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Mobile Apps and digital tools are key driving loyalty for convenience stores and restaurants, survey says

Shoppers want to use mobile for more kinds of retail

The majority of consumers have increased their use of mobile and online ordering for food and convenience items over the past year, with younger shoppers more likely to visit restaurants and convenience stores that have digital offerings.

A study by digital consultancy Mobiquity finds that the majority of consumers surveyed reported an increase in mobile and online ordering as well as the use of curbside services in the past year. This is especially true among digital native generations, with younger customers nearly three times as likely to use mobile apps than those 56+.

Because of this growing mobile usage, younger consumers are creating digital habits and developing strong preferences for brands that meet their needs. 

Along the same lines, 63% of consumers aged 25-40 will frequent a restaurant or convenience store that has digital offerings more often than ones that do not.

Additionally, 44% of consumers in this age group have changed where they order food from because their usual place had subpar digital offerings. With more than 70% of consumers aged 18-55 stating that they are likely to increase how often they order from a store if their mobile app is easy to use, restaurants and convenience stores may want to consider an overhaul of their outdated apps before it is too late.

“Restaurant and convenience store customers have rapidly adopted digital tools over the last year in order to safely interact with their preferred brands,” explains Britt Mills, Senior Director, Customer Experience at Mobiquity. “It comes as no surprise that younger generations of customers are more comfortable using mobile apps to order food. Our Restaurant and Convenience Store Digital Impact Report revealed that these consumers have built digital habits that will remain even as restrictions ease. It’s vital for restaurants and convenience stores to meet and exceed expectations when it comes to mobile apps to cement long-term consumer loyalty as competition grows.”

The Restaurant and Convenience Store Digital Impact Report also finds that, when it comes to continuing to order from a particular restaurant or convenience store, 82% of respondents agree that having an easy-to-use website is important, and 76% agree that an easy-to-use mobile app is crucial.

However, current apps are not quite meeting expectations, the study finds. Of the consumers surveyed, 71% were satisfied with delivery mobile apps, such as DoorDash, GrubHub, and UberEats. Seventy per cent were satisfied with restaurants’ apps, 61% were satisfied with coffee shops’ apps, but only 53% were satisfied with convenience stores’ mobile offerings. 

Fifty-two per cent of respondents aged 25-40 changed where they order food from because another store had a better loyalty or rewards programme.

In addition, among the 25-55 age demographic, the majority of consumers would visit a particular convenience store more if it offered them the ability to completely contactlessly fuel their car using a mobile phone (over 50%) as well as if they could earn fuel discounts via a mobile rewards program (over 70%). 

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