The Hidden Benefit Of A Consumer App

I heard an ad on the radio today for Subway’s new app. It’s another app aimed at making the dining/user experience better at Subway. There are a ton of apps being developed in the industry right now in this space. Interacting with the customers in a digital way to make things quicker and easier thus being able to cut down on labor costs.

At this point I think most people, in the US, know Subway. They are everywhere; the radio, TV, billboards, internet, unfortunately the news, and basically every single strip mall. I can’t imagine that they are still acquiring new customers at this point. It’s at the point now where people either go to Subway or they don’t. Fortunately for them a lot of people go.

Some people may go only in specific circumstances and others it’s a staple. For me it’s a convenience circumstance. There’s one right around the corner so if we’re in a rush we’ll just go to Subway. But if I have some time and really want a sandwich I’m probably going to go somewhere else for “a better” sandwich in my opinion. Not saying that it’s bad, just that I like other places better. I’m more of a deli kind of guy.

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With as much market penetration as Subway has it would make sense for them to develop an app that works on getting their current customers through the line faster vs an app that is trying to capture new customers. Their pitch is that you order online and then walk in and go right to the register and pay vs. waiting in the line to go through the sandwich making process. I’m going to download the app. It makes sense for any restaurant really for take out to have an app because the last thing you want is for someone to walk through the door and leave because the line was too long. We all know how much it costs to acquire a customer and you want to capitalize once you do.

There’s also another huge benefit to the app that they aren’t necessarily advertising and that is the data aspect. These days data is everything. When you order online they know exactly who you are and what you have ordered every single time. They will start to see what you like, what your average spend is, and start ranking you as a customer in terms of how profitable you are to them. This is where they can start getting creative with targeted ads directly to you for things that they know you like vs. traditional shotgun approach marketing where you throw something out there to everyone and try to appeal to the most people. By using the data they can now market directly to me deals on turkey sandwiches. But they may not waste much money on me because I rarely get the “meal deal” so they aren’t bringing in much profit on me.

Data is at the root of most business decisions and actions. If you are interested in restaurant data, specifically operations data, check out the video below.

Commercial Screenshot

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