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McDonald’s bites into mobile CRM at over 500 locations this summerBy Chantal Tode
Following the successful pilot of a mobile CRM effort at a handful of McDonald’s locations in Northern California, between 500 and 600 McDonald’s will introduce the program this summer with the goal of rewarding customers and driving loyalty.
The pilot began with one store in San Francisco in October and is currently available in 24 locations throughout Northern California. The program involves using the Mowingo mobile application to notify customers about regional promotions and store-specific coupons that are exclusive to the app and the store issuing them.
“They get to know much more about their customers,” said Daniel T. Dreymann, CEO at Mowingo Inc., Palo Alto, CA, which developed the app. “Now they are starting to get data.
“They can see trends and can reward customers for their loyalty based on patterns of buying, which is something they could not do before,” he said.
“The ability to reward customers makes the experience more personal.”
Posters and other signage around the participating locations let customers know that when they download the Mowingo app, they get a free coffee or some other offer. The coupon is in the app when it is downloaded.
McDonald’s customers can download the app by navigating to http://mowingo.com/mtm or by scanning a QR code on the poster.
Users can also see the McDonald’s menu on the app.
The expanded program will be available throughout Northern California as well as in the Midwest.
One McDonald’s franchisee used the Mowingo app to send out push notifications about an in-store promotion which had a 27 percent click-through rate, per Mr. Dreymann.
Users can redeem coupons at participating McDonald’s by clicking the button on their app that says “redeem” and showing the cashier the animated image that is displayed as a result. Cashiers do not need to scan anything or enter a code.
At the end of the day, the owner of the store gets a report from Mowingo showing all of the coupons that were redeemed that day. This is matched up against a report from the point-of-sale system.
Many quick-service restaurants know very little about their customers and do not know if they are serving the same regulars day after day. A mobile CRM app such as Mowingo helps these businesses begin to address these issues.
The app gives the franchisees a way to send coupons to customers based on their past behavior.
Businesses such as McDonald’s can also use the app maximize the return on investment for their couponing efforts. For example, if some customers react to lower value coupons while others need more incentive, the app can be used to target coupons accordingly.
The app includes other features that are being used by some local merchants but not McDonald’s. This includes a digital punch card that enables users to earn a point every time they check in at a location and receive a reward once they reach a specific threshold and the ability to place orders by clicking to call the merchant.
The app also incorporates geo-fencing technology for passive check-ins.
App users can build their own virtual shopping mall featuring the merchants they do business with and enabling them to receive push notifications from these merchants.
“If your consumers love the brand, this is a way for the brand to give the love back,” Mr. Dreymann said. “Couponing is just one element.
“We want to position the app as making you an insider in the places that you love,” he said.
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