Chick-fil-A is seeing conversions increase after changing its in-app payment design

Chick-fil-A had to update its “Chick-fil-A One” app after misled customers complained about having no other way to pay for meals than to upload their money into the app. Now, the brand is seeing that change pay off.

The fast food brand’s app has always given users the option to pay by credit card, but the app’s interface didn’t make that clear when the app launched in June of 2016. All that existed at the bottom of a user’s screen at the point of check out was the balance they had remaining on their “One Card,” Chick-fil-A’s option for customers to place money directly into the app with credit cards, gift cards or through third-party sources like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Visa Checkout.

“Customers were saying they didn’t like being forced to load funds onto the Chick-fil-A One card in order to buy something,” said Jay Ramirez, mobile product manager at Chick-fil-A, adding that people left negative reviews in the Apple and Android app stores as well as through the customer service number provided in the app.

To make the options clearer, Chick-fil-A redesigned the payments section last Feburary to include two buttons providing the options to either “Pay with credit card” or “Pay with Chick-fil-A One.” Rather than relying on customer reviews and support calls to assess the effects of the change, the brand used mobile A/B testing platform Taplytics’ to measure how people used the app to pay for items. The change turned out to benefit the brand.

“Not only did we see a lot more people recognize that a credit card option was available,” said Ramirez, “overall conversions went up.” He added that credit card use on the app increased by 6 percent after the change was implemented.

It can be argued that a food brand’s app approach is more important than ever. Competing brands in the space are introducing faster payment solutions and reward programs in their mobile apps as delivery apps such as Seamless and Grubhub continue to grow and take market share. Chick-fil-A incorporated a rewards program when its app launched, awarding free food to those that order through the app. Although he wouldn’t provide specific data, Ramirez said the brand has found that people who use the rewards program tend to spend more money and come into restaurants more frequently than those who don’t use it.

The fast-food chain appears to be reaping the benefits of paying close attention to details and listening to their customers. Nearly a year and a half since the app launched, it has been downloaded 11 million times, and an October study by Business Insider and Foursquare found that Chick-fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in the U.S., significantly more than other leaders like McDonald’s, In-N-Out and Popeyes.