As with other industries, the app-driven mobile Web is presenting new opportunities and challenges for food brands.
In fact, half of media-savvy mobile users now have at least one restaurant-specific app on their devices, according to new survey-based research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau in partnership with social TV rewards startup Viggle.
Like an online bookmark on steroids, apps are attractive to brands because they create a direct link between their services and consumers’ smartphones.
Fortunately for food brands with fewer app users, however, mobile consumers show a strong taste for discovery.
Indeed, 55% of survey respondents say they have at least one “multi-restaurant” app on their phones -- with Yelp the most popular at 37%, followed by Urbanspoon (24%) and Zagat (9%).
What’s more, 44% of survey respondents report regularly using their smartphones or tablets to search for restaurant phone numbers; 39% do so to check out menus; while 38% use their gadgets to search for restaurant locations.
“This research highlights the fact that the mobile Internet is increasingly becoming a vital tool to help consumers navigate their everyday lives -- even when it comes to simple tasks, such as ordering a pizza,” said Anna Bager, VP and general manager of Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
“Restaurant and fast-food chain marketers should pay close attention to this trend and take advantage of the opportunities that mobile offers, making it a key part of their ad-buying strategy,” Bager added.
How can brands attract the attention of mobile users? According to the IAB and Viggle, financial or other rewards were the best ways to drive short-term adoption of mobile online ordering.
A clear majority of respondents (78%) said discounts would make them more likely to order, while nearly two-thirds (64%) said loyalty points would have a similarly positive impact.
As we approach one of the nation’s top days for food inhalation, what do consumers have planned for this coming Super Bowl Sunday? Beyond mobile users, 26% already have plans to order takeout or delivery on the big day, the IAB found. Among that group, a full 72% favor pizza, while shockingly, just 24% plan to place orders for Buffalo wings.