THUNDER BAY – TECHNOLOGY – Did you know only a one percent increase in traffic can boost your bottom line by up to five percent? This is the case for Starbucks Americas region cafes, which have been operating for a minimum of thirteen months, according to a recent article on The Globe and Mail. While this result fell short of expected sales increases predicted by analysts, any other company would be thrilled with a statistic like this.
How to Increase Traffic
The traditional way to drive traffic is with visibility; a kid standing on the corner spinning a sign or a call-to-action coupon off of the company website. It also includes conveniences like offering a drive through. The cutting edge method to increase traffic today is in the power of mobile marketing. Top brands such as Taco Bell, Which Witch, and Chipotle all offer pre-ordering through their apps, giving customers the option to avoid in-store lines.
The increase in online shopping has decreased the volume of people showing up to shopping malls and as a result convenience item sales like a cup of coffee, a taco, or a sandwich are slumping. By integrating ordering into your mobile app, you will be able to capture a part of the market that may not have the time to stand in line at your store. Options for delivery are also inherent in mobile app ordering. Jimmy John’s delivers its subs via mobile app orders. This brand will likely steal a significant market share from other notable sandwich franchises with this convenient service.
Case in point, it’s the brands that are first to market with the pre-order app that will see the biggest gains. While Starbucks is only now just rolling out a pre-order option and also a delivery service on its app in select markets such as Portland, Oregon, Chipotle has been offering the pre-order option for some time now but does not deliver. As Starbucks has been behind the curve on this technology, its growth faded in comparison to Chipotle’s 19.8 percent hike in same-restaurant sales for the last quarter.
Benefits of Mobile Ordering
Mobile ordering delivers convenience, repeated purchases, and faster service. It is becoming the quickest and simplest method for customers to place their order, pay for, and pick up their purchase. While there are complexities involved in rolling out an app with mobile ordering technology, it is worth the investment in time and money. The reason is customers are using their smartphones more and more to make purchases. In fact, fourteen percent of all Starbucks transactions in U.S. stores are now made with a mobile device, according to a recent article on Geek Wire.
How to Encourage Adaptation
If you are just rolling out a pre-order option on your app, you will need to encourage adaptation. The best way to do this is to offer some items exclusively through the app. You will also want to showcase your new app on rollout day by blanketing all of your media platforms displaying a message prompting viewers to download the app.
You will also want to integrate a GPS function on the user’s device to signal the store when the client is near for pickup, triggering your staff to prepare the order for pick up. Once your customer comes in to pay for their pre-ordered item, keep it simple and easy with an encrypted card reader and POS hardware terminal like Shopify offers. With an integrated point of sale system you will be better able to keep both your online and offline inventory in sync while having the ability to manage your customers and orders from one dashboard.
Other Ways to Increase Sales through Mobile Marketing
Once your customer is in your store, you may want to consider integrating an app with functionality like iBeacon, offering in-store mobile marketing and customer service. According to Internet Retailer, this app syncs with beacons, which are small pieces of hardware that can be set up anywhere in the store to give customers instant information and updates. These beacons emit wireless transmissions via Bluetooth to communicate with the mobile apps on the in-store customer’s smartphones.
If your customer has agreed to allow you to track their movements in-store and receive push-notifications, you can extend a special offer for a quick add-on to further increase your sales. For example, if your main product offering is pizza, iBeacon can beam an offer for a discounted bottle of soda or a bundle including the bottle of soda and a cinnamon bun dessert item as your customer is walking into your store. These personalized deals via push notification are an excellent way to increase the likelihood of an add-on sale.
If you have not already got an app for your brand, consider implementing one now. Stay ahead of the curve and not only integrate pre-ordering, but also consider delivery and in-store mobile marketing to maximize traffic and increase sales.