Fast food apps become de facto storefronts
The top 10 fast food apps in the US were downloaded 10.3 million times in August, down 14.8% from those the preceding month. Year-over-year in August, downloads of the top 36 fast food apps increased by 18.9%. A download represents a new user and the first conversion in the mobile app customer journey.
Although the order has changed, each of July’s 10 most downloaded fast food apps are back in the August lineup. Dunkin’ rose two spots from #9 to #7, most likely due to the release of its pumpkin flavored drinks and treats. Sonic has now topped the charts four months in a row, something we’ve never seen before. Prior to its four-month run, its last appearance on the top chart was almost a year ago, in September 2021. Sonic has engaged in a handful of app promotions which you can read about in the July and May Columns. More recently, it brought back its pickle juice, allowing those who order it through the mobile app to get the drink for half price.
Looking at the top 36 apps, Arby’s grew its downloads the most month over month in August, at 10.6%. This is a low percentage as this was a declining month for fast services, with the growth leader generally north of 25%. Arby’s didn’t do much for the mobile app, but launched a new meal (Loaded Mac ‘N Cheese) and brought back a fan favorite for a limited time (Prime Rib Cheesesteak).
Going through user reviews of the Arby app, I don’t think people who have recently installed the app are going to stick around. Apptopia tags each review with one or more “intents” and the two most common for Arby’s in August are Performance and bugs and Payment. It’s clear from reading reviews and looking at top keywords that in-app deals and coupons can’t be applied to orders, leaving users with little incentive to stick around. faithful. Fixing this issue and letting your users know it has been fixed should be the app team’s top priority.
However, Arby’s isn’t the only fast food app with issues. There are many that have problems causing ordering headaches for customers. These days, customer expectations for mobile apps are high, especially since many brands are asking their customers to download them through ads and in-store. The number of mobile orders is only increasing, making the mobile app the de facto showcase for your brand. The competitive landscape of the digital world is different in that you can lose customers faster and easier. Before they hit the road to pick up their order, it’s really easy to just do a few clicks in a competitor’s app and order there instead, where they might have a better experience.
Adam Blacker is the Vice President of Insights at Apptopia, the leader in real-time competitive intelligence. Brands use the platform to generate insights into mobile apps and connected devices. They rely on Apptopia to better understand consumer behavior and intent on app-based devices to gain competitive advantage.