How Apps and Digital Experiences are Feeding the Hungry
In a world that feels like it is in a perpetual state of change, people want their creature comforts, nay, they claim them. Consumers have also begun to find new ways to get their food, with online shopping by the end of 2019 growing at a fervent rate. You may have rated every food app as forward-thinking, “Way back then.” “Forward-thinking” has become the new requirement in the restaurant biz today. Norms have been dramatically changed over the past few years. Things are now different.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 59% of customers were strongly associated with physical retail stores. Today, however only 24 percent remain under current quarantine conditions, and only 39 percent intend to remain in the next six to nine months. On the flip side, 30 percent of customers were highly interactive prior to quarantine with online retail platforms, up to 37 percent during quarantine, and 40 percent expect to be highly engaged in the next six to nine months with digital retail.
In other words, it doesn’t mean he or she can today and into the near future only because a customer can dine-in. The good news is that clients who shop online at casual and quick-casual restaurants prefer to spend 13 percent more online. In this slippery new world, as eateries find their footing, it is important that they not only engage digitally, but do so with a great deal of thoughtfulness and intent.
Agility is a crucial element in the modern math of food retail. You know the feeling of finding the right place to order dinner when you browse DoorDash or Postmates, but you can’t stomach the wait? If you’re in the restaurant industry, you know how hard it is to please someone who’s hanging out. You can not afford to lose a penny of business because your food delivery app is not dialed in, as you already know well.
As an example take the Chipotle app. It peaked at one point in May 2020 as the second most popular Food & Drink app in the App Store and 54th most popular overall. Obviously, Chipotle is doing several things right. Let’s look a little closer.
Know Your Hearing
It’s just to be in tune with the client. Every decision taken by a brand should be driven by how its ideal customer feels. You can come up with policies that strongly resonate with your core audience, starting with that baseline.
You’ll quickly note the swipe-based navigation system when you open the Chipotle app, a deft step. Savvy pushed (pun intended) this model as early as 2011, six years before Apple made it mainstream with the home-button-less iPhone X. Chipotle knows that swiping comes just as easily as scrolling for its primary target, a younger audience.
Chipotle also takes care not to exclude potential buyers from its primary target demographic. If swipes are not your thing, with simple scroll gestures, it’s also possible to navigate the app. This is the perfect example of how, while still appealing to different markets, a brand can show some flair in its app.
Extend to your food app your storefront
For branding, continuity is fundamental. No exception is your app.
You’ve got a dilemma if the in-store and interactive interactions look and sound entirely different. When online shopping feels exactly like walking up to the counter, it is incredibly gratifying for customers. On a good food app, you can almost smell the onions grilled.
To achieve this kind of experience, app design is integral. It is a must to use the same colors and graphics as your physical space. Offering the same in-store items and customizations as you do is another. At Savvy, we believe that full menus, synchronized reward services, and coupon pages provide the best interactive dining experiences.
Chipotle saw a spike of 480 percent in daily Chipotle app downloads and a 273 percent uptick in daily active users when it released its loyalty program in March 2019, not a bad strategy to improve sales.
Keep Onboarding Simple
When installing a new food app, users are often greeted with a step-by-step explanation of all available features to ease them in. But let’s face it: many of us tap “skip all” and wing it. When creating your food app, remember that consumers wanted their chow 10 minutes ago.
Don’t be afraid to pare back or eliminate the onboarding process altogether. Instead, focus on presenting clear information and calls to action on each page. The clearer you make it, the easier it becomes for customers to hit the ground running and eating (better pack napkins).
If you have a moment, check out the Chick-fil-A app. Online ordering is easy peasy thanks to straightforward copywriting, design, and calls to action.
People want decision power. Give your customers a say on:
- Pickup vs. delivery.Ordering food from an app online does not automatically indicate that the consumer wants it delivered. Remember, it has profoundly changed the human experience. For frugal clients who want to save a couple of bucks on delivery fees and tips, make pick up a choice. Bonus: make sure to clearly state that there is curbside collection and contactless delivery. Don’t take for granted that some unique protocol would be understood or believed by your clients. And note, not only do contactless options keep your customers safe, but also employees and drivers.
- Time of delivery.It is useful not only for customers to schedule their day, but also for your kitchen to control its resources, to preset pickup for a later time. By making orders as much as a day in advance, Taco Bell thinks outside of the bun.
- Disposable utensils/straws.Eighty-seven percent of customers favour environmentally conscious labels. Both of us have heard of the risks of single-use plastic. There is no excuse to refuse consumers the option of forks, spoons, and straws to do without. It helps to show knowledge of the environment while saving on waste.
Keep it Moving
The real beauty of online ordering is the time savings for many customers. Think of all the little stuff that can add up to a lot of trouble, then have shortcuts.
First, obviously, at the time of an order, rather than when onboarding or requesting on-site payment, set up payment options. Avoiding queues and cashiers is part of the point of an app.
Even if you allow payment via your food app, asking customers to enter debit card details will create more friction by forcing them to pick up their wallets and cards and enter their card number, expiry date, and CVV. Consumers also have concerns about online disclosure of payment details. Digital wallet services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, however provide fast, highly secure choices that cut out the meticulousness.
In 2019, an estimated 30.3 million Apple Pay users led to an estimated $98.88 billion in mobile payment transactions in the United States. Before COVID-19, these figures were already expected to rise rapidly over the next few years. Those figures, we think, would end up looking very optimistic.
Shake down the buying processes online
Are you beginning to get the impression that for a food app, customer service is very important? It should be clear by now that there are a lot of specifics to remember.
To make sure your app is fully dialed in, you need to get intimate with it.
- Do not hurry the phase of growth
- In-house measure the hell out of it
- Check that the battery hog is not
- Test loading times
- Make sure that all relevant data is conveniently displayed and available where and when you would want it to be
- For user data requests, such as notification permissions, address, payment information, etc., be purposeful.
Once you’re fully happy, then you can unleash it and only then. Rushing out an unpolished product also leads to poor feedback of the app, consumer dissatisfaction, and missed opportunities. Who knows whether and when you will be offered a second chance by a scorned app lover who rages-removes your food app from his or her home screen. There’s more competition out there than ever to win a share of the market for online/take-out/food delivery, so you’ve got to get this right.
The Author of MavenDigital is Jim Claude. He’s the developer of over 20 featured games. Jim, a MavenDigital blogger, frequently talks about the design and creation of software and the future of technology at outlets ranging from Bloomberg TV to Google.He currently employed in mobile app development company in dubai.