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Top 10 mobile-offline activations from Q3

Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are making headway in merging mobile into real-world retail experiences, minimizing the gap between the digital space and bricks-and-mortar while bringing mobile ordering, discounts and shopping companions to the forefront.

As mobile creates a broad span of opportunities for retailers in the bricks-and-mortar space due to its untethered abilities, mobile ordering and payments have made significant stride this year. However, within the last few months numerous retailers have also showcased mobile methods in providing customers loyalty rewards, deals and assistance while shopping in-stores.

Big names in food retail such as Starbucks and Chipotle have brought the idea of mobile ordering and payments into reality. While, other retailers have leveraged platforms to assist customers in stores, and keep them coming back.

Here are the top 10 mobile in-store activations of the third quarter of 2015, in alphabetical order.

The Cheesecake Factory snacks on mobile payments with app pilot
The Cheesecake Factory launches an application, which allowed customers to split checks and pay through their mobile devices, while also receiving a free piece of cheesecake for signing up, suggesting a growth in restaurants’ interest in mobile payments.

The CakePay mobile app eliminated the frustration of customers having to wait for their check and complete payments through their servers. These duties can be accomplished directly on smartphones to guarantee a dining experience that remains personal and efficient, a strategy that has brought in consumers strapped for time.

Restaurant employees with an excess of tables during busy times have also benefited from the Cake Pay app, as it has removed the burden of having to bring a printed bill to customers and waiting for them complete payment.

Chipotle spices up sales with mobile delivery for college students
Chipotle Mexican Grill stood out amongst the past mobile ordering onslaught one step further by targeting college students through teaming up with the Tapingo app for quick mobile delivery to campuses nationwide.

Chipotle jumped its established mobile ordering strategy by effectively segmenting consumers by discovering a wide audience, which is significantly more interested in delivery options, but also spend a great deal of time on smartphones. Through the Tapingo partnership, college students at 40 campuses this fall were be able to place and purchase delivery orders on their mobile devices without an additional transaction fee.

Targeting college students with mobile delivery is an ingenious game plan for Chipotle, and one that could provide significant opportunities for driving sales. As many undergrads lack the ability to have cars on campus, Chipotle and Tapingo will be able to reach a slew of consumers who otherwise may not be able to visit an in-store location.

Dunkin’ Donuts continues Waze partnership, driving bricks-and-mortar sales through celebrities
Dunkin’ Donuts continued its partnership with navigation application Waze with an update to its existing campaign with the voice of Rob Gronkowski to drive users into locations.

Football fans are now able to combine their interest in football season with their love of pumpkin spice flavorings and other fall offerings from Dunkin’ Donuts through Waze. Dunkin’ is capitalized on these two trending topics during the fall season by allowing Waze users to select New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski as their navigation voice, which also notifies them when near the retailer’s bricks-and-mortar locations.

The coffeehouse chain drove sales during the beginning of autumn by leveraging Mr. Gronkowski’s popularity and its popular fall flavor lineup.

IKEA builds in-store shopping companion with redesigned app
IKEA Canada extended its in-store shopping experience with a mobile companion app in an effort to assist consumers create shopping lists to check off collected items and find products from their smartphones.

The home furnishings retailer launched an updated version of its app to further the experience for customers who bring along their mobile devices while shopping in its bricks-and-mortar locations. Numerous retailers are jumping into bricks-and-mortar companion apps to further streamline an experience for consumers who demand an easy way to access in-store maps, products and item availability.

The updated Store app exhibits a up-to-date interface and a variety of new features as well as updated tools from the previous version.

Kohl’s unfolds in-store app mode to kick off omnichannel blitz
Kohl’s shared a new store mode in its app for shoppers to conveniently search for products and locate in-store discounts, while the department store leveraged Apple Pay and Visa Checkout.

The retailer unveiled a bevvy of mobile tools to streamline shopping in-store and online, a tactic that continues to drive sales while the holiday season approaches. In addition to launching same-day delivery in limited locations, Kohl’s also offered more mobile payment options, the in-app store mode feature and a seamless digital shopping cart.

Kohl’s is leveraging mobile tactics for in-store shopping experience to better cater to guests and offer a more personal experience.

McDonald’s fries up mobile sales with incentive for Philadelphia app users
McDonald’s gave Philadelphia customers a sneak peak version of its upcoming mobile app and gave users a free item for each download, proving that incentives are a key factor in the food-and-beverage sector.

McDonald’s launched its namesake app to the Philadelphia market ahead of its recent national rollout that took place this fall. To jump installs from fans, the fast food retailer offered a complimentary large sandwich to anyone who registered to receive national offers.

The brand is made up for lost time by rolling out a variety of offers on mobile to celebrate the app’s release in Greater Philadelphia. McDonald’s was originally slow to bring an app to the U.S. after competitors such as Taco Bell have already begun perfecting mobile ordering capabilities.

Outback Steakhouse fires up app with wait list, payments features
Mobile is continuing to grow within the casual dining sector with Outback Steakhouse launch of a new mobile app later this year that will allow customers to virtually glance at where they are on the waiting list and pay at the table.

The retailer revealed the news in a conference call with analysts to discuss parent company Bloomin’ Brands’ Q2 financial results, which saw a slight drop in revenue. The company also noted that any future apps will combine with its cross-brand Dine Rewards program.

Outback Steakhouse already offers The Outback 363 app, which enables users to see waitlist times, add their name to the list, view special deals and order online.

Starbucks’ app update raises bar on mobile payments
Starbucks is raised the bar for streamlined retail experiences on mobile as a leader in mobile payments with an app upgrade that moved rewards to the forefront and allowed easier scanning.

The beverage retailer continues to be the model in terms of mobile loyalty and payments, and preserves this spot by responding to customers and adjusting along the way. Its customers have conveniently leveraged the app for a streamlined checkout and more rewards, and its past update made the process even smoother with tools such as rewards on the pay screen and a lower bar code for easier scanning.

Mobile payments and easier options for ordering are growing as a principle within retail, and Starbucks has a lot to risk as the top mobile retailer.

Target’s Cartwheel drives 10pc more offer downloads via personalization
Target introduced individualized recommendations to Cartwheel, which bolstered an increase of more-than 10-percent the amount of offers downloaded per user.

The retailer continues to tweak the Cartwheel application to as close to perfection as possible by efforts such as managing offers and letting users see what deals friends and family are saving. An Aug. 17 update to the app also added the ability to map offers for the first time as well as introducing Apple Watch support.

Target focuses highly on personalization and in turn has been ramping up use of an internally developed recommendation engine, which leverages in-store and online customer history.

Wendy’s catches up on mobile ordering frenzy with Frosty incentives
The Wendy’s Company aimed to poach mobile-savvy consumers from fast food competitors through testing a mobile ordering app in the Phoenix market and offered a Frosty incentive.

Customers in Phoenix, Arizona, were able to download the app to place an order for pick-up at store locations processed through Bluetooth. The chain is offered a free Frosty dessert to those who purchased within the app purchase, proving that incentives are still key for trial periods.

Fast food retailers often leverage the pull of impulse purchasing, as consumers can easily stop by at a location and pick up a snack or meal that can be ready to eat in a short time. Brands that focus on speed are hoping to bring this same instant gratification to mobile, so that consumers streamline the process even more and only have to pop in to pickup their paid-for items.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer