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QSRs drive mobile-order revolution: GrubHub exec

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January 21, 2016

grubhub 185NEW YORK – An executive from GrubHub at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 explained that the growing adoption of mobile delivery is being driven by big name quick-service restaurants, paving the way for growth at GrubHub.

During the “‘Nonline’ Marketing, On Demand” fireside chat, the executive detailed how chain delivery services such as Domino’s, Taco Bell and McDonald’s are growing the mobile ordering industry as a whole, which is helpful to others beyond the big names. As consumers become more comfortable with mobile ordering through these big names, GrubHub is there when these users want something that is not from that traditional franchise delivery, but from a mom and pop shop.

“Our space is growing,” said Steven Tristan Young, vice president of growth marketing at GrubHub. “Right now customer adoption is just beginning to actually increase. Not just because our competitors have sprung up, but also bigger brands.

“Before, the game in town was only Domino’s and Pizza Hut,” he said. “But now when you think about Taco Bell, Starbucks and their mobile ordering, it is literally growing our category and by that token that means there is more opportunity for us to sort of be there for those not looking for big restaurant but looking for a mom and pop.”

Grubbing on mobile
Mobile delivery is still unknown to many consumers, with 2015 seeing numerous big name food retailers introduce their own interpretations of the new strategy. While big retailers work to get mobile ordering more mainstream, it is still almost like magic to first-time customers.

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For GrubHub, this magic-like experience is ideal, as it creates a positive brand sentiment for consumers and keeps them coming back. This kind of organic connection is hard to come by, and is a marketer’s dream.

Mobile in itself was also a huge driver for the food retailer, which was born on the Internet, pre-mainstream-smartphone use. While originally customers would order online and be chained to their location during the allotted time period, mobile opened up the opportunity for users to order while traveling home and meet their delivery upon arrival.

The freedom that mobile provided really allowed GrubHub to expand that capability and provide more meaningful customer experiences for users. With the rise of mobile, though, came a new consumer behavior.

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The retailer now focuses on providing users with less content, but more relevant options. Rather than having a long list of 300 food retailers that all serve similar dishes, GrubHub now focuses on providing customers with highly personalized choices based on information such as what others around you think about retailers in your area, what you like and where you are.

Saving the day
GrubHub is also enjoys providing a retail experience in which it has “saved the day.” For instance, if a customer is sick and cannot leave his or her home to pick up food, he or she can use the GrubHub service and in turn feel as those the retailer helped him or her out.

The “saves-the-day” moment for GrubHub serves the same purpose as the magical moment. It creates a lasting impression on the individual, and ensures a repeat customer.

“Often when someone is sick and they do not want to go outside, they order GrubHub every day,” Mr. Young said. “Or also they are about to have a date and they do not know how to cook and Seamless saves the day.

“So to me, those are the real moments that remind people of why they use us,” he said. “We are very lucky that after ordering you are at the point where all your chemical endorphins are at the highest, so you associate our product with being at a very happy state.

“That is worth its weight in gold.”

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Brielle Jaekel is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach her at brielle@mobilemarketer.com.

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