Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Capriotti’s bites into loyalty with branded mobile app

Las Vegas-based sandwich shop chain Capriotti’s loyalty program has been improved by integrating a mobile program that more efficiently manages the retailer’s existing customer outreach efforts to its 107 locations on the West Coast.

Originally launched as an e-mail sandwich club in 2013, CAPAddicts is evolving into a branded mobile app which will be available in September 2014, and will be used to earn rewards in relation to visit and expenditure volume. Sandwich chains have been particularly aggressive in mobile over the past year when it comes to mobile and replacing traditional paper punch cards.

“When Capriotti’s rolls out Punchh’s mobile CRM platform, customers just download an app to their smartphones—an easy feat since smartphones make up over 65 percent percent of all mobile phones now in use,” said Sastry Penumarthy, vice president of marketing for Punchh, Sunnyvale.

“With mobile technologies, setting up and managing programs that appeal to all segments of consumers is much easier and faster,” he said. “This is because the smartphone opens up a channel to communicate in real-time with customers and presents them with unique and personalized rewards,” he said.

Beyond the punch card
As part of the partnership with Punchh, a mobile CRM platform, Capriotti’s will launch  a mobile app that  becomes a virtual punch card on customers’ device.

The app uses the location-based technology when visiting a restaurant, and the employee “punches” the loyalty card when products are purchased. A smartphone can also validate a punch via receipt scan when customers forgot to use their device.

The new platform for Capriotti’s will help the submarine chain reward loyal patrons while improving its ability to incentivize new sandwich enthusiasts.

Punchh will help Capriotti’s customize its loyalty program for with a unique approach for new users, one-time users, occasional users and regular users by addressing different customer motivations via loyalty  and using own the merchant’s customer data.

Engaging customers on mobile devices can help merchants reach audiences traditional advertising cannot, as well as increase sales and profitability through analyzing user trends.

Virtual gratification
Restaurants operating on Punchh’s mobile suite report 10 percent increases in same-store sales, three- to four-times higher participation rates compared to traditional loyalty programs, 50 percent-plus repeat rates, and track and manage new customer referrals for the first time ever, 25 percent-plus redemption rates for marketing campaign, and 10-15 times more customer reviews than Yelp! according to Punchh.

“Punchh customers report much higher engagement rates than other systems because they can engage customers on mobile devices and also because they can engage using a variety of ways including loyalty, reviews, referrals, gaming, offers, surveys, ordering, and payments,” Mr. Penumarthy said.

To further help restaurants dole out rewards, Punchh uses the customers’ Facebook social graph to trace the derivation of suggestions and referrals between consumers.

Capriotti’s incentives social media followers

Social rewards will allow restaurants such as  Capriotti’s to interact with their customers and drive repeat sales, make it easy for loyal customers to drive word of mouth, reward customers for referring family and friends, and target customers with one-to-one offers based on customers’ order history, spend, location, and other preferences

Other eateries running Punchh include: Aurelio’s Pizza, Earl of Sandwich, Farmer Boys, Hungry Howie’s, Mama Fu’s, Max’s Restaurant of the Philippines, Rita’s Italian Ice, Schlotzskys, Vino Volo, and Voodoo BBQ & Grill.

“Punchh lets brands really understand their customers: Operators can understand who their regular users are, what they like, and who among them may need some unique rewards in order to come back,” Mr. Penumarthy said.

“Through mobile, operators can send customized offers directly to each loyalty customer’s smartphone and address them personally,” he said. “When customers respond to those offers, operators know exactly how well their promotional efforts worked so there is measurable return on investment.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York