(DGIwire) – What are today’s restaurant-goers most hungry for? Apart from food, it might just be better smartphone apps. According to app engagement company Applause, many of the top-performing restaurant apps have so far failed to capture the minds of U.S. consumers. As reported by Business Insider, the average restaurant app received a mobile user sentiment score of only 38 percent as calculated by Applause from one million app store reviews.
Why the low score? Many restaurant apps are not utilizing engagement tactics such as rewards programs and mobile order-ahead, says Business Insider. But Applause did find examples of U.S. restaurant chains using apps to engage their consumers and drive consumer spending.
For example, roughly 21 percent of Starbucks transactions in the U.S. were completed through the app in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. The app’s Mobile Order & Pay feature represents 10 percent of transactions at high-volume stores. Meanwhile, Domino’s cross-device payment option contributed to half of its U.S. sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Domino’s makes it easy to order and pay for food by offering multiple payment options across 15 platforms. And Taco Bell’s mobile app experienced 20 percent higher average orders than it achieved from in-store purchases in 2015.
“The additional of loyalty programs, mobile order-ahead and favorite orders improve app engagement and spending for properties that use these features,” says Chris Stabile, Vice President of Business Development at Digital Social Retail, a New York-based proximity marketing firm. “Another strong driver of customer engagement is a restaurant chain’s use of beacon technology.”
Beacon technology personalizes the customer’s dining experience, enabling triggers that lead patrons in the door, facilitate coupons and vouchers, announce specials or otherwise direct attention to a featured part of the experience. Digital Social Retail makes beacon technology and digital signage management accessible to all restaurant owners with its cloud-based platform, Social Retail®.
Anyone running multiple screens and campaigns as part of their proximity marketing efforts knows how frustrating it can be to consistently deliver messages to the right location at the right time—whether that be a digital sign across the world or a mobile screen at a store entrance. The Social Retail® digital convergence platform works seamlessly with digital signage displayed on Samsung SMART Signage Platform (SSP) screens and with mobile screen messaging triggered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons communicating with iOS and Android devices running Bluetooth®. The Social Retail® interface is drag-and-drop intuitive, combining playlist creation and content scheduling customized to each digital sign and beacon trigger, social sharing via email and Facebook, and analytics such that anyone with the necessary technology in place could sign up and be up and running in a matter of minutes.
“It’s time for restaurant brands to fully embrace digital-first strategies that raise the bar for quality to ultimately deliver richer customer experiences that accelerate growth,” adds Stabile.