Chipotle this week updated its popular mobile app, which has nearly 30 million Rewards members. The changes are not bells or whistles, but the addition of new simple features that are meant to reduce friction for loyal customers, who have confirmed that they visit more often and spend more money with the brand, officials have noted.
Specifically, users can now enable push notifications that provide updates on their orders, alert them if they’re in the wrong place and remind them to check their Rewards points when they arrive at a Chipotle restaurant. The new features are powered by GPS technology and are part of the company’s “Contextual Restaurant Experience” that was first announced in September. Chipotle’s products are powered by Radius Networks’ technology platform Flybuy and were tested in 73 restaurants in Cleveland this week before the release.
In the sentence sent by email Nation’s Restaurant NewsNicole West, vice president of Digital Strategy and Product, said, “Currently we are using advanced location technology to support program performance and provide guest experience. Contextual Restaurant Experience, managed by Flybuy, identifies the intentions of loyal members when they arrive and uses data to improve their experience by scheduling text messages, reminders to scan the Chipotle Rewards QR code at checkout, spot error detection and more.
Such “enhanced events” are becoming important, according to Nick Patrick, CEO of geofencing platform Radar. During the latest Create a webinar hosted by Nation’s Restaurant NewsPatrick said consumers have higher expectations than ever because of the “Amazon or Uber results we’re used to.”
“To order something and show it up the next day and know where it’s going – we expect a seamless, friction-free experience from all the software we use,” he said. “What will get people to download and use your app? It’s a big challenge, but a huge opportunity to provide a frictionless experience.”
The benefits here go beyond what customers expect and expect, however. Real-time communication and geotracking allow the kitchen staff to better track and prepare orders, so when customers arrive, they can receive their food faster and – by comparison – with higher quality. This means we may see more of this type of location information being added to apps as loyalty programs continue to evolve. According to MarketsandMarkets Analysis, artificial intelligence is expected to grow by 90% in the next three years.
“At the end of the day, all of these ladders are sustainable, great customer service that keeps customers coming back,” Patrick said. “And all that ladder to loyalty.”
According to a company spokesperson, Chipotle plans to share more information about its Contextual Restaurant Experience program during its Q4 and full-year earnings results on Feb. 7.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]