Caffe dello Sport has been a staple of Boston's North End for ov er seventy years, and has been owned by the Spencer family for the past thirty. Four years ago, when Mivan Spencer took over t he family business, he wanted to make sure it stayed the traditional spot for a shot of espresso and watching a soccer game. But he also knew that in the age of social media, he'd need to try something different to keep bringing in enough customers to keep Caffe dello Sport open for the next 70 years.
“When my grandfather and parents ran Caffe dello Sport,” Spencer says, “there wasn't that much social media. Now, we're using platforms that never used to be available, like Nift, to help us bring in new and diverse customers.””
Shortly after he started using Nift, Spencer saw that it worked and wanted to bring in even more Nift customers. He increased his spend, and ever since, has noticed he's “been getting a lot more people coming in.” Customers who come in with a Nift are people Spencer never would have seen otherwise: “a lot of customers who come in tell me that it's great, and they've never been here, but they walk by every day, and they've never thought about walking in before getting a Nift.”
“January, February, and March are the slowest months of the year for us,” Spencer says, but Nift helps him fill Caffe dello Sport even when regular business gets a little slower. “I've been trying to increase my quick-serve customers: ‘come in grab a coffee and go' customers, and that's what Nift has been helping with and my lunch crowds have increased, too. People now come in on their way to work and grab a coffee. I've noticed they're coming back every other day, or dropping in for lunch after using that gift for the first time.”
“Great little local spot to enjoy an espresso, a sandwich, and a cannoli.
Seemed like it was full of North End locals watching the soccer match. Perfect spot to duck in out of the cold.”
- Amanda W.
“I love that I can go into my Nift dashboard and see exactly how many customers have come in with Nift,” says Spencer. For him, it's critical to be able to see how many new customers are high spenders, become repeat customers, or both. “In the dashboard,” he says, “there are so many options available to me. I can see how much they spent, if they've been back, and any feedback they left for the store.” In his eyes, responding to feedback is crucial: “if they leave a comment, or if there's ever a problem, I can reach out and fix it, so there will be more returning customers over time.”
Nift's algorithms match customers with businesses they're likely to keep returning to. At Caffe dello Sport, Spencer can tell that's working: I'm seeing new people come in and then come back two three or four times. I'm making a great return on my investment in Nift when these customers come back.”
“Something I love about Nift is that it's so easy,” Spencer not es. As a small business owner, Spencer doesn't have time for something complicated. Luckily, Nift's dashboard and mobile app make it easy to see the results: I can even do it from my phone, everything-customers, spending, return rates- is there and listed for me.
“We want to give new customers a little taste of Italy.” To make sure the new customers he welcomed would be close enough to keep coming back for more tastes of Italy, Spencer selected a certain geographic radius for Nift to search for new customers. That way, new customers are already close by, and it's easy for them to make their way back to Caffe dello Sport.
With Nift, Spencer pays only when it works: he only pays when those new customers actually come in, so he can feel confident about seeing the return on his investment.
“I like the fact that Nift is a network with other local busine sses, because I feel like we can help market one another,” Spencer says. “Already, the North End is a tight-knit neighborhood; we recommend each other's businesses, we're all friends down here, and it's great to have Nift come in and make that process even better,” he adds. “It's just an awesome opportunity to be able to spread the money out. We're all helping one another, which is great, and it's good for marketing.”
Espresso, Panini, Sports Bar
308 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113