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Casey’s tops off new pizza-ordering app with welcome incentives

Casey’s General Stores is jumpstarting digital sales via its new pizza-ordering mobile application with a special offer for first-time users.

The Midwest convenience store chain is rolling out an app that enables customers to order sandwiches, pizza and appetizers while on-the-go, underscoring the importance for any food and beverage marketer with a hefty bricks-and-mortar footprint to offer these options for busy consumers. Users will also be able to enjoy a welcome incentive for downloading the app, as well as special access to future promotions.

“We are always striving to adapt to the changing needs of our customers,” said Bill Walljasper, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Casey’s General Stores, Ankeny, IA. “Having the ability for our customers to utilize a mobile app is another way for us to connect with not only our current customers, but also connect with potential new customers.”

Topping off convenience
The app launch arrives on the heels of a full implementation of online ordering in all of the brand’s stores. Casey’s recognizes that its time-strapped customers frequently prefer to place orders prior to arrival, thereby allowing them to dash in and pick up their already-paid-for food and drinks.

Mobile app ordering helps quick service restaurants and convenience chains circumvent long lines during peak times, such as lunch hour, while making the order completion process more streamlined and efficient for in-store employees.

If consumers know they can easily place an order for a customized sub sandwich or pizza at Casey’s, they will likely give their business to that company rather than a competitor who does not offer mobile ordering.

“We believe that we will be able to not only increase pizza sales, but also have the ability to increase add on sales from orders placed on line,” Mr. Walljasper said.

Users who download the app for the first time may enjoy a special welcome offer – a free pizza slice that could convince them to purchase their next cheesy dish from Casey’s if the redemption process goes smoothly.

Keeping engagement high
Using a welcome coupon to prompt initial app downloads is a tried-and-true strategy for many brands, but the final test lies in whether consumers will give up their prime smartphone real estate to give that app a permanent spot. Combatting the issue of receiving temporary downloads before deletion requires the brand to give customers a reason to want to come back and engage with the app.

Casey’s is promising consumers that future promotions and deals are set to come. The chain is also enabling individuals to peruse gas prices at locations in the vicinity, and find Casey’s stores along planned travel routes.

Other mobile features include the ability to play in-app games, send feedback to the brand, receive monthly promotions and participate in sweepstakes.

Casey’s is not the only regional marketer employing mobile ordering to boost digital sales even higher.

California Tortilla is adding zest to its mobile sales strategy by enabling customers to earn rewards for repeat visits and take advantage of a new single-sign-on feature in the chain’s new ordering apps (see story).

Additionally, West Coast-based sandwich chain Port of Subs unlocked a new app this summer that allows loyal consumers to customize their favorite meals and place orders via mobile, highlighting the need for fast-casual restaurants to offer pay-now, pick-up-later options (see story).

“We anticipate that customers will respond favorably to the app as well as reaching a group of customers that demand this type of interaction/service that may not have tried our food products in the past,” Mr. Walljasper said. “We recently launched this app and so far the number of downloads of our app are ahead of our expectations.”