Constant connectivity and smarter phones have made the mobile an important part in the everyday life of the consumer. For businesses and services, the mobile phone is the primary way to communicate, interact and communicate with the consumers.
Globally 4.6 billion people are connected to each other through mobile devices today and 2.5 billion people use a smartphone across the world. By 2020 nine out of 10 people will have access to mobile phones. With the increased accessibility and connectivity mobile phones offer, consumer’s demand for a mobile-friendly experience has been growing for the last 5 years.
However, a mobile-friendly experience does not limit to a responsive or a mobile website. An organization looking to integrate the mobile experience into every element of the customer journey would have to integrate mobile payments and mobile commerce to the overall customer experience.
Restaurants especially face a rising challenge in adapting to the changing consumer behaviours by catering them to at every level of their diner decision making process mostly carried out on a smartphone. Millennials, who happens to be the movers and shakers of the restaurant industry, has substantially different habits in comparison to the Generation Xers and Baby Boomers are 65% more likely to search online on the go for places to order food for takeaway or use in-house or third-party food delivery apps constantly.
In fact, Millennials are multitaskers when they have a mobile phone in hand. When deciding on a place to eat immediately people who are born between the years of 1980 and 1995 would search for places to eat nearby, check their background based on online reviews made by friends, peers and other diners online on social media and independent review sites and would visit the website of relevant restaurant to check the online menu; on a mobile phone, all within a time space of 30 minutes to 1 hour.
With a growing population intent on eating out and discovering new dining experiences all on their mobile phones, restaurants face the challenge of integrating multiple consumer actions within a single app.
Today, a mobile-optimized website with a hyper-curated conversion path is only the beginning for a restaurant’s route to its guests’ mobile phone. Having an easily accessible menu online offering all the information on each food or beverage including pricing, and nutritional details can have a heavy advantage in a world where 81% of the Millenials look at a restaurant online menu before deciding on a new restaurant.
Enabling the guests to check real-time reviews, order food and pair them with drinks and desserts all within the restaurant website or mobile app is the most proven way to make sure visitors to your website converts immediately to diners.
Even when planning a more formal dining in or a celebratory event at a restaurant, Millennials turn to their mobile phones to do the planning and reservation. From researching on menu and ambience to communicating with the restaurant staff and making a reservation Millennials carried out most of the transactions on mobile and on real-time, turning to live chat and emails to carry out the transactions instead of making voice calls.
Beyond diner acquisitions, mobile also makes it easier for restaurants to retain customer loyalty by creating a mobile-centric loyalty program. In a world where loyalty is hard to come by and only 40% of the first time restaurant guests are likely to return for a second visit, digital loyalty programs directly integrated with consumer mobile phones allows restaurant to provide a better a customer experience to the returning guests by allowing guests to make reservations or order food online, make payments, collect diner loyalty points and review their diner experience and provide feedback all in one place.
By reserving a permanent place in your guests’ mobile phone, restaurants can continue to engage the consumers through notifications on exclusive offers, personalized discounts for special moments in life like birthdays and anniversaries.
While owning a mobile-optimized website and a mobile app would have sufficed a restaurant to win the mobile game a few years back, the restaurants of the future need more actions on their mobile playbook to compete with nontraditional players and consumer patterns.
Since 91% of the restaurant goers made a decision to try a new restaurant based on a recommendation by a friend or a family member and 68% based on a positive online review, it is essential for restaurants to engage guests continuously online.
Engaging diners through social media and review sites and rewarding them for feedbacks and engagements to spread positive word of mouth online, optimizing your restaurant’s geolocation through Google My Business and tweaking your mobile optimized website for local searches and voice searches are essential objectives for restaurants to win the mobile marketing game in 2019.