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3 Frictionless Features of Successful QSR and C-store Mobile Apps

Jackie Brusch
Publication Date
11 October 2019

3 Frictionless Features of Successful QSR and C-store Mobile Apps

Due to consumer demand for more convenience – not to mention the influx of really great mobile apps for busy people – pressure is increasing in quick service restaurants (QSR) and convenience stores to keep customers engaged. To meet their needs, you must continue to evolve the ways you offer the convenience and ease that customers expect from QSRs and convenience stores. 

Many are already embracing mobile ordering and companies are seeing a boost in sales as a result. But what features separate a 4+ star app from the rest?

3 Frictionless Features You Should Add or Improve in Your App Right Now

Our research revealed that half of your customers will not download an app that has less than 4 stars. Therefore, when creating or re-evaluating your app, it’s important to consider the factors that will boost your app rating to engage your customers. 

So what are the features of a 4+ star app? In our custom research, we discovered these 3 features were the common thread between high-functioning, positively reviewed QSR and convenience store mobile apps:

1. Easy-to-Use and Convenient Mobile Ordering

Sounds obvious, right? Not so fast. Sometimes companies focus too much on the front-end design, forgetting about the back-end development, forcing customers to do a lot of digging and manual work to take actions like ordering, payment, and menu exploration.

On the flip side, some companies focus too much on back-end development, forgetting about front-end design, leaving the user interface to be unattractive and unlikely to see customer adoption.  

Knowing this, it’s important to blend easy experience with convenience. Here is how we recommend you approach this task:

Convenience: If it isn’t easy to access, navigate, and order, no one will use the app. Making previous orders available and easy to reorder with one touch is one way that 4+ star apps reel in positive reviews. It’s convenient, and makes ordering your “go-to” item simple.

An engaging user interface: Yes, your brand is important and should be included in the experience – but, if the interface is hard to navigate and explore, users will drop off of your app and head over to one that’s easy to use. Is it hard to find the menu? Difficult to save favorites? These are things you need to consider.

Our research shows that positive mobile ordering experiences include these features:

  • Easy to order
  • Customization
  • Fast pick up

And negative mobile ordering experiences experience these frictions:

  • Menu customizations not available
  • Can’t remove or edit items easily
  • Can’t place order due to bug
  • Order not ready when you arrive
2. Rewards, Loyalty Points, and Special Deals

Retaining customers is a lot easier with a rewards program. One customer that does this particularly well is Starbucks. Current reports note that mobile app rewards memberships are up to 16.8 million users. All this momentum has driven some noteworthy points in sales. Members of the mobile rewards program actually generated 41 percent of United States sales for that quarter alone. 

By running contests, games, and loyalty rewards programs, customers get exclusive access to incentives keeps them engaged, which is one way Starbucks is dominating the market. By gamifying the experience, customers actually want to come back and spend their money. Getting to the next level in the game or winning a contest to earn that free cup of coffee or baked treat is satisfying. 

These features and special app promotions can also help you track app adoption. For example, Starbucks offers drink happy hours on certain days at certain times, but these offers are only available to app users. Implementing a feature like this will give you lots of data about who’s using your app and give those users special offers.

3. Payment

Payment is a big factor that companies must get right. If customers can’t easily pay for their items via the app, that app becomes useless. 

Other struggles that low rated apps have experienced include:

  • No ability to load your credit card directly into the app (users must preload money onto the organization’s card instead)
  • Not having the ability to tip in the app
  • Not seeing receipts for proof-of-purchase
  • Not having the ability to pay via mobile, such as ApplePay

On the other hand, 5-star apps that embrace payment options actually make it easier than paying with cash or a credit card. One way to do this is to offer users a way to save their preferred payment method in the app so they never have to think about it. Simply “confirm and pay” and you’re done.

By implementing these frictionless features, you’ll spark positive customer experiences that pay off for your organization, in more ways than one. While we hope these tips were helpful, this is just the tip of the iceberg! 

If you’d like to see custom research on how your app compares to your competitors, or if you have questions or want to learn more, contact us today to start a conversation.

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