How can you encourage customers to actually use your app?
The first step is getting them to actually download it. The biggest asset QSRs have is their real estate – the restaurants and all the foot traffic that comes through there. That's where you want to draw attention to the app; even down to putting it on the tray mats and coffee cups. You should be providing incentives to download the app right up to the point where customers are making a purchase. You can also train staff to encourage people to download the app by reminding them of the benefits. Some chains do this very well – if a customer comes into purchase something and doesn't have the app, they're made aware of it and the benefits it can offer.
The first week is key
When people download the app it's important to get them to use it within the first seven days. People who don't use it within the first week tend to drop off, and the percentage of those people who will go on to be high value mobile customers is far less than for those people who use it immediately.
The average app loses almost 80% of its users in the first 3 days - your mission is to prevent this happening to you.
That's why companies like Uber provide a discounted first ride or purchase – they want you to have that mobile experience to see how easy it is. And once you're on board they know that you'll become a long-standing mobile customer of higher value to them than the average customer. Taking a leaf from that book, in that first seven days it's important to offer something of value that will encourage people to come in and go through the process to get that value – whether it's a discount or early access to a new product. Give them that during the first seven days, then follow up on it.
Don't stop marketing
You see a lot of brands put out a mobile app and forget to promote it, and then the consumer will forget to use it. Do what you can to bring back those lapsed users, but also be sure your brand doesn't stop promoting that app – in-store or via email notifications. Keep on marketing that app as much as possible.
Once you've got a group of people using the app, it's important to measure the frequency of usage – separate users into heavy, medium and light users, and to build a program that increases the frequency with highly relevant messaging and offers.