The purpose of any mobile App is to be regularly used to act on key events; such as making a purchase or booking or accessing personalised content.  Within the hospitality sector, mobile payments has also been seen as a way to move up the customer value chain in the actual dining experience, leading to the introduction of loyalty schemes and other revenue generating opportunities.

The challenge still remains, however, for mobile payment Apps to become part of the natural purchase flow for the majority of customers, rather than just those early adopters.   Having to make customers think differently remains the most difficult part.  For those mobile products aimed at restaurants, first time users conditioned to think about payment only at the end, now need to think about payment earlier during their dining experience.

To solve this issue there is currently an over reliance on restaurant & retail staff educating customers to the benefits of mobile payments, with the cost of training remaining high verses the results.  Such acquisition costs are increased still further when investment in additional hardware or POS integration are also factored in.

The answer is for payment Apps themselves to respond and, most importantly, reward customers against a key set of behaviours.   Push notifications, rich inbox, In-App alerts, interstitials, geo-targeting, beacons and local notifications all now play a role within an overall App engagement plan.  A plan with a data driven approach based around a key set of App usage measures.

The five critical metrics for App usage are:

  1. Users: Providing both a baseline & insight into the audience and their natural app usage patterns, it is also vital for creating deeper engagement, like segmenting audiences.
  2. Session Interval: Session interval is the time between the user’s first session and his or her next one, showing the frequency with which users open the App
  3. Acquisition: Number of users who download and install the App from a certain location, through organic search, word-of-mouth, paid campaigns or in-app referrals.  Acquisitions reports track how much money is spent acquiring these users, their app downloads and what they’re doing when they get into your app
  4. Screen Flow: Tracks exits by screen, flow between screens, and total occurrences of visits to screens, visualizing the typical visitor interactions.
  5. Lifetime Value: The primary revenue metric which can be split out by average monthly value or value per customer.

The opportunity now exists for payment Apps to move away from their existing over reliance on external factors such as staff interaction and media awareness and to drive their own usage rates by developing a customer rewards strategy based around App analytics, App communications and a data driven approach.  By doing so, providers can regain control over the customer experience and, most importantly, tailor their communications & incentives across all their customer segments.