It’s undeniable that mobile phones are an integral part of today’s society. In fact, when asked, “What would you grab if your house was on fire?” one of the first responses many people give is, “My cell phone!” Because consumers are so attached to their mobile devices, utilizing mobile apps can be a great way for businesses to maximize their sales.
Here’s a brief overview of some of the ways bakeries can effectively utilize mobile apps to benefit themselves and their guests.
From loyalty programs to personalized recommendations, mobile apps can provide numerous benefits to your bakery’s customers.
Promotions and loyalty programs
Mobile apps provide a great outlet for distributing up-to-the-minute information about what’s going on in your bakery, including current promotions. If you’re having a buy one, get one sale, for example, you can use a mobile app to send out a push notification to your frequent customers, prompting them to swing by your bakery. Push notifications can also be personalized to each person; the customer can submit the dates of birthdays and other special occasions they want to remember, and you can then push out a reminder a week before each event to encourage them to order a cake or other tasty treat.
Additionally, mobile apps allow you to use photos to promote your products. After all, baking is as much about appearance as it is about taste. Apps allow you to easily upload photos of your products as they’re fresh out of the oven to entice customers to visit your shop.
Once they’re in your store, you can then have your customers use a loyalty program mobile app to log their purchases and encourage repeat visits, eliminating the need for them to carry around a physical punch card.
Menus, dietary preferences, and recommendations
Today’s consumers are increasingly curious about food products. To tap into this intrigue, you can use a mobile app to share information about your menu items, including calorie counts, ingredients, dietary considerations, and more. Some apps even make information interactive, allowing customers to see how doing something like removing the whipped cream from a particular product will affect the calorie count.
A great example of this type of mobile app comes from the University of Illinois. Through it, students can view campus menu items’ ingredients and set filters so they know which meals meet their dietary preferences. Additionally, students who download the Campus Extras app can elect to receive push notifications that beam out nearby campus dining venues' special offers.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar is also doing something innovative with its dining app: The establishment’s on-site customers can receive recommendations for wine pairings via the brand’s WinePad app.
Wait lists, deliveries, and to-go orders
In today’s fast-past world, people often want to begin or even complete their dining experience from the comfort of their own homes. To attract these customers, you can offer a mobile app that allows people to do things such as view current wait times or order and pay online. Outback Steakhouse, for example, has an app that allows customers to remotely add themselves to a wait list, place a to-go order, and view menus and promotions.
Dunkin’ Donuts has also recently started testing mobile On-the-Go Ordering and Dunkin’ Delivery. The On-the-Go Ordering app enables guests to order in advance using their mobile phone, skip the line, and go straight to pick up when they get inside the store. With Dunkin’ Delivery, customers can use the on-demand delivery service DoorDash to order their favorite Dunkin’ Donuts products with the click of a button and have the products delivered in less than 45 minutes.
Not only can customers benefit from the use of mobile apps, businesses can benefit, too.
Mobile apps make it easy to compile star-ratings, customer complaints, and other traceable feedback into easy-to-read dashboards and reports. From this information, you can spot pain points and take action.
Mobile apps can also measure every part of business processes. For example, DoorDash measures every part of delivery, from order time to when a customer receives his or her meal. By turning this information into a math problem of sorts, the app’s data can help restaurant operators create an optimal delivery experience.
Lastly, mobile apps can help businesses perform a variety of market research. For example, what you name menu items may affect customers’ interest levels. GrubHub often performs multiple heuristic tests simultaneously and receives verbiage recommendations based on trends and customer preferences.