Warning: your future — rides on your brand’s app.

app research

You are here.

Stuck. At the tail end of a crazy crisis called COVID — trying to figure out your next research step. Last year, consumer behavior veered so far off ‘normal’, you’re still reeling from the effects. 

Look down.

The right path is there in the palm of your hand, literally. When everything changed last year, the secret to beating the odds shifted. Now it lies in your brand’s app…the way back to revenue.

Here’s why.

Consumers love apps, they’re so easy. So easy, in fact, that apps have completely reshaped our industry. You have a choice — we all do — start doing app research, or get left behind.

Good choice. Here’s how you do it. We dug into Domino’s, Starbucks, Target + Uber Eats to see why these apps are so deliciously successful. Come on in, take a peek at the future.

#1: App use is up.

Consumers love apps for the consistency they offer.


You’re not the only one who craves it; so do consumers. They love owning how, where, and when they can spend. Now, put your buyers in a pressure cooker pandemic, remove all control in their lives — and it’s pretty easy to see why apps act as a dopamine hit to their systems.

It’s also why 53% are using the Uber Eats app more than before the pandemic. Food + delivery = yes, please, don’t mind if I do. Target (42%), Starbucks (39%), and Domino’s (38%) apps all saw COVID app increases. And, just like that — a great app experience became essential.

But, wait…there’s more.

Apps are gooier than a paint brush dipped in superglue. 

They’re actually so sticky, that buyers don’t even realize they’re creating habits and (yup) getting stuck to these apps. It’s probably why 57% of Domino’s app users say it’s more important to order on the app than in-store or over the phone — and why 92% use the app for nearly every order.

So, what about the others, you say, are their results the same as the King of Pizza? 


Once again, the tale of increased app use checks out.

Starbucks (37%), Target (29%), and Uber Eats (39%) app users all find it more important to order on the app than to go in person. And, just like Domino’s, they use the app for nearly every order.

#2: Apps are valuable.

Okay, but why?

Value. It’s what your buyers want. To make things easier, more fun, or less expensive for them. Find a way to do that in an app, and they get hooked. 

It’s that easy.

So, here’s a little taste of what they’re ordering.

What buyers want: Domino's, Target, Starbucks, Uber Eats

It’s all about control. 

Each app creates value by giving over some of the control directly to the consumer. Then, they can build on that relationship to provide more of what consumers crave. 

The top reasons to order on each app, are:

  1. Domino’s is easy (72%).
  2. Starbucks is custom (68%).
  3. Uber Eats has options (66%).
  4. Target has lots of coupons (59%).

It’s simple. These apps use research to find out what buyers want, and then deliver it.

That’s it. That’s their secret. Create a great customer experience, and 86% will pay more for it. Which…is probably why buyers are so loyal to these four apps.

#3: Apps = customer loyalty.

True love takes time.

And dedication. But, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can really kill off your competition. I mean, these guys sure have. Hey, make love, AND war — right? 😘

Look at Domino’s. They have THE most loyalty out of any of these fine 4 apps…and it’s the reason they’re decimating their competition. Domino’s is now the #1 pizza brand.

Domino's is the #1 pizza chain.

Check it out. 

We asked all app users, if they now visit fewer competitors, because of their (Domino’s, Starbucks, Target or Uber Eats) app. And, of course, they said yes. But, Domino’s users were way up there — 70% shop at fewer other pizza chains. Who knew pizza was such a big deal. 🤷‍♀️

This is what loyalty looks like.

And, there’s more. 

It’s lasting.

That matters, because it’s the real reason you need to come up with a great app strategy. We looked into buyers’ future behaviors as well. Across Starbucks (37%), Uber Eats (31%), Target  (29%) + Domino’s (28%), everybody expects to order more on apps in the next 6 months.

App ordering isn’t a craze, it’s a wave — and it’s one you need to ride all the way into shore.

Take a page out of Domino’s book. They describe themselves as a ‘technology company’ that happens to sell pizzas.2 Now, that’s a great way to survive and thrive in the face of adversity.

Plus, you know…it’s working. 

So, there’s that too.

What’s next.

You’re up. 

Buyers’ digital footprints are larger than ever — 61% of people now shop online more than 30% of the time. Get their data with an app + web survey on:

  • Product findability.
  • eCommerce satisfaction.
  • Selection criteria and journey.
  • User interface and experience feedback.
  • Changes in usage behaviors, patterns, and frequency.

This is your chance to reach consumers directly — while your app or site is fresh in their mind.

You’re perfectly poised. The wave is here. And, you’ve been looking for a new direction for a while. This is it. So, take a deep breath and hold on tight. Let the data be your guide; it’s gonna be an awesome ride.


  1. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-food/dominos-wants-become-dominant-no-1-pizza-brand 
  2. https://www.warc.com/newsandopinion/opinion/the-dominos-effect/3866#:~:text=By%202014%20Dominos%20had%20begun,%2C%20but%20the%20whole%20company%E2%80%9D

By Sydney Lewis

Reviewed by Avani Patel

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