While in-restaurant traffic may have declined for quick-service restaurants over the past two years, take-out and delivery have increased as restaurant brands reconfigured their strategies to thrive in a world where consumers were placing more digital orders than ever before.
This pandemic sent mobile orders – which had already seen a more than steady increase over the past few years – reaching new heights as newbies started using their phones to place orders in a way that was both safe and convenient. . According to search by Sensor TowerQuick service app downloads in 2020 grew by 21%, reaching 83 million and outpacing third party app download growth.
All touchpoints have become essential in giving customers options to order the way they want, but perhaps nothing more than mobile. Mobile is how customers prefer to order and pushes drive-thru as the channel where they are likely to spend the most, by Bluedot. It’s also a way for restaurants to reduce labor costs, build loyalty, expose new customers to the brand, and entice customers to take advantage of rewards programs and new menu items. .
There’s no denying that mobile apps are a worthwhile investment and their popularity will continue even after COVID-19 is gone, but it’s not as simple as building an app and letting it roll. Restaurant brands need to constantly test the features and functionality of their apps to make sure they’re optimizing them the right way and not leaving money on the table. A/B testing, where you compare two versions of a variable to see which performs better, can tell you where your customers are facing obstacles and where there is room to increase engagement and sales.
While every element of an app should be tested, the signup and checkout experiences are particularly important because that’s where many customers tend to give up. Here are some ideas for A/B testing within these specific functions. A good practice is to run one test at a time and for two weeks each, so you can see which version has the biggest impact.
Optimize the registration experience
Onboarding is where customers form a first impression of your app and brand and, when done right, can improve their long-term retention. This process involves guiding new users to their desired outcome, which in the case of restaurants means purchasing items from your app. The main thing to consider when onboarding is whether or not you’re directing customers to the actions needed to easily and successfully complete their order.
When it comes to the creation of an account by a customer, a large majority want to avoid having to manually enter each piece of their information. By giving them the option to log in using one of their social accounts, you instantly remove some friction from the onboarding process.
It is also imperative to ensure that customers start their order right after signing up. Sending an immediate email is a powerful cross-channel activation strategy to encourage users to complete their registration. Push notifications can also be used to remind customers to place an order or complete their account registration, in cases where they deposit or fail to verify their account.
To provide a more personalized experience, you can ask users to share the types of food and drink they enjoy. This information may be used to suggest food products or present them with specialized promotions in the app in the future.
A/B testing of the registration process
Use A/B testing to experience all areas of your onboarding flow and see what resonates the most with customers. Here are some ways to experiment within your app:
- Test new images, copies, connection options and the number of steps required for integration.
- A/B testing for users to verify their account or start using your app, whether through email verification or push notifications.
- Experiment with tipping options with pre-selected tip percentages.
- Play around with the presentation and customization of offers on the restaurant discovery page.
Optimize payment flow
The checkout flow is the last step before a customer converts, and since it can often be a source of frustration, it’s a place where you need to put extra emphasis in the testing department.
The checkout step also provides the ability to increase cart size by selling to a customer by suggesting additional additions to their order. A good practice is to include recommendations based on what you follow as popular among other users, especially if you can do geographic analysis and other factors. At the checkout stage, Chick-fil-A has a form that customers can fill out for any special requests. This is a last chance for users to specify that they want to substitute an ingredient or add an additional item to their order.
It is also important to clearly present to customers a detailed breakdown of costs and associated fees before the order is placed. This way, the customer knows where each expense is coming from. The breakdown may include the cost of food and taxes and, in the case of deliveries, associated fees and tips. By default, some apps will automatically choose a recommended tip amount.
Checkout is a great opportunity to call any final promotions that might improve their checkout experience. This can be done by adding value for special promotions. Chick-fil-A lets users start collecting rewards as they earn points with every order. Customers can redeem these points for free items such as waffle fries, an ice cream cone or a fruit bowl. Not only does this add value to a customer, but it can also deepen customer loyalty.
A/B testing of the checkout process
Similar to the process of integration, there is an infinity areas you can experiment with when paying. Some tests to try include:
- Image swapping omenu items f and copy to see what works best
- Test calls to action, such as the location of the “add to cart” button, its size or color
- A/B testing the number of steps required for payment or the layout of your payment flow
- Test different promotions – for example, see if a discount on an order or a free item is more attractive to customers at checkout
- Experiment with menu item descriptions
Experimenting on different sections of your application will help you learn how to build a better product and move towards KPIs. Never underestimate the impact a small change can have on your user experience. From onboarding to capturing a customer’s credit card information, every step counts to ensure users become loyal customers and get into the habit of using your restaurant branding app.
Aaron Glazer is the CEO and co-founder of Taplytics, the most comprehensive feature management and experimentation platform for the modern enterprise. Digital leaders like Grubhub and Chick-fil-A use Taplytics to create competitive advantage.