So you’ve decided to take your ice cream shop into the 21st century. Smart move. An easy-to-use ordering app and loyalty program are must-haves these days to keep customers coming back for more.The good news is, with some strategic planning, you can implement digital solutions that boost sales and build a devoted fan following.
This how-to guide will walk you through launching your very own custom app and loyalty club. We’ll explore options for building your digital toolkit, share pro tips for creating an unforgettable user experience, and reveal how to turn casual shoppers into brand ambassadors. By the time you’ve scooped the last cone, you’ll have all the tools you need to take your shop from sweet to success.
The future of small businesses is digital, and your shop can be at the forefront. Ready to see what an app and loyalty program can do for your bottom line? Let’s get started. Your customers are waiting.
Why Offer an Ordering App and Loyalty Program?
Offering an ordering app and loyalty program for your shop is a no-brainer these days. Customers want convenience and rewards, and you want to keep them coming back. It's a win-win.
An ordering app lets customers skip the line and place orders on the go so their treats are ready when they arrive. No more waiting around or missing out on valuable seating during busy hours. For you, it means a steady flow of revenue and the chance to upsell by suggesting add-ons.
A loyalty program, like a stamp card, gives customers an incentive to return again and again. As they earn freebies and other perks, your shop stays top of mind. Design a program that fits your brand and budget. Keep people engaged by offering surprise rewards and exclusive member events.
Together, an ordering app and loyalty program provide an unbeatable customer experience. Customers get the convenience they crave plus rewards for their continued business. You get data to improve operations and marketing while building real relationships with your customers.
The key is choosing solutions tailored to your needs. Native apps designed for restaurants and bakeries provide more control and customization. Make the sign-up process easy, keep communication personal, and stay on top of the latest features to take your business to the next level.
With the right technology and a little TLC, you'll have customers lining up to place orders, earn rewards, and ultimately, become your biggest brand ambassadors. Now that's sweet success!
Choosing the Right Platform: Square's Open API
If you want to take your ice cream shop into the 21st century, it's time to build your own mobile ordering app. The Square POS Open API makes this easier than ever before.
Square's API provides a secure and customizable mobile checkout experience for your customers. With it, you can create an app that allows customers to order ahead, pay right from their phone, and skip the line when picking up their order. Talk about sweet success!
To get started, sign up for a Square developer account. This will give you access to the Square POS Open API to build your app. The API offers:
- Unlimited itemization: Create categories and list all your delicious ice cream flavors and toppings.
- Low stock alerts: Get notifications when popular items are running low so you never run out of customers' favorites.
- Secure payments: Square handles payments in-app so customers can pay quickly without handing over their card.
- Customization: Use the API to build an app experience completely tailored to your shop's brand and style.
With some technical know-how, you can create an intuitive mobile ordering and payment experience for your customers. An app that saves time and enhances loyalty is the perfect recipe for keeping customers coming back for more. The Square POS Open API provides all the ingredients you need to make your shop more efficient and boost sales. Scoop up this opportunity and start delighting your customers with the latest technology.
Setting Up Your Square Loyalty Program and Perks
To keep your customers coming back for more, set up a loyalty program through Square. Their free tool makes it easy to create rewards and track your frequent buyers.
\n\n###Choosing Your Rewards
Log in to your Square Dashboard and go to the Loyalty section. Select the type of reward you want to offer, like a percentage discount, free item, or gift card. Determine the reward value and minimum number of points needed to redeem it. For example, you can offer a free scoop of ice cream after the customer buys 6 scoops. Keep rewards attainable so people stay engaged.
\n\n###Tracking Customer Purchases
Every time a customer buys something, they earn points that go toward rewards. You can view all their purchases and point balances in your Square Dashboard. Send email updates when they're close to earning a reward to keep them motivated. Consider seasonal or special rewards around holidays to boost sales.
\n\n###Promoting Your Program
Advertise your loyalty program in-store, on your website, and through social media. Explain the rewards and how customers can sign up. Have staff promote the program to every customer and train them on how it works. You can also include info on receipts to spread the word.
