5 insights from mobile restaurant customers: The new shopper mindset

July 31, 2014
5 insights from mobile restaurant customers: The new shopper mindset

By Jackie Berg,

Marketing director for Olo

Every day, more people are relying on mobile devices to make purchase decisions – an obvious fact if you’ve sat in a meeting, spent time with friends, even walked down the street. What you may not be aware of – and absolutely need to be – is that many users are relying only on a smartphone or tablet to make their purchasing decisions (even when a computer/desktop is available). Most importantly, consumers make dining decisions via mobile more than any other category, according to a recent survey by xAd, Telmetrics, and Nielsen.

The companies recently tapped insights from over 8,000 smartphone and tablet users in their 2014 “Mobile Path to Purchase” study, which analyzed mobile purchase funnels and behavior across four key industries: telecom, restaurant, auto and entertainment.

The survey contains a wealth of information, but five key research insights about the changing majority ring particularly true for foodservice operators.

1. The mobile majority. A whopping 60 percent of restaurant consumers in the study used ONLY their mobile devices in making a purchase decision. In fact, mobile-only usage for restaurants trumped all other categories in the study – the next closest being entertainment, where 40 percent reported using only mobile.

2. The undecided majority. Most mobile users do not have a restaurant in mind when they start their search. In fact the unsure are a whopping 75 percent – only one quarter of those surveyed went to their mobile device with a particular restaurant in mind. Because most potential diners enter the mobile landscape with just a general idea of their preferences, restaurants can help them decide, pushing their cravings in a specific direction through search optimization and new product or limited time only offers.

3. The “what’s for dinner?” majority.Device usage climbs steadily during the day and peaks during dinnertime, particularly tablet usage, so the dinner segment is an opportunity for operators to explore options outside of a normal routine.

4. The make-it-quick majority.Mobile users wanted the most immediacy when seeking restaurants; a whopping 64 percent of mobile users in the restaurant category are looking to complete their purchase within the hour. QSR and fast casual brands offering added conveniences such as the ability to repeat past orders or use a credit card will have a better shot at staying top of mind with customers looking for a self-service experience.

5. The buying majority.Not only are more customers on smartphones; they are more likely to buy during a smartphone sessions. Among those studied, the restaurant segment had the highest mobile conversion rate in the study, with 80 percent of restaurant users reporting a transaction.

For operators still deciding whether to invest in mobile ordering and payment options, the vote is definitively in – brands simply need to follow the majority.

Jackie Berg is the marketing director of online and mobile ordering provider Olo. Since 2005, Olo has helped restaurant brands use digital ordering to over 5 million customers. Olo has been featured on “Good Morning America,” The Wall Street Journal and ABC World News.

Topics: Online / Mobile / Social, Online Ordering, Trends / Statistics

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