This article about launching a mobile app originally appeared in BDaily magazine:
It’s no surprise that mobile and online ordering is proving popular when you consider the benefits it can bring a business and its customers. Take Starbucks, it continues to see an increase in the use of its digital ordering channels and its mobile app accounts for 30 percent of the company’s transactions.
We can easily point out what Starbucks and others have done right, but what about when things are managed badly? Often in our blogs we talk about what hospitality businesses should be doing. In this one, we’re turning the message on its head to look at the pitfalls you need specifically need to avoid when launching a mobile app for pre-ordering.
Marketing research provides a wealth of information about your competitors, customers and the industry in general. It is the foundation of all successful business ventures and should never be overlooked. Without carrying out research, how can you identify your target market’s preferences and needs? You can’t, and so succeeding developing an app that exceeds customer satisfaction and provides value is unlikely.
Aside from examining customer trends and needs, research should include a review of competitors’ app feedback, and ratings. This will help you learn what potential audiences like and don’t like and will contribute towards to creation of an effective strategy for your own app development.
While mobile ordering can increase sales and enhance the customer experience, without an well-thought out marketing strategy your customers and potential customers won’t know about your app and you won’t maximise your ROI.
There are many ways to promote an app. For instance, let’s assume you’re a coffee chain. Imagine the morning commuters rushing to work or employees on a short lunch break. Digital signage is a good way to draw attention because it only takes a second for a person to absorb the core message.
What you don’t want to do is launch an app with absolutely no marketing plan in place and hope for the best. There is no point in developing a good app if nobody knows about it.
Without effective communication and training of team members, launching a mobile app will almost certainly have unsatisfactory results. Before your customers know about your app, your employees will be your greatest advocates. They can’t advocate anything they don’t understand or appreciate.
So that your employees can fully realise the benefits of the platform and its implications, organise training sessions and developing detailed marketing plans to share across the company.
Underestimating the value of feedback and not listening or responding to user reviews can damage your brand and may even result in negative viral marketing. If this is the case then customers will not see the point of using the app and will shun downloading it.
To avoid this, before publically launching a mobile app, first carry out a soft launch, notifying loyal customers and asking them for honest feedback. That feedback will inform you of any final amendments or wiggles you need to make to the platform before rolling it out to a wider audience. If there are any bugs in the system, your customers are the best ones to spot them.
In a competitive market, it is important to develop an app which has customers coming back for more. If you know what the common pitfalls are, you’ll be in the best place to avoid them and further than that, make your app a success.
For advice on making your mobile ordering platform a success, get in touch to speak to one of our experts. You can also request a free demo of our white-labelled platform here.