Free Burritos Are Driving Chipotle’s Recovery as Measured by Placed

Through a unique combination of location ratings service data and custom survey data, Placed was able to directly measure the change in visits to Chipotle during the frenzy following the restaurant’s E. coli outbreaks.

 

By analyzing location behaviors of consumers sourced from our Placed Insights service over a 13-month period, the data shows a drop in monthly Chipotle visitation that directly correlates with the outbreaks. Chipotle’s share in monthly traffic hit a low of 8.04% during the month of January 2016, a full three months after the first initial outbreak, representing the lowest visitor share over the 13-month period.

 

On February 8th, 2016, Chipotle shut down its nationwide stores to retrain staff on food safety. At the same time, the company launched a campaign to reintroduce customers to the brand with free burritos. Coupons worth a generous total of $70 million in free burritos were given away.

 

The “reintroduction period” with the support of millions of free burritos proved to be a promising tactic as Chipotle’s visitor share in Placed Insights for February and March show a gentle spike. More specifically, the burrito coupons pushed March 2016 visitor share to a level almost as high as that of the previous year (8.81% visitor share in March 2016 vs. 8.86% in March the year prior). Overall, the promotion had a material impact in winning back Chipotle customers.

 

CHI

Digging deeper into Placed Insights data reveals restaurants that benefited from Chipotle’s recent turmoil. In terms of visitor share within the Mexican restaurant category, there were a few notable beneficiaries:

 

Change in Mexican Restaurant Visitor Share, October 2015 vs. December 2015

  • Moe’s Southwest Grill, 5% increase
  • Del Taco, 2% increase

Looking beyond this category, Placed compared two leaders of the “fast-casual revolution,” Chipotle and Panera Bread. Examining overlap in visitation rates through November 2015, Panera Bread visitors were more likely to visit Chipotle than vice versa. However, in December 2015, the visitation points meet, indicating a shift in traffic from Chipotle to Panera.

 

Change in Chipotle & Panera Visitor Share Overlap, October 2015 vs. December 2015

  • % of Chipotle Visitors who also went to Panera grew 7%
  • % of Panera Visitors who also went to Chipotle dropped 3%

 Measuring Perception Across Chipotle Visitors in April 2016

To add some color and tell the whole story behind the numbers, Placed surveyed its audience on their most recent visit to Chipotle to find the ways that public sentiment has changed for the brand:

  • 46% had visited Chipotle within the last two weeks prior to their current visit
  • 19% of respondents cited a free burrito coupon as the primary reason for their visit, while 46% said a craving for Chipotle drove their visit
  • 70% are likely to visit Chipotle again within the next month
  • Over 90% are aware of the E. coli outbreaks, and among those who are aware, 79% visit about the same or more frequently since the news of the E. coli outbreak

Measuring the success of Chipotle’s strategy through free burrito coupons, Placed discovered that visitors who are less likely to frequent Chipotle due to the E. coli outbreaks are more likely to use Chipotle coupons than visitors whose visitation has increased or remained the same:

  • Among those who visit Chipotle less frequently due to the outbreaks, 23% used a free burrito coupon during their visit, which is 27% higher than those whose visits didn’t decrease during this time frame.
  • For coupon users who visit less frequently since the outbreaks, the majority said prior to this Chipotle visit, their last visit was within the last 6 months (29%) or more than 6 months ago (16%)
  • This group of users is also 61% likely to visit Chipotle in the next month

Chipotle’s approach to winning back customers with coupons shows signs of early success with directly measured foot traffic from Placed Insights, and perception metrics from Placed Survey.

Strong Start for Sprint’s “The Cut Your Bill in Half Event”

sprint_logoOn December 5th Sprint launched, “The Cut Your Bill in Half Event,” where consumers could bring a copy of their Verizon or AT&T bill to a Sprint store and their Sprint would cut their bill in half. Beyond the aggressive discounting, this promotion was unique in that it required a consumer to go into a Sprint store to complete the offer.

 

With the world’s largest opt-in location panel, Placed was able to directly measure the change in store visits to Sprint store as compared to the other wireless carriers. The results in the first two weeks were clear, this promotion is having a material impact in offline visits.

 

  • Week 1: Sprint saw the largest % increase in foot traffic across all wireless carrier stores
  • Week 2: Sprint increased foot traffic market share by almost 3% since the start of the sale

Download the White Paper, Foot Traffic Impact of Sprint’s ” The Cut Your Bill in Half Event” for additional details including corresponding TV spend.

 

Black Friday Shoppers – Not Your Average Consumer

As the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is the pinnacle event for deal-hungry consumers who brave the crowds in search of steep discounts and door buster deals. For retailers, understanding who these shoppers are and how they behave is critical to driving more shoppers into their stores and capturing a greater share of holiday dollars.

