I recently had the pleasure of co-hosting a webinar with Emily Carrion, Apptentive’s Head of Marketing, on best practices for mobile order and pay in restaurant and retail apps. One of the areas we explored was metrics and goals for mobile order and pay. I’ve received requests to get into more detail about how to track and assess customer adoption, which brings us to this post!

Determining whether or not customers are adopting mobile ordering can be a tricky thing to establish, because it’s easy to look at transactions rather than trends. For your mobile ordering service to be successful long-term, customers need to use it frequently. I recommend looking at your metrics as trial versus habituation. This approach helps establish your funnel and helps you understand conversion challenges.

In this post, I share the three step process to measuring customer adoption of mobile order and pay, including how to analyze customer trials and customer habituation, and how to track in-store changes and gather customer feedback. I also share metrics to track during each step of the process.

To properly measure customer adoption of mobile ordering, follow the three steps outlined below.

Step 1: Analyze customer trials of mobile ordering

Why is analyzing customer trials important? Because you’ll be able to gather valuable information, such as how many customers started a trial and placed their first order. In this step, you should also gather insights into common traits (if any) of trial customers and identify stages in the order process with high abandonment rates to determine app issues or blockers that prevent sales conversion.

Beyond customer data, digging into app sessions is vital to understanding the experience of new mobile order customers. What you’re looking for here is any common sticking points that cause customers to abandon their order. To do this, build separate user segments to track order attempts and completed orders separately, then look at each segment’s journey through screens and events. Pay special attention to which screens are visited and where order attempts end—this will alert you to flow issues, poor design elements, and more.

Starbucks Mobile Order and Pay

I’ve always found that there’s a magic number once you get someone to X number of orders (X is different for every company), suddenly they’re hooked. It’s possible that once customers hit that number, mobile ordering becomes a habit. Or, it could be that up until X, customers were learning how to use the feature; reaching X number of order signals that they’ve mastered it. On the other hand, if you see a lot of trials but not a lot of repeat usage, that’s a major red flag to be aware of and to dig into more.

What metrics should you hone in on during this step? Keep these four top of mind:

  • Number of customers who started an order
  • Number of customers who completed their first order
  • Average dollar value of customers’ first mobile order
  • Order abandonment rate by app step/screen

Step 2: Analyze customer habituation

This step is important because you can quantify how many customers have placed multiple orders and assess the impact of mobile ordering on overall sales transactions. You can also determine the impact mobile ordering has on customers’ habits and lifetime value (changes in their spending, visit frequency, etc.); through this, you can identify segments of mobile order customers.

Much as you will do when analyzing trial usage, build app user segments by mobile order usage (e.g., 2 – 4 orders, 5 – 9 orders, 10+ orders) and see if their experience changes. Ask yourself if there is a tipping point after which customer behavior changes, with mobile orders becoming more frequent, ticket value increasing or decreasing, or if there are fewer carts being abandoned. Do customers visit different pages or use different app functions once they’ve successfully placed a certain number of orders? This could indicate a learning curve that may provide valuable insight into how to make the app experience easier.

Overall, what you’re looking for is a lift in frequency, the average ticket value or total spend by customers who are tender switching. If customers are moving from using a credit card (especially loyalty members) you can track their history and their usage. Track what the effect is of customers moving to payment via the app. It may or may not increase adoption of your loyalty program.

Kohls mobile app loyalty program

Your app can certainly help to bring your loyalty program to life or even add on additional benefits. During the launch of mobile order and pay at Starbucks, one of the key benefit statements was that loyalty program members can use the app to order and pay via mobile, which helped to drive adoption.

Here are the key metrics to track in step 2:

  • Number of customers who have completed one or more orders
    • Average number of mobile order transactions ever
    • Average dollar value of mobile orders
    • Average frequency of mobile orders
  • Number of customers who use mobile order for 51% of all transactions
    • Average dollar value of mobile orders
    • Average frequency of mobile order

Step 3: Gather feedback and track in-store changes

By keeping track of ratings & reviews and customer feedback, you’re able to keep your finger on the pulse of how your customers are receiving your mobile ordering experience. Aside from the public places customers leave feedback like the app stores, Yelp, and social media, tracking methods such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) can help you measure customer sentiment over time.

Your customers aren’t the only people who can provide valuable feedback, either. Your in-store staff is on the front lines and interacting with customers who are using the mobile ordering feature daily. Ask for their feedback; they’ll likely have valuable insights from the opposite perspective as the customer.

Coffee shop employee

On a more quantitative level, look at in-store service speeds—is it improving or decreasing since the launch of mobile order and pay? Ask questions such as is waste loss increase or decreasing? What does your service recovery look like? These are just a few of the in-store metrics that can give you a clue as to how mobile ordering is impacting your customers experience overall.

Track customer sentiment in the following places:

  • App stores (as a reminder, you always want to aim for a 4-star rating)
  • Yelp
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • NPS
  • Social media

Track in-store changes:

  • Customer and staff feedback
  • Service speed
  • Reduction in waste/loss (including service recovery)
  • Increased non-mobile store transactions

Digging deeper

If ever there was a business case for customer research, this is it! Activate your consumer insights and research team to help, or leverage in-app engagement and survey tools like Apptentive to better understand the customer experience.

An amazing mobile order experience can take time to evolve, and you may find that you require many iterations to get there. It’s ok—be transparent with your customers (calling it a “beta” is totally acceptable, and sets the appropriate expectations), gather as much data as you possibly can, and solicit customer feedback. You’ll work out the kinks faster, build a better mobile order service, and make your customers very happy.

If you’re interested in learning more about measuring the success of mobile order and pay features, good news! We’re hosting another webinar on February 21th (at 7:00 am PT so our friends in Europe can participate). RSVP here: Mobile Order & Pay: Learn the Do’s and Dont’s from Starbucks, Sephora, Domino’s and Other Top Apps.