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Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

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Guide

The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

Retention is a top priority for mobile marketers. Our new five-step framework is here to help you improve your existing strategy.

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Guide

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Guide

2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

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Loyalty & Retention

Food and Beverage Mobile App Marketing Strategies

Madeleine Wilson  //  October 1, 2020  //  5 min read

Most people are still hesitant – if not completely opposed – to visiting restaurants in-person and dine-in options. Given this, many QSRs and food and beverage companies that have embraced mobile apps, curbside pickup, and mobile order and pay have seen far more success than those that haven’t.

One of the larger hurdles these brands face, however, is how to market their mobile apps. They might have developed the perfect mobile app experience, but the following issues remain unaddressed:

  1. How to increase app downloads
  2. How to drive mobile customer loyalty
  3. How to prevent mobile customer churn (and what to do when you see customers about to ditch the app)

Each one of these concerns can be tackled with key mobile marketing strategies for QSRs.

Higher ratings and glowing reviews help entice mobile app downloads and increase installs

We know that mobile app users are frequently higher-value customers that spend more and offer higher LTV. But the biggest hurdle in mobile app marketing is often getting people in the door in the first place. Why would someone download your mobile app when they can use something else?

One of the easiest ways to drive downloads and increase installs is simply app store optimization. Make sure your descriptions are compelling, product shots are informative, and keywords are in place. However, you need to go one step further and start driving ratings and reviews. While these might seem out of your control, there are some simple app strategies that can help you increase five star ratings and positive reviews.

→Download Ratings & Reviews Guide

Let’s take a step back and look at some of the data for this industry. 78% of the average iOS food and drink app’s ratings were five-stars, and 7% were one-star. Android apps in the same category showed 56% of their ratings as five-stars, and 23% of their ratings as one-star. Food and drink apps tend to be more transactional than apps in other categories. Consumers notice small in-app changes right away, where they might not see them otherwise.

Food and drink apps face a unique challenge when it comes to driving five-star ratings. This is an industry is competitive in a way that others aren’t (for example, you aren’t as likely to switch between clothing brands as much as you are to switch between which coffee you prefer). That’s why it’s so important for these apps in particular to focus on driving more positive ratings and reviews.

Use mobile-only deals, coupons, and promos to drive app downloads and mobile customer 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 app marketing strategies such as discounts, coupons, and promos.

For 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 marketing 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 here.

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. Like we said earlier, getting them in the door is only half of the battle.

Marketing the experience is far more compelling than the product itself

This is kind of marketing 101, but it’s worthwhile to reiterate: People don’t buy products – they buy solutions, experiences, feelings, and promises. What problems does your app solve for your customers? Instead of advertising mobile order and pay, advertise that your brand has a safer way for families to order and pay for their food.  Or advertise the convenience of not having to rummage around for your credit card or wait in a long line to order. If you’re offering curbside pickup, talk about how your brand is doing everything possible to offer a safer and more convenient way for people to pick up their food. Place the emphasis on the customer’s experience rather than the features of the app itself.

The strategy of marketing the experience rather than the app has caused customer experience to become a front-running issue of businesses across nearly every industry. Don’t market your app—that’s simply is not enough anymore. You have to focus on the experiences that are only possible with your app.

Get new app users to sign up for loyalty programs quickly in order to increase lifetime value

Even though the more downloads you have, the better your ranking in app stores, there is a lot more to having a successful app marketing campaign. Beyond organic users, there is a type of user that is more valuable—the most valuable— and those are your loyal users.

Downloads are certainly important, but you spent a lot of time designing the experience your app delivers. Thus, you should want it to be, well, experienced. Loyal users are the ones that are going to turn that download into revenue and a positive ROI and actually use the app and its features.

A lot of users, despite spending the time to download an app, won’t use it more than one or two times. This churn rate is important to monitor, especially in mobile apps. If you aren’t acquiring loyal users, there may be a major problem with the design and functionality of your app. Without remedying the issues with your app, you won’t be able to take full advantage of your organic lifting and campaigns to boost downloads.

Loyal users, at the end of the day, are going to determine the success and future of the mobile app side to your business.

Our data tells us there is more at stake for Food and Drink apps when it comes to encouraging customer love and brand loyalty. The Food and Drink category is extremely competitive and dynamic in a way other app categories are not – especially right now. There’s always another delivery app or loyalty program trying to lure customers away, especially for QSR brands

Reward programs work because they:

  1. Retain and engage customers better: Gamification through points and achievements keeps people coming back to the app time and time again. Ultimately, when people are more engaged beyond the point of purchase, they’re more likely to stick around.
  2. Save money and resources: It costs far more for companies to acquire new customers than it does to sell to an existing one. Brands save money by increasing retention and activating their current customers for repeat purchases.
  3. Increase the number of referrals: Killing two birds with one stone, companies can reward customers for referring friends. This keeps the current customer happy and engaged while the brands gain a new customer at a much lower cost.

Continue to test and iterate based on customer feedback

Measuring the success of app marketing strategies is different than measuring areas of traditional marketing. Mobile changes rapidly – what works today may not work tomorrow.

No matter how successful you are at marketing your apps, the job is never done. Your app marketing team should continuously meet and plan for future updates, changes, and ways to keep consumers engaged and loyal. It is also important to establish a feedback loop with consumers to monitor and understand the changes in attitudes regarding your app and other competing apps.

About Madeleine Wilson

Madeleine Wilson is the Content Marketing Manager for Apptentive. No stranger to B2B tech, Madeleine enjoys translating complex concepts into easy-to-digest pieces of content.
View all posts by Madeleine Wilson >

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