 

In our recent report, Holiday Shopper Profile: Offline Insights into Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shoppers, we surveyed 14,645 smartphone panelists about their holiday shopping plans and combined this with direct measurement of their offline shopping behaviors to reveal interesting insights into this consumer segment.

 

When asked about their Black Friday shopping plans, nearly half of respondents planned to shop on Black Friday this year, with 1 in 4 still unsure if they will join in on the deal hunting.

  • Although online shopping continues to gain ground, the majority of consumers still prefer brick-and-mortar to click-to-order on Black Friday.

 

Black Friday shoppers are not your typical consumers. Placed found these shoppers displayed strong demographic characteristics to set them apart.

  • Black Friday Shoppers were significantly more likely to be Asian (index 133), Hispanic (114), and African Americans (110) than an average consumer.
  • Shoppers skewed younger, with those ages 25-34 over-indexing the highest, and were significantly more likely to have children.

 

Leveraging Placed Insights to directly measure consumers’ location behaviors, the study analyzed where those that planned to shop on Black Friday had a higher likelihood to visit even before the holiday season officially begins.

 

Not unexpectedly, Black Friday shoppers over-index to discount retailers in October, while at the same time branching out to premium brands such as Coach, Apple Store, and Whole Foods.

  • Based on observed retail visits in October, Black Friday shoppers showed a high affinity for Discount Retailers including Burlington Coat Factory, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and Old Navy which indicates this shopper segment is actively looking for deals during the other 364 days of the year.
  • Apple Store, Coach, and Whole Foods are retailers where Black Friday shoppers over-indexed in October, highlighting this segment’s willingness to move up funnel for selected premium brands.

 

As Black Friday rapidly approaches, retailers that understand the behaviors and characteristics of shoppers roaming their aisles will be best positioned for a positive start to this holiday season.

 

To find out more about Black Friday shoppers, download our latest report.

‘Tis the Season to Showroom: Black Friday Smartphone Usage

With more than half of Americans armed with a smartphone this holiday season, these small devices are set to play a big role in how consumers shop – both in store and on screen.

 

In our recent report, Holiday Shopper Profile: Offline Insights into Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shoppers, we surveyed 14,645 smartphone panelists about their holiday shopping plans and combined this with direct measurement of their offline shopping behaviors to provide in-depth analysis into this consumer segment.

 

According to Black Friday shoppers, smartphones are the perfect deal-hunting companion. Nearly half of survey respondents planned to use their device to “get coupons/deals” this Black Friday, while 43% of shoppers plan to compare prices online while they are in a physical retail store – i.e. showroom.

 

Showrooming has evolved, moving from a niche behavior of tech-savvy shoppers to a widespread consumer activity. To combat showrooming and even leverage it to their advantage, retailers need to understand which aisles these consumers are likely to be browsing.

 

Based on observed visits in October, those that plan to use their smartphone to showroom on Black Friday had a higher propensity to visit Bookstores, Toys Stores, Beauty, Sporting Goods, and Shoe retailer categories. Drilling down further by retailer found DSW Shoe Warehouse, Ulta, Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods display some of the strongest brand affinities among this audience during their pre-holiday shopping activities.

 

In an environment where shoppers hold the pricing power of the Internet in their hand, brick-and-mortar retailers need to go on the offensive. By combining targeted mobiles ads with exclusive in-store incentives, marketers can drive the right audience in-store with an experience that an online competitor can’t match.

 

To find out more about Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopper trends, download the report.

 

A New Way to Monetize Your App (without Ads)

How to monetize apps?  The challenge plagues many developers as they try to strike a balance between making money without compromising the user experience. With monetization options largely limited to paid app models, in-app purchasing, and ads (which impact user experience), it’s clear that developers need new ways to drive app dollars while keeping their experience intact.

 

Answering this need for more monetization options, Placed announced the launch of Placed Affiliate earlier this week, which offers app developers a new and easy way to monetize apps without altering the user experience.

 

If you’re interested in monetizing your app with Placed Affiliate, request an invitation to participate here.

Placed Affiliate provides incremental and recurring revenue to app developers by monetizing location data for market research, not ads, and works alongside existing monetization channels to increase total app revenue.

 

Set up is easy: Developers implement the SDK, users opt-in and, in exchange, the developer earns incremental income.

Placed Affiliate

 

What about privacy? Placed keeps user privacy at the core of its approach. Participating apps not only have location permissions enabled by the end user, but also require a secondary notification and opt-in for any data exchange, ensuring a privacy first user experience.

 

Ready to monetize your app? Request your invitation to participate in Placed Affiliate.