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Uncovering massive optimization opportunities with cross-device attribution

sweetgreen customer success story - OG

17%

Increase in marketing ROI

1.2M+

Web and app events measured monthly

AppsFlyer’s holistic web and app attribution eliminated data silos and enabled Sweetgreen to measure their full customer journey.

Background

In 2007, three college students opened the first Sweetgreen restaurant in Washington D.C. with a vision of providing fast, healthy meals on the go. Like most other restaurants at the time, Sweetgreen did not originally offer online ordering, but has since invested heavily in their app experience, launching their first native mobile app in 2015. 

Five months later, 25% of sales were already coming from their mobile app. Sweetgreen has continued to evolve the app over time, even adding the ability to share nutritional information between the Sweetgreen app and Apple’s health app. 

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sweetgreen doubled down on their digital strategy and launched a native delivery service on their app and website in 2020. By 2021, online orders represented 68% of the company’s revenue.

Challenge

Sweetgreen’s online revenue, like that of many food & drink apps, is spread across its web and app channels from multiple devices. In one week, it was not uncommon for a Sweetgreen customer to order a salad from their laptop at work, their phone on the go, and their tablet while at home. 

Because Sweetgreen had separate solutions to measure marketing performance for web and app purchases, the team was unable to accurately determine which channels were most effective at acquiring, retaining, and re-engaging customers. As a result, their web and app measurement solutions each showed an incomplete picture. 

Customers who converted on web and app were being attributed twice across the two solutions when evaluating customer acquisition campaigns. Recognizing this, Sweetgreen could not aggregate their web and app measurement data because double-counting would inflate their total conversions.

On the other hand, LTV and retention metrics were being undercounted when looking at each solution separately. Without accurate campaign metrics, the team wasn’t properly allocating budgets to the highest performing campaigns; they were forced to make optimizations with incomplete data. 

Solution

When Sweetgreen moved to AppsFlyer, their holistic web and app attribution solution enabled the team to break down the data silos dividing web and app marketing measurement. 

  • With one cross-device solution to measure all marketing touchpoints and customer activity across web and app, Sweetgreen could accurately assess the full impact of their customer acquisition, retention, and remarketing activities.
  • Web conversion, install, and in-app conversion attribution credit was now given to the proper campaign and channel, without any double-counting.
  • Marketing ROI could also be measured more accurately because the full LTV and customer retention driven by each campaign was being calculated across web and app. 
  • In addition to transforming their measurement accuracy, AppsFlyer enabled Sweetgreen to analyze the full customer journey across web and app — via its robust set of dashboards and raw data reports. 
    • For key conversion events such as sign-ups, installs, purchases, and re-installs, the team could visualize the top paths to conversion and determine the best combinations of paid and owned campaigns to drive each event.
    • This multi-touch attribution capability shows how each campaign and channel truly impacts conversion events from the top to the bottom of the funnel. 

Result

With web and app attribution now connected, Sweetgreen was able to better optimize their budgets across their web and app channels, using more accurate LTV measurement and customer acquisition attribution data. 

Before using AppsFlyer, Sweetgreen’s data showed that web customer acquisition campaigns generated a poor ROI because neither their web nor their app measurement solutions were able to correctly attribute purchases from web and app to non-organic customers who first purchased on web. 

After moving to AppsFlyer, Sweetgreen saw that web customer acquisition campaigns were much more efficient than before at generating ROI because web campaigns could now get credit for a customer’s web and app purchases.

This change in measurement occurred because most new customers who make their first purchase on web transition to primarily buying in-app long-term. 

Even though app campaigns drove the majority of new customers and LTV, the new holistic data compelled the team to increase their web customer acquisition budget. This is because the ROI data now showed they could efficiently attract new customers to their website who often later move to their app. 

Since Sweetgreen now had an accurate picture of their overall return on marketing from AppsFlyer’s LTV data, they could more effectively justify budget allocation across media sources. 

For example, the team found that one major media source was performing much better on app than on web, whereas another major media source performed better the other way around. Sweetgreen then re-allocated budgets accordingly and saw a 17% increase in overall marketing ROI.

AppsFlyer’s holistic web and app attribution brought the missing data pieces to our revenue and LTV measurement. This allowed us to take better control of our overall marketing strategy and budget.

Jeff Lin, Director of Media & Growth

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