Gone the days, when customers use to come in the restaurant by handouts, magazine ads, or billboard. Today customer spend more time online and make most of their decisions about their purchases and needs. There are lot of budget friendly way to retain and get more customers to your restaurants. Here we go:
Effective based Email Marketing: If you have email list for your customer build over time, here is good news for you:
72% of consumer preferred to be contacted by email
91% of the consumer wants to get promotional emails from the businesses they do business
So encourage your customers to enroll for email in the restaurant or online so you can send your best deals direct to their email. It’s better you use this channel when their is something valuable to offer and customer get value out of it. There are free to use email service to send customized email like Mailchimp, etc Caution: Don’t buy or rent email list as it’s bad for the business. Building your own list builds relationship with customer over time.
74% of consumers user their mobile to help them shop
Mobile offers are redeemed 10 times more frequently than print offers
42% of all mobile sales is oriented through mobile app Note: 123 Apps Studio build mobile app for restaurants / cafe starting $25 per month with full control given to restaurant to change it as they needed
Offer Reward / Loyalty program: It’s well know fact that it cost more to acquire new customer than it does cost for retaining existing customer. So it’s very important to do everything you can do retain existing customer by having right reward system, loyalty program in place. It can be as simple as point based or number of visits to 10% discount on every Wednesday. It can be implemented using mobile app or loyalty based card
Use social media effectively: Social media has taken place of traditional media long back. Over 80% of the adults use at least one social media. It’s quite overwhelming not to use social media as part of marketing and promotion. There are some things to keep in mind to make most of it:
Set goal for your result from social media outreach
See which media your target audience uses, Facebook is not alway beneficial, you can look for newer media like, Instagram, Reddit, etc
Be creative and bold with your promotion
Sometime it adds value to buy some ads on best of the all which works for you for specific promotion
Run a contest: Consumer get attracted to few specific words like “Win”, “Free”, “Special offer”, “Giveaway” and these are the exact things needs to be part of the contest. You can have a contest and prize could be one of the above or something special. The amount of traffic you would be get is always more than what you giveaway along with publicity. You can run the contest more effectively online using social media and mobile app
Be serious about online reputation: It’s very important to have at least neutral if not positive online reputation to be successful in today’s world. Every negative comment takes away that customer along with some hopeful new customer. With every consumer being alert and most of them check what their friends and online community is saying about any place before making any purchase or going out there. So make sure you have good reviews on Facebook, Google review, Yelp etc. If there are any negative reviews, make sure you have updates for that with proper response
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Until smartphones came or until early 2012, when you need to call to any local restaurant or any other place, you pickup your phone, dial the entire 10 digits and connect to someone on the other end.
With phone becoming smart, lot of simple task became much simpler and error free. With iPhones and Android phones, now if we want to contact some place, just search in Google, get the number and just Tap on it, it dials up that number for you and connect to that place. It takes out complete scenario of wrong number and keep looking for number here and there.
This is just one simple example of how the day to day activities are becoming more obvious and as straight-forward as possible. Another example, clicking on address and that opens up Map for you instead of tying confusing addresses into your GPS!
Before developing mobiles apps one question always comes up is whether to go with Native app or hybrid app? There are pros and cons for both and depending on the requirement, you need to decide which way to go. Here is what’s Native and hybrid apps in nutshell.
Hybrid App: Developer build app using HTML5 and wrap it with native SDK and can be deployed across multiple platforms.
Native apps: This is platform (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows, etc) specific, so there would be separate app for each platform and that needs to be developed separately for each platform. Requires expertise in that platform to build an app.
Here are the few things to consider while deciding which way to go:
Features: What features you want in the app. With native app, you have complete access to phone features like camera, contact list, SMS etc. With hybrid you can get some of the features from phone but not all. Hybrid app can be good for content driven app verses feature specific. If you want to access phone features / sensors, you need native apps. E.g. You can’t use Touch ID in hybrid app
User Experience: It’s mobile first world when it comes to online users, that means when user visit the app, it should be user friendly and easy to use. It should look neat and slick. At anytime native app would look much awesome compared to best hybrid app. With Hybrid app, user interface improvement has it’s own limit. For best user experience native app are best
Cost & Time: This is where hybrid app comes into picture. As you need to develop app only once for hybrid, automatically cost and time required are much lower compared to platform specific expertise and time required to build an app. As there would be only one codebase for hybrid app, future modification will also cost less.
Performance:As OS for mobiles are developed specifically for native apps and it supports it’s libraries much better, native app will beat the performance and better throughput anytime.
In overall, If you want to build best in class app, native is your best bet. If you want to have less cost and moderate performance, you can go with hybrid app.
Every year we get new operating system for both iOS (from Apple) and Android (from Google / Android) with some additional updates as sub-version to fix any issues. iOS 9 is due this falls, iOS 8 has already been adopted by iOS devices over 85% since it’s launch last year. Similarly Google had launched Android Lollipop last November and it’s adoption rate is still below 20%.
