customer loyalty

When it comes to customer loyalty, mobile apps are the key to the lock

A new authoritative report has found that nearly half of diners engage with a customer loyalty program in at least one way in at least one type of restaurant, and adds that mobile apps appear to be the key to maximizing this interest.

PYMNTS and Paytronix’s Digital Divide Report: Minding The Loyalty Gap has spotlighted how loyalty programs impact customer engagement levels and analyzed how restaurants and food brands can use the programs to build and retain audiences.

It found that nearly half (48 per cent) of restaurant patrons engage with a loyalty program in some way in at least one type of restaurant. The survey showed that similar shares of consumers use loyalty programs at QSRs (42 per cent) and restaurants with table service (43 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of customers use loyalty programs at multiple restaurants they frequently visit. That rises to 70 per cent for quick-service restaurants (QSRs).

Half (50 per cent) of table-service restaurant patrons frequently interact with loyalty programs via mobile app, rising to 60 per cent of QSR patrons. As a result, the report concluded that mobile technologies are key to customer engagement as half of patrons interact with their favourite restaurants’ loyalty programs via the restaurants’ mobile apps.

RELATED: Understanding loyalty programs in the pandemic age

Younger adults, college-educated people, and individuals who earn more than $100,000 annually exhibit the highest engagement rates with local restaurant loyalty programs. Consumers using loyalty programs are willing to spend more at local restaurants to earn customized discounts.

As many as one-third (34 per cent) say that tangible improvements to the way they pick up and order food will have the greatest impact on their loyalty.

“Today’s consumers are convenience-focused and digitally savvy — and those key characteristics influence how and where they choose to dine,” concluded the report.

“Loyalty program usage is strong, but consumers’ interest in participating in such initiatives may be mitigated by how easy participation is and whether find the overall ordering process frictionless.”