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69pc of mobile users order food via their devices: report

By
January 30, 2013

Food ordering is evolving into a mobile-dominated activity at a fast pace, with 69 percent of mobile users having placed food orders via their smartphone or tablet, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Viggle.

The report, Mealtime Goes Mobile: Mobile Screens’ Impact on Ordering Takeout and Delivery, also found that 50 percent of mobile users have downloaded at least one restaurant-specific application. Many consumers order take-out or delivery on a regular basis and for special events such as this weekend’s Super Bowl, for which 26 percent of respondents are already planning to order food.

“The mobile media industry has focused a lot on the mobile internet’s role in the process of shopping for high-consideration goods, like consumer electronics,” said Joe Lazlo, senior director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at IAB, New York.

“But it’s important to note that mobile Web and apps play an increasing role in some types of everyday, low-cost purchases too, like ordering a pizza for delivery,” he said.

“Over two thirds of the consumers in our survey have ordered takeout or delivery at least once via the mobile Internet.”

Pizza orders go mobile
The report highlights how consumers are embracing mobile for helping them to complete small, everyday purchases such as ordering food.

Key findings include that 55 percent have downloaded at least one multi-restaurant app.

The most popular multi-restaurant app, according to the survey, is Yelp, which has been downloaded by 37 percent of respondents. Additionally, 24 percent have downloaded Urbanspoon and 9 percent Zagat.

Other key findings include that 72 percent of mobile orders name pizza as their favorite food to order in. Sandwiches/burgers and Chinese food tied for second place with 31 percent of responses followed by wings with 24 percent and Mexican food with 15 percent.

The report also shows that mobile users rely on their devices research restaurants for delivery or take-out, with 44 percent of those surveyed using a smartphone or tablet regularly to find restaurant phone numbers; 39 percent to see a restaurant’s menu, and 38 percent to find a restaurant location.

Additionally, the report reveals that discounts and rewards can help drive short-term adoption of mobile ordering, with 78 percent of respondents saying discounts would make them more likely to order and 64 percent saying loyalty points would have this impact.

Mobile Web a must
The findings underscore the need for restaurants across all categories to have a mobile-optimized version of their basic information Web sites. While some should also consider taking the next step of offering a dedicated app and mobile ordering.

Large numbers of survey respondents turn to the mobile internet to find phone numbers, addresses, menus, and hours, and restaurants that don’t make that information easily accessible to someone searching via their phone risk losing orders and sales,” Mr. Lazlo said.

“Going the next step to having a dedicated mobile app and/or mobile app- or web-based ordering is a more calculated decision,” he said.

“For restaurants with a loyal base of regulars that typically order the same thing for takeout or delivery, having mobile ordering can make that faster and easier for the restaurant and the customer alike.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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