The value of mobile-based loyalty card apps for caterers

The value of mobile-based loyalty card apps for caterers

ArticlesPosted on 01st October 2012

With the recent boom in mobile apps for business, is a mobile-based loyalty scheme app right for your hospitality or catering business?

The value of mobile-based loyalty card apps for caterers

Loyalty card schemes have been around for years and have proved incredibly successful for businesses when applied correctly. Such is the success of these schemes that you will rarely enter a high-street café or coffee shop nowadays where a loyalty scheme is not in place.

Businesses who implement effective loyalty schemes are able to promote attractive discounts based on repeat sales, thereby developing a loyal bond with their customers. In a time when consumers think carefully about how to get the most for their money, these reward schemes have proven to be a great way to attract and retain business. The implementation of schemes whereby customer data is collected through the registration process also offers valuable information which can be used for effective marketing campaigns and help reduce costs.

There have always been risks associated with the use of loyalty schemes, especially when used ineffectively. Emphasising on discounts to drive business growth can run the risk of devaluing a brand. Customers may become reliant on discounted prices and therefore reluctant to purchase products/services which do not carry a discount or future reward. The application of such schemes for marketing purposes must also be carefully controlled. Over use of the scheme for advertising may irritate previously loyal customers. Asking for too much personal information may also deter people from completing the registration process.

When applied effectively however, the positive aspects of loyalty schemes should outweigh the negatives; especially in regards to the hospitality and catering sector where restaurants, bars and cafes are reliant on regular repeat business. In order to stay competitive in the marketplace, businesses need to keep up with current marketing strategies, and in this field that means considering the use of a mobile-based loyalty app.

There are now numerous companies providing loyalty scheme apps for businesses, which are making the most out of the smartphones people just can’t seem to live without. As with all loyalty card schemes however, there are positive and negative factors which must be considered.

Advantages
• There is an ever-increasing demand from businesses for low cost mobile-based loyalty schemes and the market is only set to increase. Businesses who fail to consider the use of apps, when their competitors have, may lose valuable market share.
• Businesses can gain valuable analytics on the activities of their loyalty scheme customers, which can help drive successfully targeted campaigns and greatly improve return on investment.
• Registration processes can gain email addresses to further support future marketing strategies.
• Certain schemes incorporate payment services, eliminating the need for cash transactions. This can reduce transaction times thereby allowing a greater number of customers to be served, whilst improving the customer service experience through reduced queuing times.
• A mobile-based loyalty scheme eliminates the need for customers to carry numerous cards and eliminates the issues of them losing or forgetting to bring their cards with them.
• Integrated maps can highlight locations for multiple site brands, enabling customers to seek out additional sites they may not be familiar with.
• The costs involved in mobile-based schemes can be very cost-effective and are often less than other loyalty scheme programmes, though prices do vary considerably as do the services provided. It is essential to identify the service right for the business and compare the products available.

Disadvantages
• As with any mobile app, the process of signing up, downloading and installing the app for customers must be simple and easy otherwise they will be deterred from using it. Make sure any registration process used is quick and simple, and that general usability of the app is the same.
• Certain apps link in with social media sites. This can be a further deterrent to customers who do not wish to have their activities with your business broadcast on their news feeds. Although these apps provide a great tool for effective marketing, make sure not to overuse the facility.
• Some apps require card details, especially those who offer a payment service. Consumers may be reluctant to provide such financial information. It is therefore essential to determine the overall impact and benefit of integrating a payment service in to such a scheme.
• There are still some concerns over the security levels associated with these apps and the risk that criminals may release fraudulent copies. Make sure to investigate the quality of security features associated with any apps you consider.

If you are considering a mobile app for your business, or require assistance with any other aspect of marketing your restaurant, cafe, bar or hotel, get in touch with us today and see how cena can assist you to get the most out of your business.

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