The coronavirus pandemic is increasing the usage of food delivery apps as people adhere to rules to stay inside. Even before the crisis, such apps were seeing strong growth with eMarketer predicting 20% of smartphone users in 2021 will use an app to order prepared food. By 2023, the growth in these apps will reach 60 million people in the U.S. alone. These forecasts are likely to be updated as the pandemic eases while leaving behind a sustained shift in consumer behavior as people slowly return to their normal routines.
Given this environment, how can restaurants optimize the online consumer journey to ensure that customers and prospects can easily place an order as they continuously move between social media, web browsers and food delivery apps? The answer is related to the links used to promote your restaurant or company’s profile in these apps. This post will take you through the steps for creating app deep links that can open apps like DoorDash and UberEats directly to specific restaurant profiles while avoiding mobile web logins. Plus you’ll learn how to control the fallback URL for those visitors that click the link but don’t have the app installed.
Regular links to restaurant profiles in food delivery apps will typically send your visitor to a mobile website to login where abandon rates are high. The reason is because these links are not equipped with the right app deep linking capabilities. Login screens result in lost sales because they frustrate your visitors and it’s easy for potential customers to jump to the app from a browser or switch apps instead of logging into the website and then get distracted by another restaurant along the way. Even if the link for the food app in question has deep linking capabilities, the links often still don’t open the app depending on the channel from which it’s clicked. When promoting a restaurant profile link on social advertising for example, the embedded browser for the social network will prevent the food delivery app from opening and then send the user to the website login to login instead.
The solution for restaurant owners, marketers and agencies is to use an app deep linking platform like URLgenius that lets you update restaurant profile links with additional deep linking capabilities. This type of deep linking is designed to be easy-to-use and supports a wide range of food apps. If your restaurant or company has its own app you can request to have it added to the platform. In addition, you can typically control the fallback destination for when the app is not installed. The ability to control the fallback is especially helpful when you want to direct your web consumers to specific marketing or time-sensitive promotional pages.
To create a deep link to a restaurant profile, navigate to the profile from a browser and copy \ paste the URL into the deep linking platform. In this example, we’ll use the DoorDash profile link for the restaurant Moustache in New York City. Here’s the web URL:
Consider which food delivery app you want to link into. Your deep linking provider should show you a list of apps supported. If the delivery app you want to link into is not on the list, send a request to have it added.
Paste the link into the deep linking platform. You should have the ability to customize the end of the link to match the name of the restaurant. In this example, the end of the link is customized to be ‘Moustache’.
When you click compose, you will be brought to the settings page. This is where you can copy the deep link to place into your campaign. You can also change the routing destinations by device or download a QR code for offline marketing:
Some visitors that click the deep link will be using a desktop computer. In these cases, the link will click through to the restaurant’s profile on the website for the food delivery company but you could also change the destination for those users at anytime to the restaurant’s website or any other marketing or promotional page.
Note that you can update the destination by device type. Here is where yo can update the fallback destination for when the app is not installed. If your iOS users prefer a different food delivery app than your Android users, you could even change the app destination accordingly and open a different app for each platform depending on the type of device clicking the link.
That’s the final step! We now have an app deep link that opens directly to the restaurant Moustache on the DoorDash app for iOS and Android.
Remember you can use these deep links in any type of campaign including websites, email, social advertising and search marketing. You can even use your own domain for your links. Try creating one to test in a campaign. You are likely to see a big difference in conversion compared to regular URLs to food delivery apps.
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