After launching your program, monitor how customers respond and make changes to improve it. Consider altering the point values or rewards based on what people redeem most often. You may decide to offer bonus points or temporary increases in reward rates. Check your sales numbers to see the overall impact of the loyalty program and make sure it's worth the investment.
A well-designed loyalty program with enticing rewards will turn casual customers into loyal fans. Square Loyalty offers an easy to use, customizable system to get you started. With a little promotion, your new rewards program will be delighting your dedicated customers in no time.
Launching Your Own Order Ahead App With Per Diem
Launching your own mobile ordering app is easier than ever with Per Diem. Their white-label apps allow you to provide an enhanced customer experience with minimal hassle. Here are the main steps to get your app up and running:
1. Choose a Subscription Plan
Per Diem offers tiered plans based on features and number of locations. For most shops, the Pro plan with loyalty and rewards is ideal. It includes an app for up to 3 locations, loyalty and referral programs, push notifications and more.
2. Provide Your Content
You'll provide details about your shop, menu items, photos, store hours, contact info and any loyalty program details. Per Diem handles the design and development of the actual app. They aim for a simple, user-friendly interface so your customers can easily find what they need.
3. Customize the Look and Feel
Although Per Diem builds the app, you can customize the colors, fonts, and add your logo to match your brand. They provide suggestions to help you optimize the user experience. Your final approval is required before the app goes live in the app stores.
4. Promote and Launch Your App
Per Diem will submit your app for approval in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Once approved, start promoting your app on social media, with in-store signs, flyers, and email campaigns. Send push notifications to let customers know it's live and ready for download.
5. Track Success and Make Refinements
Review analytics on app opens, orders, and loyalty program usage to see what's working. Make any needed changes to the app content or programs to boost adoption and sales. Per Diem's support team is there to help you optimize the app for the best results.
With some initial setup and customization, Per Diem handles the technical details so you can focus on your customers. An app for easy ordering, payment and rewards will delight your regulars and attract new business. Why not give your shop a competitive edge with a mobile app of your own?
Driving Adoption and Improving the Customer Experience
Once your app launches, the real work begins. Driving adoption and keeping customers engaged with your new technology is key to its success. Here are some tips to improve the customer experience and boost loyalty through your app.
Continuously educate customers on the app’s features and benefits. Send personalized emails highlighting different aspects of the app to help them get the most out of it. Offer in-app messages and notifications to prompt them to try new features. The more customers use the app, the more value they’ll gain from it.
Provide incentives and rewards for engagement. Offer loyalty points, discounts, or freebies when customers reach milestones for things like number of orders, total spend, or frequency of use. Gamify the experience by providing badges for achieving certain levels. This positive reinforcement will keep them coming back.
Solicit and respond to feedback. Ask for reviews and ratings in the app stores and on your website. Monitor social media for mentions of your app. Reach out to customers directly through surveys and in-app messages. Make changes and updates based on suggestions to improve the user experience. Customers will appreciate that you value their input.
Continue optimizing and enhancing the app. Add new features and functionality over time based on trends in user engagement and adoption. Keep the content and offers fresh. Outdated apps with lack of updates will cause customers to lose interest. Ongoing development shows you’re committed to innovation.
A successful app and loyalty program requires continuous effort and engagement. But the reward of creating a great customer experience and building a loyal customer base is well worth it. Keep communicating, incentivizing, optimizing, and enhancing to drive adoption and make your app indispensable to customers.
By this point, you've gotten a taste of how to make an app and loyalty program for your shop a reality. It may feel overwhelming, but by breaking it down into manageable steps and focusing on providing value to your customers, you'll be churning out cones and cashing in on success in no time. Start with an MVP to keep costs low and get feedback to improve. Build out from there based on what delights your customers the most. Pretty soon, your shop will transform into a tech-enabled dream where customers can't wait to order their next sweet treat. Through convenience, personalization and rewarding your loyal fans, you'll have created an experience worth coming back for again and again. Now the only question is, what flavor will you try first? The possibilities are endless.