Why implement a loyalty program at your pizzeria? Time and time again studies have shown that these programs increase guest spend and visit frequency, which are compelling reasons for a loyalty program on their own. And, with so many digital channels vying for the attention of consumers, you need to be in constant communication with your regular customers. Also, as we know, guest acquisition is much more expensive than guest retention.
Adding to those points, pymnts.com reports that increasing loyalty by 5% can boost a restaurant’s profits by 25% to 95%, which is serious money. So, whether you’ve got a loyalty program in place and are looking to refine it, or if you’re considering a loyalty offering for the first time, here are five tips to help you drive even more dollars through brand loyalists.
Form direct connections with your customers
Today’s consumers have choices — lots of them. In fact, according to Statista, the number of pizza restaurants in the US alone last year was more than 75 thousand. Competition is stiff when it comes to attracting guests to your pizzeria when they’re craving a fresh slice of pie, which is one of the reasons it’s important to create and maintain a direct connection with your customers. Especially through digital loyalty programs that leverage mobile apps and rewards, your brand can earn valuable screen time with consumers and bring your brand top-of-mind when their next craving hits.
“With a digital solution, you’re generating data,” says Mark Harris, director of product marketing at Revel Systems. “This data can be a goldmine for your loyalty program. You can do personalized marketing — that’s really the secret sauce behind all of this — to segment your audience and drive different campaigns toward those segments.”
The next section takes an even closer look at personalization.
Make it personal
Perhaps the greatest benefit of personalization, especially in the context of loyalty rewards, is relevance. A relevant reward is one that is tailored to the guest reaping the benefit. When done correctly, a personalized reward will offer the impression that irrelevant options have been filtered out, and will offer the guest a benefit they truly desire.
Today, digital solutions and automation help streamline personalization. And while streamlined personalization may feel like an oxymoron, it is part of the magic behind digital loyalty programs.
For example, if you are recognizing a loyal, vegetarian customer with a birthday offering, you’ll want to make sure the gift aligns with their dietary preferences. Complementary garlic knots will be a much better option than a free side of wings for this particular guest.
“The emergence of technology has started a new chapter in the history of loyalty programs,” said. Yossi Milhem, VP of business development at Como. “Today you have a cloud-native customer engagement solution with tons of flexibility. This flexibility is key to set the right marketing campaigns based on behaviors of members, preferences, order history, and so much more.”
Offering exponentially more consumer insight than its punch card predecessors, a mobile-first loyalty solution plays a critical role in achieving personalized rewards for guests.
Double down on data insights
When your customers engage with a digital loyalty program, they aren’t just providing valuable insights into their personal preferences. As your program grows, your customers will collectively show you other valuable business information, such as best-selling products, strong contenders for menu innovation, and peak hours and days of operation.
“An integrated data and analytics tool will help you, in just a few clicks, to better understand everything about your business and who your customers are,” says Milhem.
Knowing who your customers are, how often they visit your business, what they order when they visit, and what metaphorical levers you can pull to inspire them to return more frequently—perhaps spending more when they do—all of that comes together through actionable data reporting. It gives you an opportunity to control your destiny and grow your profits.
Connect every touchpoint within your business
By now, “omnichannel” is a familiar buzzword for most business operators. Further accelerated by the pandemic, order options for consumers are entrenched, and include everything from a traditional in-store transaction at the point of sale, to kiosk orders, to online and delivery orders, and in some cases even extending to social media.
What isn’t always a given is the level of interconnectedness of these different ordering methods.
“Connecting the tech is very important,” Milhem says. “You need to connect every single touchpoint that works together with your point of sale and with third-party integrations.”
Why? You want a single, unified system that can capture and share all of your consumer data for a holistic view of your operations across channels. Not only that, but an unified system also means consistent experiences for your guests no matter how, where or when they decide to engage with your brand.
Capture mindshare with a mobile application
To revisit a concept from the beginning of this post, consumer mindshare is everything in a highly competitive pizza marketplace. You don’t want to be a pizza option for diners, you want to be the pizzeria of choice.
A great way to ensure your brand’s awareness with the hordes of the hungry is with a loyalty program that includes a mobile application. Space on a person’s mobile home screen is, in some cases, sacred. That real estate is reserved for their favorite pastimes, top interests, and treasured brands. And if your pizzeria’s loyalty app makes it onto this coveted space, chances are, your restaurant will get the order when a craving for saucy, cheesy goodness strikes.
Grow your pizza profits with a digital loyalty program
Loyalty programs are big business for pizza operators. Have you applied the tips outlined in this blog post at your pizzeria? If not, there are real dollars on the line. Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to make a change. Explore your options with cloud-native, fully-integrated POS solutions, then watch the customers and the profits follow.