Mobile Loyalty Players for QSRs: How To Choose A Winner

By Elliott Atkins in Mobile Loyalty, Quick Service

According to Angel.co, there are 420 Loyalty Program Startups. When it comes to loyalty/payment apps, that number grows tenfold to 4K. This is the amount of choice available to or, depending on how you look at it, facing QSR companies.

If you’re a QSR company, you are not in the business of loyalty, but surely you recognize the importance of loyalty programs and the value that can be derived by your customers. How do you decide what is the right solution for you and, more importantly, for your customers?

The following highlights some key aspects worth considering during the selection process:

1. App or No App

95% of apps are deleted within 30 days of being installed; that is not a promising statistic. There are tremendous challenges in getting your app discovered in the first place. If you are fortunate to get over those obstacles then you still face the issue of engagement. How easy is it to use and how often does it get used?

What if some of those obstacles could be avoided? What if the process for customers and QSR companies could be simplified? An app-free loyalty solution uses the smartphone’s native wallet and removes the burden of downloads and updates from both the customer and QSR company.

2. Rewarding Engagement

It can be difficult to maintain a customer relationship after that initial interaction. Consumers are inundated with information and advertising offline, online, and via mobile.
By focusing on developing loyalty from the first interaction and over the course of the relationship through programs such as incentives for the first signup, rewarding repeat visits or visits during off-peak hours, rewarding sharing, or an exchange of value for information.

3. OnBoarding

Given that QSR companies use standardization in methods and infrastructure to support scale and ease of management, a loyalty program should be a complement rather than be in conflict with operations at both the franchisor and franchisee levels. Loyalty solutions that integrate with existing POS systems, processes, and IT infrastructure should add value rather than pain.

Management at all levels needs to know that what gets captured at the point of sale will roll-up from the franchisees to the franchisor to track performance, the degree of success of the loyalty program, and where any adjustments might be required.

4. Data

Ultimately, it is about seeing a cause and effect from the implementation of a loyalty program. Can I derive insights from the data being captured such that, when a particular promotion gets pushed out, results can be predicted with some degree of confidence or certainty?

Wouldn’t it be valuable to know that every time a promotion was pushed out to offset the lower revenue periods it caused a certain percentage in sales lift, whether by larger purchase amount, higher customer volume, or a combination of the two?

A loyalty solution that deeply integrates with the existing data sources and POS infrastructure and can provide management with visibility into the levers that drive customer behavior will prove very valuable indeed.
It is about deriving greater share of wallet or increase purchase frequency because of what is known about the most loyal customers and rewarding their loyalty with tailored incentives or rewards.

5. Agility

Data is critical but the insights derived from the data should drive action. Furthermore, speed is already a key attribute of the QSR environment so the capturing of loyalty program data should be quick. A loyalty program with rich, actionable data enables management at all levels to respond to customer behavior or the actions of competitors quickly.

Imagine a competitor announces an attractive promotion and rather than having no response at all, you can quickly develop your own promotion as a counter offer, push it out quickly and easily, and see results in terms of redemption and associated revenue.

These are just five of the many attributes to consider when determining what kind of loyalty solution to implement. We know there are more and we welcome your thoughts about what is or is not important when it comes to customer loyalty, the related technology.

This post is meant to be one of several to introduce you to some key considerations related to loyalty programs in the QSR sector and delve more deeply into particular areas like technology, strategy, user experience, and best practices.

We are just getting started and there is more to come so stay tuned.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us at info@virtualnext.com

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