This is a question that many marketing and management teams have asked themselves many times over (Pro tip: if you haven’t, then it’s time you did). Is it worth investing in an app for our business? Or is it a waste of money in the long-run?
These are important questions to ask and we can answer it with some succinct points – listed below – but we also want to point out the following: An app is only as good as it’s implementation. If you do decide to move ahead with development or even opt to use a third-party app, be sure that it is implemented properly so that all processes work. Remember that on-boarding your clients properly is key to this as well. If you don’t have their buy-in, then there will be no success.
Right, with that said, here are some important reasons why you should have an app.
No, we don’t mean that a user can select the colour of the walls and style of décor they want when they dine (that would be great, though!). Rather, we mean that an app for a restaurant allows the user to add their preferences (allergens, preferred dining area), book their spots, join your loyalty programme, take part in promotions they feel is best suited to them, and so on.
Allowing the user to create the experience they want to partake in is a huge part of the dining 2.0 movement and it would be remiss to write this off as a simple fad.
Leading on from the above point, once a user has inputted their preferences for dining this gives you an opportunity to communicate directly with them. Build up the excitement for their visit by reminding them ahead of time that they are in for an amazing experience.
More pertinently though, post-dining experience you can easily find out if they enjoyed their experience (or not) via the app in a non-invasive manner. The user can also be kept up to date with the latest promotions and changes to the company through the app.
Apps also allow for greater, and easier, two-way communication. If the user experiences any issues (whether it be with your restaurant or with the app) they can get in touch about this to you via the app – a safe space for the user that is a less confrontational environment than a phone call.
Create Brand Advocates
We’ve touched on loyalty in the first point and in our blog post about Mobile Ordering Apps. The convenience of tapping into an app’s database makes loyalty marketing so much quicker and easier. By letting the user customise their preferences and experience, this gives you a greater insight into the types of promotions and rewards they would respond to.
By offering the user far more personalised rewards you are creating advocates of your brand which will stand your company well in the long term, no matter how the consumer or tech landscapes change in the future.
This point is important. Yes, it’s great to use third-party apps as they make everything so much easier and save a lot of time but, how do you know for sure that the data they are collecting on users has been given with 100% informed consent? In most cases: you don’t.
By having your own app you can control how a user opts-in to various features and can ensure that you are giving them full control over what they see from the app and what marketing messages they see. With GDPR coming up this is a crucial element that cannot be ignored.
Statistically speaking, 81% of adults 81% of adults possess a smartphone and of that group 91% of 18-44-year-olds are smartphone owners. If that percentage of mobile penetration among a key audience doesn’t convince you, coupled with all our points above, then perhaps this stat will: global app downloads totalled more than 175 BILLION last year.
Shouldn’t your apps be one of those?