This week’s success stories brings you Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria app and its story on how they improved customer experience, boosted engagement and differentiated from the competition.
What is Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria app and who is it for?
The Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria app is designed to allow Cotto’s customers to earn points for every visit, and to be able to redeem those points for free menu item rewards. Besides the robust loyalty feature, the app also has a visual food and drink menu, exclusive offers, an online reservation tool, and a newsfeed of our latest content.
When did you realize that you need a mobile application for your organization?
It’s actually quite funny because we never even meant to get an app developed for our restaurant. Someone approached us, and we decided to see what they could do, but it turned out not to suit our needs. At that point, as the digital marketing manager of Cotto, I decided to see if I could create an app myself by using an online app building tool. I was mainly looking for an app builder that had a good loyalty module, a Mailchimp integration, and a newsfeed with a modern UI. I honestly searched the web for three weeks until I decided on Shoutem, which turned out to be a great decision.
What kind of impact did the application have on the community?
I think the app has really allowed us to differentiate ourselves to our customers. Not only does it show that we are a modern and cutting edge, but also that we care enough to offer our customers a loyalty program. We offer tons of free points on our social media, and every user gets a free pizza on their birthday. There has been only good feedback from our customers.
Could you name a few advantages of mobile as communication channel and platform?
The ability to communicate with our customers directly to their phones has been extremely helpful to launch campaigns and attract attention to our products, promotions, and announcements. The biggest advantage is that the app acts as the central point of all of our marketing efforts. Because of the robust loyalty system, we can track ROI through the analytics dashboard and see that our customers are using the app in-store, and it’s bringing them back often. You can’t really get that type of measurable data from regular social media alone. By leveraging our app on our other platforms such as social media and email, we are able to acquire new customers and bring back our regular customers more often.
How do you promote your app? What channels do you use and what do you find most successful?
For a local restaurant like us, the best way to promote the app is when a customer comes into our restaurant. In every menu, we have a small ad for the app, as well as a postcard with more information about the benefits, and why they should download it (we offer 20 free points). The server also makes sure to ask the customer if they have downloaded the app, because otherwise they won’t be able to collect their points for that particular visit. Beyond the in-store interaction, we advertise our app on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, with a loyalty app, it’s important not just to say “Hey we have this cool app.” Instead, we create engaging content like posting a picture of the menu item and asking our followers to guess what dish it is, with the winner being rewarded with 50 points, and all the runner-ups with 20 points each. People like free stuff, and we just tie it in with our app.
How easy was to make the app using Shoutem?
The design dashboard is remarkably user-friendly. It was a breeze to create my vision of our ideal app within the platform. Every aspect is very intuitive, and if I ever had any questions, I would just send support an email, to which they always responded promptly. There is also quite an in-depth learning center with videos and articles to help along the way.
What advice would you give to people who are planning to make an app?
You have to understand what your goals for creating the app. If you’re creating an app just for the sake of being trendy, then you are going to waste a lot of time and money. Once you understand your goals, you can start to play around with some templates and figure out which UI/UX will be the most optimal for accomplishing those goals. Also, think about how the app will complement your other marketing efforts. Finally, make sure you create an effective distribution strategy for acquiring users. You can create the best app in the world, but if you struggle to get downloads, it will go to waste.
Why do you think communities like Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria need a mobile strategy?
It’s important to have a mobile strategy because that is where most consumers want to communicate nowadays. Also, with the growing content clutter of social networks, it’s harder and harder to capture your followers attention and get them to listen to what you have to say. With your own app, it opens up a line of direct communication between your business and your customers.
To anyone building an app, I highly recommend reading Nir Eyal’s book “Hooked – How to build habit-forming products.”
If you’d like to follow my personal account, my Twitter handle is @TamirBarzilai
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