Just like any other technology, mobile apps have changed the way we live our lives. From the way we communicate to the way we order our meal. We can get anything to eat just by a few taps on our mobile apps. We can search for nearby restaurants that provide the food we crave for. We can look up their menus. We can imagine the taste, the portion, and even the ambiance of the restaurants if the app provides the photos. But are we sure if the photos match the reality? If we are less adventurous, we can always use the power of the community. We can take their ratings and reviews into our consideration. Once we make our decision, we can make an online order, make a reservation, or go to the place directly. If we don’t know exactly where the location is, the map is ready to guide us.

The implementation of online retail in Food & Beverages industry has been lagging. However, it is now becoming the fastest growing product category in e-commerce. Mobile app with its characteristics gives so much features to support this growth in digital market. For many people throughout the world, smartphone has become a necessity. Therefore, mobile app can become a very effective tool for dealing directly with the consumers of Food & Beverage industry. The features that will stand out the Food & Beverage mobile app including:

  1. Internet for 24/7 Services
    Using a mobile app that connected to the internet, consumers can order anything at any time. The consumers don't have to wait until they have time to shop. Whenever they need something they can order right away and just wait for their order to be delivered at their house.
  1. Access to Information, Access to Social Media
    Nowadays, consumers can have all the information they need in the palm of their hand. It is now up to producers to provide as clear and attractive information as possible so that consumers buy their products and services, and then spread good words about them in their social media.
  1. Communication
    Mobile app gives consumers choices on how they communicate with food and beverages producers or among themselves. Delivery order or reservation that could only be made by phone in the old days now can be made using application system, or via chat. Rating and feedback system is a way of communication among consumers. They can also discuss about a product in a forum or a comment system. The camera on smartphone allows a communication which is not limited to text and voice but also by using photos and videos.
  1. Map & Geolocation
    Geolocation provides an advantage for consumers to get information about nearby places to eat. This can be seen as an opportunity to attract consumers who have never been to the places before. Consumers don't have to worry about how they can get to those places because the map can guide them.
    Map and geolocation allows the consumers to track delivery for the products they ordered online easily now. It is also easier for the courier to find the consumers’ addresses. Geolocation can also be used to provide targeted promos based on location.
  1. Push Notification
    Food & Beverages providers can take advantage of push notification to give consumers information about their products and services, such as information about new products, promos, opening of a new branch, etc. Push notification give a one way communication from producers to consumers.
  1. Payment Options
    Mobile apps can provide payment options to consumers so that they can utilize the type of payment that suits them best. Whether it is cash on delivery, bank transfer, or pay later.
  1. Customer Engagement
    The cost of acquiring a new customer is much higher than the cost of keeping a current one. It’s the reason why keeping customer’s loyalty is very important. Business can do it by giving the customer rewards and advantages. Mobile app makes it easier to manage customers and their transaction record so that rewards and advantages management is become easier to handle.

Aside from the features, what are the mobile strategies to boost customer engagement? Well, here are three things that we should put our mind into:

  1. Great UI and UX design
    UI/UX is a crucial factor of a mobile app. People expect to spend less time and get more things done without any issues. A great UI/UX design will support that.
  1. Complete and good structuring of information
    Consumers need to have a good understanding of products and services they’d like to get, especially when those things are new to them. Complete information is great but not enough. A good structuring makes them easier and faster to understand.
  1. AI for personalization
    Artificial intelligence in mobile apps allows a business to provide personalized and accurate customer services by giving them relevant information predicted by their location, behavior pattern, buying history, age, gender, weather, etc.

As the food and beverage industry implements good digital strategies through mobile apps, surely it will create better customer support and engagement.

Author: Sri Ariyani (Sr. Mobile Developer