Why Mobile-Only Coupons, Promos, and Deals Increase App Engagement
In the world of fast-changing, sophisticated technology, we sometimes forget the basics. We get distracted by the newest, shiniest thing on the market and lose sight of tried and true strategies such as discounts, coupons, and promos.
For quick service restaurants (QSRs), discounting has always been a key component to driving sales. Before the world of mobile ordering and social media, coupons, promos, and deals were a standard way to encourage repeat and first-time business to their brick-and-mortar locations.
The urgency and scarcity conveyed by limited-time deals make customers feel more inclined to purchase something they probably would not have even considered previously. For example, if you tell customers that only the first 50 people into the store get free fries on Friday, more people than normal will suddenly have a craving for fries and have the urge to visit your store. This simple approach to sales is often forgotten in the digital world as we become distracted by flashier strategies.
Learn how McDonald’s, Domino’s, and Chick-fil-A embrace this simple strategy within their digital experience and maximize mobile-only deals, coupons, and promos.
We mentioned free fries before because that’s exactly what McDonald’s did for one of their mobile marketing campaigns. For this promotion, you could visit any McDonald’s chain on any Friday for the remainder of the year and get free fries. The only catch was that customers had to spend at least $1 and order through the mobile app. It’s common knowledge that if you want someone to do something for you, offering free food is a sure-fire way to incentivize them.
Needless to say, McDonald’s saw a massive surge in mobile downloads thanks to this campaign. And once people had downloaded the app, the fast-food chain could continue to offer deals long after the free fry campaign had ended.
For example, McDonald’s regularly offers deals and coupons such as BOGO Happy Meals, free fries, $1 off select foods, punch cards, and more. These discounts can only be found and used when ordering through their mobile app, so it encourages people to keep the app installed on their devices. Offering mobile-only deals like this not only attract customers but also help drive app adoption. According to a recent report by SimilarWeb, McDonald’s saw a daily app usage increase from 20 percent to 40 percent in a matter of months after embracing this strategy.
In 2015, when Domino’s Pizza first launched its mobile app, sales skyrocketed 19 percent. The brand was one of the earlier adopters of mobile order and pay and certainly one of the earliest to integrate the food delivery process into an app. Since then, Dominos’ mobile strategy has become an integral piece of their marketing mix.
Now, to keep the momentum going, Domino’s offers a free medium pizza each time someone spends $60 on their app. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For example, their groundbreaking Points for Pies campaign allowed users to earn points by uploading a picture of any pizza to the app. The more pizza customers ate, the more points they got. The more points they got, the closer they got to free pizza. This particular strategy kept the consumer cycle going and generated quite a bit of buzz. Although more of a PR stunt than anything, it was indicative of the type of innovation Dominos’ mobile strategy is headed toward. We can’t wait to see how they continue to improve the in-app customer experience.
Chick-fil-A takes a slightly different approach to mobile-only deals. Instead of rewarding customers once when they download the app, they periodically give away free food to mobile customers. This strategy really helps with retention because it means they don’t have a bunch of people downloading the app, using the initial coupon, and then uninstalling the app. By offering food throughout the year, they encourage people to keep coming back to their platform. These little moments of surprise and delight are a huge part of why Chick-fil-A’s digital orders account for nearly 20 percent of the chain’s business.
Honorable Mention: Chili’s
If you like free food, the Chili’s app is a treasure trove with free dessert on your birthday and free chips, salsa, and non-alcoholic drinks every time you visit. All you have to do is download their app! If that’s not incentive to download their app and visit their restaurant, I don’t know what is.
Ultimately, mobile-only coupons drive sales by:
- Increasing in-store traffic
- Incentivising mobile order and pay
- Rewarding app downloads
- Developing brand loyalty and engagement
- Encouraging repeat sales
- Eliminating the cost of printing physical coupons
- Seamlessly tying into other digital marketing campaigns
- Personalizing offers and deals based on demographics, order history, events, and more
- Creating a database of opted-in mobile numbers that can now receive Notes, Surveys, push notifications, Ratings prompts, and more communications from your company
- Changing in real-time to adapt to the customer’s behavior or location
Although we just highlighted some of the amazing ways coupons, discounts, and deals can help drive app downloads and increase sales, that shouldn’t be your only mobile marketing strategy. If you’re investing money and resources into getting customers onto your platform, you need to also be investing in creating a seamless customer experience. There’s only so much free food can do to compensate for a messy UI or flawed ordering system. The best way to identify these areas for improvement is to build your product roadmap using customer data and feedback. Start collecting customer feedback at the right time and place with Apptentive today.