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Domino’s earns consumer loyalty with mobile at the forefront

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October 21, 2013

Domino's app

While many of the major pizza chains are dabbling in mobile campaigns and mobile offers, Domino’s is leading the pack in driving customer loyalty by focusing on providing faster and easier ways for consumers to order pizza via mobile.

With 35 percent of its $2 billion in global digital sales coming from mobile and more than 6 million downloads of its mobile application, Domino’s offers convenient ways for consumers to order via mobile. While many of the major pizza chains such as Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have been experimenting with mobile, pizza chains need to continue to focus on leveraging mobile for speedy transactions.

“Mobile is playing an important role for the pizza chains,” said Dirk Rients, senior vice president and director of mobile at DDB, Chicago.  “Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s are making significant investments in digital and mobile, making it easier for their customers to place and track orders.

“In my mind Domino’s is utilizing mobile better than their competitors,” he said.

“An example of something that’s working is the Domino’s Pizza Tracker that is now available on mobile. Consumers feel comfortable when they can see what’s happening with their order at any given time.”

Mobile pizza
In today’s day and age, pizza chains owe it themselves to get mobile right. Their consumers are on mobile, and that is where they expect to engage with a pizza restaurant.

According to Mr. Rients, pizza chains should leverage mobile for speed, personalization, coupons, payment and tracking.

For example, Domino’s Pizza Tracker feature in its app lets consumers see where their order is and when it will arrive.


The Pizza Tracker feature

Additionally, consumers can create a profile within the app so that they can save their billing information and favorite orders and save time the next time they order.

“For Domino’s, [mobile] plays a huge role,” said Chris Brandon, head of public relations at Domino’s, Ann Arbor Charter Township, MI. “We strive to continue to offer the most convenient ways to order from Domino’s, and we are very pleased that we now offer an ordering app to Windows Phone users.

“Between our apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 8, Domino’s now covers 95% of the smartphone market with our app,” he said. “It is great for the consumer, and helps us continue to get better at offering mobile order – our fastest growing ordering method currently.”

According to Domino’s British master franchisee, the chain’s sales from mobile devices increased 102 percent year-over-year.

Boosting orders
By offering a mobile app and mobile ordering, pizza chains can provide their consumers with better and faster service.

It also provides more ways for a consumer to interact with the chain.

“Points of access are key. Giving our customers more places and ways to order our pizza, pasta and wings is what sets us apart,” said Caroline Masullo, director of digital experience at Pizza Hut, Plano, TX.  “In addition to our more than 6,300 restaurants in the US, customers can order Pizza Hut from PizzaHut.com, mobile web, iPad, iPhone, Android and even from their Xbox LIVE gaming platform.”

Oftentimes pizza chains’ number one consumers are young and mobile-savvy, so it makes even more sense for them to have a mobile presence.

“Ordering pizza through a mobile app is quick, easy and reduces errors,” said Melody Adhami, president/COO of Plastic Mobile, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  “By opening the doors of m-commerce in the quick service restaurant industry, pizza chains are able to stay ahead of the curve and provide the best customer experience.”

Ms. Adhami believes that apps work better for pizza chains than mobile sites. She claims that apps are more convenient and create longer-lasting relationships with consumers where they return frequently.

However, she warns against creating apps that are too cumbersome and lacking in imagery. The apps need to be simple and easy to use.


Pizza Hut’s app

Pizza players
Domino’s is clearly showing its proficiency in mobile, but some of the other pizza restaurants are a little slow to catch up.

For example, last year Papa John’s tried using SMS, but got hit with a $250 million spam lawsuit for sending consumers messages without their consent.


A mobile-friendly sweepstakes from Papa John’s

Other chains, while maybe not as successful as Domino’s are still making admirable efforts in mobile.

Pizza Hut has used mobile ads in Us Magazine’s mobile site to drive foot traffic and mobile orders (see story).

The chain has also had success with SMS, asking consumers to opt-in to receive offers.

“Something we feel incredibly strong about is delivering truly exclusive deals via our SMS program,” Ms. Masullo said. “The quickest way to get opt-outs is to disrupt consumers in this very personal space with information they can get elsewhere. What we see consumers respond well to are our “text to join” programs like our Hut Lovers email program (Text Hut to 69488). With mobile, it’s all about keeping it fast and simple.”

Last year during the holidays California Pizza Kitchen encouraged consumers to buy digital gift cards via the chain’s mobile site (see story).

Despite Papa John’s snafu with SMS, they too have implemented interesting mobile campaigns, including a recent Super Bowl sweepstakes that was meant to educate consumers on how to place orders via mobile and online (see story).

“Pizza chains in the industry are generally ahead of other commerce players, in terms of mobile,” said Ms. Adhami.

“Mobile’s growing popularity provides retailers with an opportunity to deliver convenience to customers’ right in their pockets,” she said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at rebecca@mobilemarketer.com.

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