June 27, 2012
CHICAGORestaurants are embracing the power of the web and smartphone apps to lure more traffic into their establishments, according to a new market data from the NPD Group. In first quarter 2012, 6% or 926 million restaurant visits were influenced by online marketing, with those visits supporting 8% of all spending for restaurant meals/snacks.
Online and smartphone apps that influenced a restaurant visit include deal/special offer (37%); menu details (30%); general information (27%); Recommendation/review (14%); restaurant location (13%); loyalty program (12%); pre-order online (10%); nutritional information (10%); and other (20%).
Online marketing is effective in attracting new customers and stimulating trial. Of all online marketing influenced visits, 26% were first time visits to a specific restaurant, more than twice the new buyer incidence for restaurant visits overall. Addressing the question of whether online marketing can be effective in building loyalty, NPD found consumers who use online marketing have higher revisit intentions than those who dont, although this varies by the type of online marketing used.
While a large majority of visits influenced by online marketing occur at quick service restaurants, a disproportionate number occur at casual dining places. Casual dining accounts for a bit over 1 in every 10 restaurant visits, but the segment receives 1 in every 6 visits driven by online marketing.
The influence of online marketing on restaurant demand is expected to continue to increase," says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. Its no longer a question of if online marketing should be a part of a restaurant operators overall marketing plan; its a must-have."
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