Loyalty Apps for Pizza Customers Now Trending

Loyalty card programs are out and reward apps are in. As the mobile technology develops, restaurants cope with the trend to increase the returning customers. 

Loyalty apps such as Front Flip and Belly has been a great help to these merchants, allowing them to retain customers and attract new one. The main concept strategy that these apps reflect are individualized, interactive approaches hence connects a better relationship with customers. 

According to Chief Executive of Belly Inc. Logan LaHive, 30 other mobile loyalty apps have been revealed.

Customers can easily gain prizes as simple as scanning a QR code, scratching off a "scratch card" that will be revealed on their smart phones and with luck, win the offered prize or discount. Other tactics that some pizza restaurants use is placing a QR code in their receipt where customers can also scan, scratch and win. 

The system also guarantees that customers will have a fair chance to win as it resets on a daily basis. 

To join Front Flip, merchants are only required to pay $125 a month for their online service where over 2,000 locations are up. 

Though there is no guarantee for the merchant's gain from this new strategy, some are already testifying the success of their establishment in spite of increasing competition. 

According to McDonald's Corp Fort Collins owner Todd Luther, they have engaged their 8 stores into the Front Flip application and has tapped the young customers who seemingly don't keep coupons. A sandwich or a drink is given as a prize to customers who use the mobile loyalty program and an increase of 10-25% of sales was evident from promotions in Front Flip. 

"The [restaurant] market is not expanding, so everyone is in a fight for that one customer," he said. "What can we do differently to get them in the door?"

Rival mobile app called Belly has over 6,000 restaurants signed up and only has $50-$100 a month as its charge. Included in their promotional package is an iPad placed in the store and a promotional loyalty program which is altered according to the merchant's needs. 

Bar codes are scanned by customers using a mobile phone and each scan will add points to customers which later on can be redeemed for prizes. Belly also took into consideration those customers hat don't have a mobile device and has allowed them to have a plastic rewards card which will scan the iPad. 

These apps have already changed the behavior of customers and has made them return to the establishments as compared to those pizza joints and fast food chains that are still old-fashioned. Though those punch-card loyalty programs are larger by market, a research by Alliance Data Systems Co. from Colloquy states that some customers are underwhelmed by the perks. 

In their study, over 27% members were added in 2012 but the participation dropped to 44% in the same year as compared to the 46% in 2010. 

Customers these days are easily bored and it could probably end up the same way with apps if it doesn't come up with fresh ideas every so often. 

While these apps are good for loyalty, they are also good for data presentation to customers which help establishments be marketed and help them with it. 

"We track what day of week they're coming, what time of day and how often they come, and all the data goes to the business," said Sean Beckner, CEO of Front Flip LLC.

Just like Papa Murphy's International LLC Kansas City Branches, Front Flip has engageg over 30,000 users since they joined six months ago. They have changed their old style of sending text messages into a simple app and has benefited a higher rate of visit from these buying customers. From an average of 50 days between visits, customers became much more interested and came back between 22 days. 

One of the tactics that Front Flip uses to entice customers to come back is sending a free "gift" to customers who haven't returned within 30 or 60 or 90 days. In Papa Murphy's case, customers get the gift within 30 days and offers a discount in their pies. Strategically, Papa Murphy's opt for a much more aggressive approach. 

But of course, there are also chances that customers would lose and this had led some complaints which forced Papa Murphy's to adjust their strategy from 30% losing chance into 7.5% losing chance. 

But overall, pizza chains have gained the loyalty of customers and have greater benefits in this marketing strategy. 

Posted by Diane Araga, on July 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM