The mobile application, or mobile app, craze has taken over the global and Australian QSR scene. But barriers like high development costs can prevent operators from committing to this technology trend.
If we are to believe a couple of QSR operators, this is a good thing, saving businesses from the folly of launching a mobile app without the right focus or polished execution.
“There’s no shortage of QSR apps that have only been downloaded a handful of times. Done right, however, an app can absolutely help to increase sales, loyalty and more,” says Carlos Antonius, general manager at Chatime.
“For this reason we’re taking our time developing a suitable app for Chatime, rather than rushing out something that will be ineffective,” he adds.
Over at The Coffee Emporium, mobile apps are also viewed less as a magical cure-all for customer concerns, and more as a surgical solution for specific obstacles. This means a business with a limited app budget might be better off focusing on a few fantastic features instead of cramming in many mediocre ones.
“As effective as they may seem to appear, apps should focus on solving one or two key problems the brand wants to solve for their customers, “says Fernando Pimentel, global marketing manager at Coffee Emporium. “If you try offering every single solution on an app you might dilute the value of your solution and end up losing focus not doing anything well at all.”
He reckons on area where apps can be effective tools for customers is in tracking points in a loyalty program, and Chatime is currently looking at ways to transition its loyalty program into an app format.
Mobile apps are also great to establish a constant communication channel with customers, with Pimentel saying “mobile apps are a sensational way to connect with consumers on a 24/7 basis.
Finally, mobile apps have been shown to enhance the in-store experience. Pimentel notes that applications like “Beat the Q” are helping reduce consumer sacrifices, and enabling customers to pay for purchases through a simple QR code scan or a mobile phone reader at the register.
Tarik Mallet from Mobi2Go comments, "Currently, 55% of online orders processed by Mobi2Go are through mobile devices. Mobile Apps are a good way to cater to those customers if the app is designed, promoted and marketed with the consumer in mind. Unfortunately, a lot of QSRs forget about their customers when they design a mobile app which can waste a lot of time and money. Since consumers have a limited amount of space on their mobile devices, apps need to provide the consumer with a significant amount of value if you want it to have a permanent place on their home screen."
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
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