App-based loyalty programs make a lot of sense for quick-service operators: Nearly everyone has a smartphone, and consumers can spend as much as three hours a day using apps. It’s a great way to reward loyalty on the customer side and for restaurants to collect first-party data via opt-in agreements. Creating a data-led customer journey has become an increasingly important focus for tech-savvy brands.
The catch? According to a recent national study by Deloitte, only 15 percent of quick-serve restaurant customers ever sign up for a brand’s app-based loyalty program. Of those who do, 95 percent abandon them within 90 days. At any given time, most chains have visibility into a mere five percent of their user base who regularly engage through their app. That creates a huge blind spot to restaurant operators who sincerely want to embrace technology to engage—and reward—their customers.
What most restaurant operators don’t realize is that they’re already sitting on a treasure trove of high-integrity, first-party customer data—they just can’t access it.
“When you purchase from an online retailer, they have instant access to your historical purchase behavior and patterns and can leverage that to optimize your experience,” says Tom Byrnes, vice president of marketing at LedgerPay. “That creates a tremendous imbalance in data collection between digitally native merchants and brick-and-mortar operators like quick-serve restaurants.”
That’s where LedgerPay comes in. As the first cloud-based payment processor, LedgerPay’s proprietary Payments Intelligence® solution enables restaurants to identify previously anonymous customers and track their purchase patterns right down to line-item detail from every order they place. This allows operators to segment their customers based on individual behavior patterns and engage them through personalized offers at the point-of-sale (POS). This can happen in real time through messaging on the receipt, the POS screen, cashier’s screen, or a kiosk.
“This effectively levels the playing field with the online experience, allowing operators to engage customers in a meaningful way through one-to-one offers based on their preferences,” Byrnes says. “This represents a major breakthrough in terms of personalizing the customer experience when compared to the traditional approach of ‘one-size-fits-all’ generic offers and discounts.”
Because Payments Intelligence® can integrate with any existing loyalty program, operators can now attach individual card transaction history directly to a customer’s profile. This gives restaurants a far more complete view of their customers—beyond just those that have opted in for a loyalty program—allowing them to create personalized engagement that can happen while customers are still inside the store instead of hours or days later.
“People talk about loyalty but not engagement, which is the precursor to genuine loyalty,” Byrnes says. “At LedgerPay, we like to say ‘you can’t buy someone’s loyalty—you have to earn it.’ If you can engage with a customer’s specific interests while they are still in the restaurant, that creates an emotional attachment, which is the beginning of real loyalty. That’s what we facilitate, and we help operators use first-party data to do it.”
CTA: To learn more about how to boost your brand’s engagement, visit the LedgerPay website.
By Davina van Buren