There are well over 20,000 coffee shops and cafes in Australia alone. Depending on where you live, it might feel as though there is a cafe on every corner. If you happen to own one, that can feel like an overwhelming amount of competition.
Now, thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, that competition is steeper than ever. Though things are slowly starting to reopen and return to “normal,” businesses will take extra steps to improve their marketing techniques and get customers in their doors. Unfortunately, cafés still have the looming COVID-19 pandemic to be content with and could be once again forced to go back to doing takeaway and home delivery. Are you prepared?
So, what can your cafe do to stand out from the traditional marketing madness? One of the best ways to grab people’s attention is a mobile cafe app. After all, who wouldn’t want your business in the palm of their hand?
Still not convinced? Let’s check out ten compelling reasons you need a mobile app for your cafe.
It’s estimated that 72% of people only use their phones to browse the Internet. So why is that important as a business owner? Because it does every business in every neighbourhood across the globe accessible on a single device that people carry with them everywhere.
When someone is in your city, they can learn almost everything they need to know about you online – on their phone – before stepping in your door. Having a mobile app puts you in control of that information and can let potential consumers know what you’re all about.
So many people depend on the honesty of reviews to determine whether they’ll go to a business or not. Your app can feature a spot for reviews and testimonies about your business. As people download it and read what other real customers are saying, they might be more comfortable stopping in and eventually leaving a review of their own.
You can include whatever features you’d like on your app. But, one thing many businesses are taking advantage of is his delivery of pick-up of food and drinks. By including an “order” button on your mobile app, customers can order from your cafe from their phone and either have their food and beverages delivered or pick them up at a set time. It is a great way to take on extra orders without giving up space in your cafe.
Having a mobile cafe app is one thing, but making sure you regularly update it is quite another. If you’re willing to put in the time and work, you can post your daily menus and specials and even feature “secret” menu items that only people who download the app will know about. Having your app is a great excuse to have fun with your customers while keeping them know about what you have to offer. They can go straight to your app for information instead of wasting time searching the web.
Your cafe mobile app makes it easy for your business and your customers to share things on social media. Because everything is done from the phone, you can easily push the things you post on your app to your social media platforms.
Additionally, your customers can share features from your app like pictures, daily specials, and more. You can even offer a “check-in” option where your customers can mark down when they’re at your business and share with their social media followers.
There was a reason so many coffee shops and cafes used to have “punch cards” they would offer customers. The concept was simple; customers would make many purchases to get something free. For example, you could have provided a punch card with ten coffee cup images. For every ten coffees a customer purchased, they would get the eleventh for free.
While punch cards have faded out a bit, you can reintroduce them in an easy, organised, digital way on your mobile app. Each time a customer with the app makes a purchase, it can be logged within the program itself. Of course, you can set the parameters of their free item(s), but it’s something that will keep them coming back for more.
Did you know that people are more likely to spend money on their phones than if they were just standing in your cafe? When everything is at their fingertips, it’s easy to build larger orders. So, make sure you have as much of your menu on your app as possible, including merchandise and any non-food items you might sell. Additionally, ensure that your app is linked to a bank so people can pay with their credit card via the app, rather than having to come into your cafe to fulfil their payment.
Because having your app allows you to hyper-target your local audience, you can create special deals and coupons specifically for people n your area who have downloaded the app. Your deals can get as creative and fun as you’d like. Maybe they only last for a few hours. Perhaps they require someone to come in and say a particular word or show you the coupon from the app.
When people feel they are getting some “special treatment,” they are more likely to stay involved and engage in your app.
Having a long line in your cafe can make it easy for your staff to feel overwhelmed. It also can cause multiple orders to rush in at once. Not only does that put your team behind, but it can cause your customers to become impatient.
When you give people the opportunity to order from your app, those orders will come in at a more staggering pace, and you can respond via the app to let your customers know when they will be ready. This makes things much less stressful on your staff and doesn’t leave your customers impatiently waiting in line.
Having a mobile app isn’t just about adding fun features for your customers. It can be a handy tool for collecting data and analytics that you can use in the future. For example, you can quickly see how many people take advantage of coupons, what people are ordering (and what menu items aren’t doing well), etc. Then, you can use that information to hone in on different marketing techniques or decide whether you need to change your menu or your practices.
If you’ve never considered creating a mobile cafe app, now is the time. It is a great way to bring customers back into your business, but you can make the entire experience more streamlined for everyone.