How to Increase Client's Loyalty to a Food Service Business
Updated 13 Oct 2022
Do you remember the time when having a phone considered to be a privilege? That time has gone. Today everyone has a smartphone. Moreover, we have an opportunity to pay for purchases with it's help! Everything you need is a built-in NFC module or ordinary Wi-Fi signal in couple with a credit card.
The modern consumers can be divided according to the classes, groups, Zodiac signs etc. However, all of them have something in common - a love for food and a lack of time. How did we come to it and what solution do we have?
As the rhythm of life has become very fast, IT industry offers us a number of time-saving approaches for every field of our life. The food industry was not indifferent to innovations. It gifted us a lot of mobile-centric solutions from world-famous brands as well as small and medium-sized companies. I am talking about different apps reducing the time needed for food consumption. A variety of applications broadening the opportunities of already existing food business were gradually filling the market (e.g. food delivery apps).
As a result, electronic commerce as well as mobile, have taken an important place in our daily routine. Many food-related companies have started moving towards the digital world in order to give their clients new consumption possibilities.
Learn more about high-tech shopping in our article related to e-commerce
In this article, we are going to discuss the reasons why food-related business can increase customer loyalty by an app creation.
A fair food service online
Talking about food-related businesses, there is a tendency for simplifying a process of food consumption. Many restaurants and cafes following the digital trends have reservation feature as well as beforehand order, payment with the help of a phone etc.
The market gives you an opportunity to digitize your business providing clients with a new experience. Do not ignore this opportunity. As the digital component is a path to user loyalty.
Moreover, a mobile market is becoming bigger every year forming a new e-commerce concept. It becomes more mobile-centric and offers the new ways of consumption for consumers.
Taking into consideration the growth of a mobile market - the demand for online services will continue to grow in the following years. Thus, the perspectives of adding a new format to your business are clear. It is not only attractive for consumers but also does not require many efforts from the owner.
Mobile commerce in figures (Source:e-Strategy)
You should remember that the market is full of competitors. Your digital solution must be beautiful and functional enough.
Control it! Learn how you can control the process of your project development
One more thing, you need to remember about the quality of the services offered in your meal app. Table booking should be exact and timely, delivery - fast and presentable etc.
Food application functionality
The first thing you should do is to explore the market and find out similar applications. This step will help you to understand the demand for certain service and the competitor's strategies in gaining users' loyalty. We are actually going to do that now.
Domino's app interface
The first application is called Domino's. It is an app from well-known American pizza house. This food application gives an opportunity for combining the ingredients in order to achieve the perfect pizza composition. Concerning the delivery function in this app, it provides users with a possibility for tracking an order in a real time on the map.
This way, users are aware of the moment when a pizza delivery guy will knock on the door. Moreover, foodies can make a pizza of their own.
We can see that Domino's strategy is aimed at transparent delivery and maximum customized production.
Subway's app interface
The world famous fast food chain has provided it's clients with an online food service aimed at their product consumption. With the help of this app users can order the food beforehand and pick it up within 15 minutes. Also, it has a built-in payment opportunity.
Everybody knows that the main advantage of fast food is fast cooking. Subway's mobile commerce strategy is focused on making their services even faster.
Wendy's app interface
Wendy's app is a guidebook in the food industry's world. Users can locate restaurants around and pay the bill directly with the help of this food service application. It is like a bank account in the fast food world.
Wendy's strategy is about contactless payment. The credit card is not required because of the built-in payment model.
This is only a small part of the food-related app market. Nevertheless, these apps are the biggest representatives in this segment. We can claim that features used in their structure will definitely attract customers.
If we combine these apps, we will get a pretty interesting set of features. For example, own pizza (or another product) creation, delivery, beforehand order, and a possibility to pay for the food with the help of your smartphone.
In case you have some doubts what app features will meet your requiremens - feel free to contact our business analyst for qualified advice.
This combination already provides your customers with a high-quality digital experience. Of course, the functionality of an app depends only on your needs.
What should you take into account?
Before the app development process, you should think through all the details required.
In a rapid developing mobile commerce world, it is very important to stand out from the crowd. Probably, you should think about different ways of separate function realization in your food service. For example, talking about food delivery it can be a beautiful packaging with QR code on it. The packaging attracts consumer attention while QR code will provide additional promotion to your app.
It is a very rough example. You should decide which principles will you follow according to your target audience needs.
You should be ready for increased level of consumption. For example, you own a coffee house with 200 daily customers. However, beforehand ordering in couple with online ordering have increased this number to 300 people. What difficulties can you face? How about your solo cups and coffee stocks? They were probably calculated exactly on 200 clients per day.
E-commerce sales forecast
The next problem is coffee's heat. Having a beforehand order in your coffee house, you cannot predict exactly when will your client come. So, you need to find a way of keeping this beverage warm until the customer takes it. The freshness of the product plays a crucial part in the food industry.
I would like to remember that I am using very rough examples in this article. Problems you can face during the business digitalization can be more extensive and complicated. While introducing a new food service do not stop asking yourself 'what difficulties can I meet?'.
Before setting up e-commerce, make sure that the company which is going to develop your project is hands-on professional in this sphere. Also, it is a good idea to check company's portfolio in order to see the level of their UI/UX design in projects. Do not forget to ask about the technical support provided by this company.
The company must offer you their UI and UX vision of your future app. You should make sure that you are satisfied with this solution. Remember, well-designed m-commerce app should have a fast order opportunity. For the correct implementation of this feature, the appropriate app structure is required. For instance, grouping items by categories and a search box. Your digital solution must be unique and fit your business.
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The productive partnership between a customer of the digital solution and a company delivering it - is a key to the successful food application.
Visualization and description in your food application
Photos are the only way potential purchaser can evaluate product or place. Do not use stock photos. They will not sell your product and definitely will not convince the person to visit your place. Modern users are very discerning. So, do not skimp on a professional photographer.
You may include not only photos but videos as well. You see, it is hard to underestimate video impact on the customer's choice. People are in need of qualitative visualization. Video can transfer the atmosphere of your cafe or restaurant and help a client to make the final decision in your favor.
You need to create a memorable description for every product as well as for the food services. Firstly, the description contains must-have information (e.g. weight, ingredients). Secondly, well-prepared description helps to increase the sales rate.
Socialization in your food service app
Online reviews have a significant influence on the customer's choice. Reviews provide direct feedback from the person who has already bought a product. This way, the credibility to the seller increases. Adding review feature is a good idea but it should be realized in a proper way without any harm to application design.
ustomers who trust in online reviews
Make it easy to contact you
Include contact information such as phone number and email. Customer appreciates the opportunity to ask for help in case some issues appear.
Food is visual. Every modern app is more or less social aimed. Social networks are the great platform for the whole food industry. Entrepreneurs should not ignore it. Except for your business pages on social networks, you can add sharing ability to your application. Users will be glad to share your great photos on their favorite social network. This feature is able not only to promote your food app but to attract new visitors as well.
What do we have? Growing mobile and e-commerce markets prove the importance of digital moving for a variety of businesses. This step can help you to breathe a new life into your business.
In the era of consumption, it is not a bad idea to create an app simplifying the interaction between client and different kind of services. This step can show your clients different paths for your product consumption. In other words, client's loyalty tends to increase.
However, you should not forget that perfectly made app - it is not enough. The food service component should also be on a high level and you will definitely make the grade.
As usual, our highly-skilled team is ready for your ideas implementation. Contact us and we will discuss your project in details.
Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics
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