GrubHub, mobile apps and multi-platform engagement


By: Kalli Ricka Wolf

You’ve come home from a long day at the office, and you don’t want to cook. You also don’t want to just order in pizza. So you grab your smartphone, tablet, or mouse and log in to GrubHub – where more than 44,000 eateries in upwards of 1,000 cities are connected and ready to deliver to you.

The ease and streamlined way of ordering food from your electronic device directly to your door exemplifies the growing popularity of mobile and tablet use. Spiegel Research has uncovered the effects of mobile and multi-platform engagement on purchase behaviors, and GrubHub’s success is at the forefront of this new integration.

Founded in 2004, GrubHub has grown to be the leader in a suddenly competitive industry of restaurant delivery, representing 32% (of all online food orders and competing with the likes of UberEATS and Amazon. “This is the most exciting time in this industry, maybe the biggest since the invention of delivery food,” GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney told Forbes.

The use of smartphones has become ubiquitous among 68% of American adults, according to 2014 Nielsen data. With the increase in app usage, it comes as no surprise to GrubHub that mobile orders have also grown. “Our diners are increasingly moving towards mobile platforms,” said GrubHub public relations manager Abby Hunt. According to their website, nearly 60% of orders are placed through mobile devices.

In order to process more than 267,000 daily orders, GrubHub maintains an innovative integration of mobile, tablet, and computer access for its users. Diners can order via the website or the app - available for both Android and iOS platforms - and follow along with the delivery process with the “Track Your Grub” feature.

Providing a multi-platform opportunity for engagement is the key to GrubHub’s growing success, and Spiegel Research provides insight as to how they managed to become a leading technology and food delivery company.

By studying the online grocer Peapod and Air Miles Reward Program, Spiegel researchers found a strong trend toward mobile and tablet shopping. (Mobile Apps study, Multi-Platform Engagement study).  Based on Spiegel research on mobile applications and multi-platform shopping, here are actions marketers can adopt from some of GrubHub’s best practices to increase sales on mobile apps:

Spiegel Insight: Customers use mobile devices to shop for habitual purchases
Comparing mobile versus desktop purchases, Spiegel researchers found mobile orders to be more “routine,” such as repeat purchases or “habitual” items like fruit, vegetables, or baby food that require little to no research, or where the research was done previously. On the other hand, customers turn to their computers for items that require further research and consideration, such as household or beauty products. GrubHub has implemented a similar strategy. Existing GrubHub diners that routinely order from the same restaurants are able to quickly order food and check the status of their delivery on any mobile device. Whereas, for diners seeking a new experience, a web-based platform is also available for them to read reviews and contemplate restaurant options across various browsing tabs.

Call to Action for Marketers: Provide multiple platforms, and encourage low-purchasers to use a new channel
Assess your customer needs in order to plan multi-platform marketing strategies. Providing several platforms improves accessibility, increases purchasing, and strengthens the lifetime value of a customer. Analyze the behavior of your low-purchase customers and encourage them to use different platforms, such as mobile, to increase their engagement.  Perhaps they are not engaging more because they have yet to find the platform that suits their needs.

Spiegel Insight: Mobile decreases time-to-next-purchase
Mobile orders are placed most frequently, and time-to-next-order is 18 percent shorter compared with orders placed via a computer. This reflects the upward trend of mobile shopping, and the increase in order sizes, coupled with the decrease in time between purchases, strengthens the lifetime value of customers.

Call to Action for Marketers: Develop a streamlined and seamless way to access your content
Spiegel research has shown that the more times a customer uses a mobile device to order, the larger their orders are and the more likely they are to place subsequent orders. By improving upon the ease of mobile shopping and managing content effectively, companies can attain and retain more customers.

By harnessing the growing trend of mobile and tablet shopping, GrubHub has become a leader in the new technology and restaurant delivery industry. By implementing some of GrubHub’s best practices, you can delight and engage your customers by providing a great mobile app experience that increases sales.