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Whether or not it’s Sunday morning brunch with associates, a espresso date with a brand new acquaintance, or a dinner along with your workforce, eating out is a vital a part of how we spend our leisure time and join with associates and neighborhood.

However with the COVID-19 pandemic, eating places, eateries, and cafes have needed to stay shut. And so, we reluctantly bade farewell to the triad of luxurious meals, hospitality, and free-flowing dialog, with restaurant take-out appearing in its place till in-person eating might resume.


Whereas the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic have been robust on everybody, the meals and beverage business took an particularly massive hit. For a time, almost all eating places needed to stay closed or modify their operations to serve prospects solely by way of drive-thrus and take-out. Brew pubs and distilleries started utilizing their tools to provide hand sanitizer. As our lives modified, foot visitors declined by 75-90% throughout varied elements of the globe.*

Southeast Asia was the primary area to witness the catastrophic influence of the pandemic. For restaurant reservation apps, this was a essential second. Surviving the pandemic meant increasing their portfolio to varieties of services or products which can be much less affected, and in addition addressing the altering wants of retailers and customers.

Restaurant reservation platform Eatigo started seeing a downturn of their enterprise early on. Headquartered in Bangkok, their huge markets embody Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, and India. Throughout these areas, out-of-home meals and beverage consumption was on a downturn whereas at-home consumption noticed a spike.

How did Eatigo pivot their enterprise? How did they optimize their advertising and marketing efforts to face the pandemic? Brimming with questions, we approached Mahima Rajangam Natarajan who heads buyer engagement and retention at Eatigo.

Natarajan joined Eatigo in 2018 and began her stint by heading CRM and retention. Moreover, she now manages their regional advertising and marketing efforts in areas like Singapore and Hong Kong, overseeing all sides of promoting together with partnerships and social media.

In line with Natarajan, COVID-19 introduced a “revelation in regards to the inevitable nature of change.” She notes that “it grew to become essential to have multiple core product. So, we launched a take-away possibility in mid 2020 whereas strategizing our entry into the meals supply enterprise.”

Presently, they’re partnering with supply platforms Seize and Lalamove of their respective markets.

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Prioritizing Consumer Retention Over Acquisition

The modifications they launched impacted completely different areas of their enterprise. They discovered that they needed to reallocate out there assets to make sure most effectivity. Their advertising and marketing budgets have been lower, which meant that that they had to decide on which to prioritize — person acquisition or retention.

“With strict advertising and marketing budgets, we confronted the problem of buying new customers throughout geographies. On the identical time, retaining present customers and decreasing churn grew to become much more essential,” notes Natarajan.

It was at this essential juncture that they realized they wanted to focus extra on understanding person habits. However, the cell advertising and marketing associate they have been utilizing couldn’t present real-time analytics. With out a capability to really perceive what drives their customers at any time, how might the workforce efficiently interact these customers? They wanted a holistic platform with strong analytics that may enhance person retention, which led them to decide on CleverTap.

And it was this skill to leverage data-driven engagement that helped the corporate stay related to customers even at a time when restaurant eating was out of the query.

Constructing Profitable Relationships With Omnichannel Engagement

Profitable retention begins with profitable person onboarding.

“We’ve meticulously crafted an onboarding journey on CleverTap the place we keep away from overwhelming new customers with too many promotions, however fairly give attention to educating them in regards to the completely different companies and advantages offered by Eatigo,” Natarajan explains.

The onboarding journey runs over 15 days, with instructional push notifications despatched to customers each two days. The sequence of messages give attention to informing customers about completely different companies offered, fascinating options on the app to simply determine close by eating places for dine-in and take-out choices. On the finish of 15 days, these new prospects are added to the common phase of customers and so they begin receiving promotional messages.

Mahima’s workforce executes three varieties of omnichannel campaigns: promotional/seasonal, transactional, and loyalty-based.

Promotional campaigns present compelling provides to customers throughout particular events throughout geographies, be it Hari Raya in Singapore or Idul Fitri in Indonesia. “For girls’s day, we partnered with retailers to supply an all-day 50% low cost to customers. Equally, for Ramadan in Malaysia and Indonesia, we teamed up with retailers in these areas to create festive mechanics to drive engagement,” Natarajan provides.

Eatigo creates loyalty campaigns primarily based on the stage customers are within the buyer lifecycle. For instance, long-term customers obtain larger incentives compared to new customers. Presently, her workforce is engaged on making a journey that may proactively scale back churn.

“Beforehand, our makes an attempt at managing churn have been fairly reactive,” says Natarajan. “When a person churned, we tried to reactivate them by providing a money voucher. We weren’t very profitable in getting the person again, and we ended up spending extra money to amass these customers once more. For sure, this wasn’t a worthwhile technique.”

The advertising and marketing workforce additionally makes use of campaigns to cross-sell their take-out enterprise to their customers.

CleverTap’s omnichannel campaigns have boosted Eatigo’s retention and sticky quotient by 5.49% and 4.58% respectively.

Excellent Focusing on With Automated Segmentation and Consumer Analytics

A mixture of filters, occasion properties, and customized person properties kind the idea of Eatigo’s segmentation mannequin. The primary stage of segmentation is geographical: customers are segregated primarily based on the nation and metropolis during which they reside.

The following stage relies on person engagement. “We have a look at customers who’ve opened the app inside the final 7 days or 30 days or have made a reservation in a selected interval,” Natarajan says.

Lastly, customers are segmented primarily based on their last-noted location. That is very useful after they run location-based service provider campaigns.

A mixture of previous habits, dwell segmentation and predictive intent-based segmentation helps them goal the client with related campaigns that increase retention and buyer lifetime worth (CLTV).

Messaging frequency is pushed by utilization information. If a person regularly opens the app or faucets on push notifications, then the person receives extra notifications.

“We decide the push frequency primarily based on the person’s tolerance,” Natarajan explains. “A loyal person can be receptive to receiving every day offers. Whereas one other person would possibly solely wish to obtain two notifications per week. However, if a person isn’t attentive to our messaging in any respect and hasn’t launched the app shortly, we scale back our messaging to a minimal, respecting the person’s habits.”

They carry out ad-hoc evaluation utilizing funnels to know how a selected market is performing. Funnels assist Natarajan to generate fast insights that she will be able to share with the senior administration.

Which Will You Select: Pivot or Perish?

The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of many largest challenges the world has seen in many years. People and organizations worldwide are nonetheless reeling from the huge disruptions led to by the disaster. Eatigo’s story has taught us that even throughout such disruptive instances, organizations which can be capable of pivot might be higher positioned to outlive.

One other essential space that cell entrepreneurs must give attention to is person retention. Consumer acquisition is essential, however with out retention, it’s meaningless. Specializing in retention helps them bullet-proof their enterprise. We’re proud to associate with Eatigo and energy their efforts to navigate their challenges and retain customers.

Extra app markets ideas: The Definitive Kit – How to Prepare Your App Store and ASO for iOS 15

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