Cinema chains are driving customer convenience and building loyalty with the help of digital innovations to make for more seamless moviegoing experiences. News came this week, for instance, that AMC Theatres is rolling out food and beverage ordering through its mobile app to help consumers skip the line at the concession stand.
Through the platform, customers can add concession items to their ticket purchases such as drinks, popcorn and snacks. Their orders, then, are prepared and ready for them at a set time. Moviegoers, in turn, can pick up their selections near the concessions at the Express Pick-Up kiosks. Alternatively, customers can have their food sent straight to their seats in some of the theatres. As it stands, mobile ordering is available at the chain’s Denver, Boston and Houston locations — and more markets are said to be in the works for this year.
AMC Product Marketing Vice President Tonya Mangels said in an announcement for the offering, “We are routinely seeing some 45 percent of all AMC ticket purchases processed online, and the mobile order option is another way we’re making a trip to the movies more convenient for guests.” Mangels continued, “Now guests who are already breezing past the box office with their mobile ticket purchase can go straight to the express pick-up kiosk to grab their mobile-ordered food or have it delivered to their reserved seat, depending on the location.”
By the close of the summer, the company is looking to offer the feature at 150 AMC and AMC DINE-IN locations. At the same time, the company offering discounts to moviegoers on their drink and food purchases through special offers on mobile. Beyond food and beverage, however, AMC Theatres has been tapping into loyalty offerings for its moviegoers. The company’s Stubs program, which has a subscription tier called AMC Stubs A-List that offers consumers up to three movies a week for a monthly fee, counted more than 18 million households as members in the United States as of January.
With the average U.S. household at 2.6 people, the theater chain claims that approximately 46 million members are tapping into its Stubs offering. AMC Theatres CEO and President Adam Aron said in an announcement at the time that he has “seen AMC Stubs continue to grow by millions of members each year without any slowdown, which is a testament to the program’s incredibly popular benefits and the quality of experience guests expect at AMC.”
From loyalty programs to mobile order-ahead offerings, movie theater chains are tapping into digital innovations to drive convenience and build repeat customer relationships.
In Other Brick-And-Mortar News
DICK’S Sporting Goods revealed it fell short in net income for the year and the fourth quarter even with the growth of its eCommerce sales. The retailer reported net income for the fourth quarter of $102.6 million compared to $116 million the year before. Net income for the year was $319.9 million compared to $323.4 million in 2017. At the same time, however, eCommerce sales for the final quarter of last year went up approximately 17 percent, and accounted for roughly 23 percent of total net sales.
Edward W. Stack, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release, “We are pleased with our fourth quarter results. Our core business performed quite well, as our athletes have responded positively to many of our initiatives, resulting in comp sales gains across key categories and double digit percentage increases in eCommerce and private brand sales.”
On another note, Kroger has sold digital coupon and digital rebate publishing platform You Technology (YouTech) to Inmar. The grocer, however, isn’t cutting ties with YouTech as it will still be able to utilize the platform’s digital coupon services as part of the deal. Inmar is said to be paying $565 million to acquire YouTech, including $400 million of cash consideration that will be received upon closing. The grocer said it plans to use after-tax proceeds to decrease debt.
Kroger Senior Vice President of Alternative Business Stuart Aitken said in an announcement, “The monetization of our investment in YouTech and long-term agreement with Inmar demonstrate how Kroger can create value in different ways.” Aitken continued, “We are excited about the additional value that can be brought forward through future partnerships to create customer value.”
And Papa John’s has unveiled a national partnership with DoorDash, to let customers order delivery from over 1,400 of the pizza chain’s locations across the country. The quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain plans to mark the new collaboration by offering free delivery during the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day on orders that meet a minimum threshold of $10 delivered by the ordering platform.
Papa John’s SVP of Customer Experience Anne Fischer said in an announcement, “This partnership extends our continued commitment to meet customers wherever they are and provide simple, easy ordering for guests in addition to our own world-class Papa John’s mobile app.” Fischer continued, “With this in mind, we are dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations when it comes to ordering and delivery convenience.”
To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.