customer purchase history

Why it’s important to base promotions on customer purchase history

With modern personalization possibilities, it’s still baffling how many companies use broadcast marketing techniques. It seems that the end goal is about reaching absolutely everyone with anything – any offer should reach everyone in the customer base, just in case.

It’s only natural that the conversion numbers are low, with CTR only being around ~5% in the industry. There are several reasons why: advanced inbox filtering creates obstacles for customers seeing the offer at the right time; and even if the offer is seen, it’s immediately swiped away from the screen as “just another spam message”. These outreaches are rarely customer-led, often they are more about the brand than about the customer, and no meaningful connection is built in the process.

Do's and Don'ts in a Campaign Setting

There is, of course, another side of the coin. When companies realized the power of personalization, the constant tracking and spying followed, to the point that it – quite frankly – started to be creepy.

But it’s not necessary to spy on your customers to reach the personalization levels that will generate high conversion for your campaigns. As a restaurant, you’re lucky that you don’t need to buy, or steal, or get the info with any other means that will freak the customers out. Just using the info customers give you is enough! Really, the information given to you just when a customer buys their favorite dishes is enough to create awesome marketing campaigns that will boost your revenue.

And here are several reasons why purchase history targeting is a must-have for your business

  • You don’t frustrate customers with irrelevant offers

It might seem that you’re sending a reasonable – and even moderate – number of messages to the customers, but if the offers are irrelevant, it creates frustration. Each time the customer uses their time to take a look at your offer, it must be used as effectively as it can get. If you offer something they’re not interested in, it’s time wasted – and less chance that they’ll consider paying attention to something else you’ll have to offer in the future.

  • It increases conversion rates for the campaigns

There’s very simple logic behind it – if you offer something relevant, the customer is more likely to use your offer. And the best way to offer something relevant is to base it on order history. The customer bought it before, after all.

Why it’s important to base promotions on customer purchase history
  • It widens the campaign triggers available to you and helps you understand your audience better

On the surface, purchase history targeting is just based on what the customer has purchased. But that’s only if you forget about when and how. When was the last time the customer made an order? Did they order online or visited a specific store? These are also the questions related to purchase history, and people whose purchase history is different in that regard should also receive different kinds of offers. Sending them the same offer – even if you base it on an item they used to order sometime in the past – just wouldn’t be enough.

But if you pay attention to everything and really fine-tune your campaigns to each user, the results will be amazing.

Want to see this used in action? In this blog post I talk about Papa Johns utilizing purchase history to bring back the customers that haven’t ordered for 2-4 months.

  • It works amazingly well for emotional loyalty

Emotions mean more than discounts, especially when you’re a smaller brand and simply can’t compete in the discounting game with the industry’s giants and aggregators. Emotional loyalty is the most reliable strategy to retain customers. And when the customers see that the special offers you make for them is not just something you broadcast to them in hopes that they fall for it, but rather something that takes their needs into account, they get more attached to you as a brand. Together with other personalization techniques, like birthday greetings, rewards for being a loyal customer, and other things, it creates true emotional loyalty like no marketing email can.


An extra tip for multi brand restaurant groups: the order history works like a charm for cross-selling. If you know the preferences of the customer for one brand, you can use that information to promote something similar, even if only thematically, from any other of your brands.


These things may sound difficult, and you may rightfully have a lot of questions when reaching this part of the article. How do I gather this customer data? How do I upload it to my communication channel of choice? Which communication channel to choose to begin with?


For us at LoyaltyPlant the answer is simple – focus on the mobile channel. When you have ordering, loyalty and marketing integrated, it’s easy to work with data – and use it for outreach on the most reliable channel there is.

And as for marketing expertise – our Customer success managers and customer support help restaurants find the perfect strategy and execute it effectively. 

About the author
Victoria Zurmann
Victoria started her journey in IT consultancy and product implementation in 2018. Since then, she has helped many teams of different sizes and industries perfect their client and project management. Her focus shifted to the food industry when she joined LoyaltyPlant in 2022. In our blog she writes about how to apply technology best practices on restaurants to help improve their customer retention, loyalty and NPS.

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