Globally Android system is used more than 80% but when it comes to being up to date iOS takes huge step forward. Let’s see advantages of having latest operating system on your mobile before going into why iOS is adopted so quickly and why Android takes years to be current on all devices.
New Features: With every new version for iOS and Android, we get tons of new features to improve how we operate the smartphones and make the device smarter than before. Be it some new photo feature or speed of operation. When you don’t have latest version of OS then you are missing great deal of operational efficiency for your device
Security features: cyber security is very important to all and OS providers make sure they are keeping up to date with latest security features to avoid any issues from potential invaders. To get those all up to date security features, you need latest mobile operating system
Version optimization problem: For developers to develop new apps, they need to optimize to the particular operating system, to target majority of the devices they need to cover all major OS in use. If there are more version out there it gets more complicated and messy to optimize the app for UX.
So why iOS adoption is staggering over 85% and Android below 20%?
End to end control: Apple has end to end control over the iOS devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch versus Android being open system and used widely by almost all other mobile manufactures. Open system nature leaves Google with very less to none control over those devices
Distribution system: With end to end control Apple push their latest OS on devices at once and have it on all devices. iOS devices remind the users to install the latest OS to keep up to date. Android has complicated process, once Google launches the latest Android OS it goes to manufactures, manufactures customize it as needed, test on multiple platforms and then it goes to carrier for their testing and adoptability. Whole process depends on individual phone manufacturer, carrier and at the end user to get latest Android OS. Google controls nexus series Android launch but that’s mere 2-3% of phones globally. In short, lengthy process takes more time and some cases ages to get latest Android system on all devices.
Scale: iOS devices are limited compared to vast variety for Android devices. As stated earlier there are more than 80% android devices Worldwide compared to less than 20% iOS devices.
Mobile has already changed the way we interact, transact or more over live life in recent years. Already we are using many apps in day-to-day life to do interactions, banking transactions, communication, transportation and many more. This is still starting and witnessing upward trend. Few features which are making difference and continue to change the way we do things today.
Users Physical Location: This is something that provides the developer to know where exactly the user is at given point and customize the service accordingly. Be it getting Uber / Lyft cab where you are or when you are outside Starbucks getting an alert for app service. Apple’s iOS 9 provide exact service at that given place at given time. I listen to audio books on Audible while driving to office. When I’m inside car and even before I start, my iPhone automatically provide option on-screen to start the Audible app and it’s ready for my use with just one click. Similarly there are hundreds of services currently using location features. With Hurricane Erika approaching florida, Weather apps are sending alerts with exact required details. There would be hundreds of important apps which will be built around this feature
Push Notification: This gives tremendous powers to push important notifications to the users. It’s customizable to the extent of individual level. Say if this is used in marketing context, brands can send unique offers to each given user depending on that users details. Mostly this feature is used for important updates only as if there are unnecessary notifications, users usually turn the notifications off for given app. so there is caution tale attached for marketers. My Fitness app, Runkeeper send me push notification if I don’t run consecutively for 3 days. It’s personalized notification, just like a reminder, event-driven. Most of the apps use this features along with location feature as together it becomes deadly combo.
Automated, behind the curtain task: This is something like automating your life or removing boring or sometime important activities. Its like particular app or your mobile in-built feature itself perform something even without you opening the app or using mobile. For example, When you reach office, your mobile automatically sends the notification to your dear ones, or may be in emergency you are able to send details to predefined someone on click of button. It can be used for any other chores. IFTTT App does a lot of these activities with predefined conditions.
In overall with combination of multiple features mobile apps are solving day-to-day life problem and even helping to improve the lives.
Average consumer are spending more time on the mobile than web, that means it’s time for businesses also to look beyond the just website. When we talk about moving from web to mobile, it’s just not replicating the website in the form of app. With App there are great features businesses have access compared to website. Here are some benefits.
24 X 7 Consumer access to your App: As everyone carries their mobile with them, they have access to your app all the time. They can access your app anytime and would be able to request for service or book appointment at their convenience.
Push Notification: This is major. You would be able send customized notification to your customers for any offers, updates. For consumer they would know about the special events or offers and take advantage of it. It’s win-win for both.
User friendly: Now almost everyone is used to (or for that matter prefer) abstract, to the point information on small screen instead of long stories on website. Having interactive, simple, easy to access User interface is key and beneficial for app.
Special offers: With Push notification you would be able to send offers and also have them available on your app for certain time period as required.
Having fun: As your customers are able to interact directly with your business it’s good for everyone to build relationship and provide better service. You can have contest or polls through your app.
Basically having app for small business and taking advantages of its benefit adds value to your business from branding as well as revenue perspective.
People are spending more time on their phone than PC and there is practical reason behind it. Mobility and ease of use on the go. Smartphone sell has surpassed PC long back and usage also increased drastically in last couple of years.
Trend shows there is huge usage for games and social apps but as like web in early 2000’s apps are going towards the transformation and there would be increased usage in productivity, utilities apps in coming days.