘Appy Days Calendar’, which offered 24 deals in 23 days that were exclusively available to customers on the app. Sounds pretty good, right? With a restaurant app you can market to your customers whenever you want – send them push notifications with exclusive deals and offers, list your delivery options, or even keep them engaging with your brand for longer by creating in-app games and puzzles with rewards and deals to be won. McDonalds have even ensured their app works abroad, so their products are available to their customer base wherever they are around the world.
An app is essentially the 2020 version of a shop window, so use it to communicate exactly what your brand is all about to your customers. You’ll need to include up-to-date menus, information on opening hours and locations, and a selection of mouth-watering photography to tempt your customers into either coming in or ordering in. The good news is that an app can make it as convenient as possible to purchase your products, and you can ensure that customers can make a reservation on your app, view their order history, and browse what offers and deals you currently have running. Win win.
Apps are all about user experience, and when you think about the Wetherspoons app, one of the biggest things it does is to improve customers’ experience at their bars. Being able to order food and drinks over the app means less time waiting at the bar and more time enjoying their time there. Likewise, Costa’s app allows customers to skip the queue and collect their coffee ahead of other customers who don’t have the app. If you approach an app with the notion of not what it can do for your business, but what it can do for your customers then you’re onto a winner – because who wouldn’t sign up for that?
Let’s face it, taking an order over the phone is not fun. You might be dealing with a whole lot of background noise, have a complicated order for a large party to deal with, or you need to extract lengthy credit card details over the phone. Not an easy task. When an order is placed over an app, it means that you can see really clearly what is, all the way from the extra helping of dips to that gluten free base on the margarita pizza. It can go direct to the kitchen, be turned around more quickly than having the chef have to decipher a handwritten order and be out to your customers asap. What’s not to like?
Remember the days of having to have the correct cash in the house to pay the takeaway driver? Not a good experience. 98% of 18-34-year-old millennials who have paid a bill via mobile would like to do so again, and 35% would also like to place their orders via tablet or mobile. It’s not hard to see why – it’s much quicker, more convenient, and if you save your bank details in app then you pay the next time in just a couple of clicks. If you still expect customers to ring up to place an order your missing out on a huge audience.