Case Study: Shake Shack increases customer retention with mobile messaging

Quick Stats
  • Since revamping its mobile customer experience, digital orders made up 47% of total sales in Q2 2021
  • SuperBowl promo earned over 37K impressions and a 20% CTR
  • Milkshake promo had a record-setting 55K impressions and a 52% CTR
  • The company grew its subscriber base by 184% resulting in a 53% sales increase

Shake Shack is an international fast-casual restaurant chain, with digital orders from their app, website, and third-party delivery platforms making up 47% of its total sales in Q2 2021. Working with the customer messaging and engagement platform, OneSignal, Shake Shack delivered localized, targeted campaigns that produced a 53% sales increase in YoY customer retention, up to 50% clickthrough rates, and 184% subscriber growth.

Modernizing the Mobile-First Customer Experience

Shake Shack needed its digital presence to hold up to its in-person experience. As the company made plans to roll out mobile order delivery, the company knew that it needed a more direct way to communicate with customers in order to provide a seamless, omnichannel experience.

For its large, global customer base, it needed a flexible messaging solution that provided advanced customer segmentation and automation capabilities. It was also important that its message aesthetic aligned with brand style, so rich media support and customisable design templates were a must-have.

With a focus on modernizing the mobile experience and increasing app engagement, Shake Shack made decisions around targeting based on that engagement info, sending customers tailored message content based on real-time engagement behaviors.

Tuned and Targeted Push Notifications

Fostering user loyalty and increasing long-term customer retention was achieved by sending users a message to bring them back to the app, or sharing a special one-time promotion to reward their loyalty.

The Super Bowl promotion sent push notifications and in-app messages to subscribers and also used push notifications and in-app messages to tease the release of two limited-time milkshakes produced in collaboration with the popular New York bakery, Milk Bar. Leveraging analytics, delivery statistics, and branch links in notifications and messages, enabled Shake Shack to track sales back to their mobile app.

To alert customers to the regional items available by location, Shake Shack also used geolocation data to segment subscribers and send them regional messaging campaigns, sending push notifications to a small market at exactly the right time. A customer visiting San Francisco on vacation would get an in-app message for the “Golden State Double Burger, or a push notification teaser for a Mardi Gras King Cake Concrete in New Orleans for example.

We’re able to be more timely and targeted with mobile channels than we can be with email. Being able to geolocate subscribers in real-time and build a radius around a specific store is one feature I really love.


We’re able to actually make decisions around targeting based on engagement information. If someone hasn’t used the app in a long time, we can send them a message to bring them back. If someone is loyal, we might send them a promotion to reward their loyalty. We’re really trying to focus on offer management, loyalty, and marketing automation and OneSignal is a part of that bigger picture.

Shannon Reilly, CRM Manager, Shake Shack