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Dunkin’ Donuts drills down on location to boost mobile payments app

August 19, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts leverages social for mobile success

Dunkin’ Donuts has given its mobile payments strategy a jolt in the past year, evidenced by the 3.5 million application downloads and continuous marketing push behind its application.

Since launching the mobile payments app a year ago, Dunkin’ Donuts has used a variety of mediums, including a time-sensitive Twitter campaign last week, to market it. The company’s most recent marketing highlights the app’s store locator feature as a way to drive in-store traffic.

“The store locator feature has been extremely popular with our busy, on-the-go guests over the past year,” said Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement at Dunkin’ Brands, Boston.

“We know that our fans have a mix of favorite local Dunkin’ Donuts shops, plus ones that they visit while running errands, so it seemed a natural fit to incorporate this feature into the campaign,” he said.

“Sweepstakes are an important part of what we do on Twitter and we’re excited to bring yet another opportunity for fans to win great prizes through the #DunkinApp promotion.”

Mobile perks
Jumping on the success of mobile payments for smaller purchases, Dunkin’ Donuts entered the mobile commerce space in August 2012 with an app that lets consumers pay for drinks and meals via a bar code that is scanned at the point-of-sale.

A few months later the company added in-app targeted rewards to incentivize consumers to use the app more (see story).

The company has also used a variety of different mediums to market the app, including email, mobile advertising and social media.

The Dunkin’ Donuts app

On Friday, Dunkin’ Donuts rolled out a Twitter contest dubbed “Mobile Appiversary Sweepstakes” that ran through Sunday and gave away 365 $10 mGift cards, which can be loaded within the brand’s app.

The contest drew attention to the store locator app feature as one of two ways that consumers could enter. Users could take an in-app screenshot of their favorite Dunkin’ Donuts location within the store locator area of the app and tweet it with the hashtag #DunkinApp.

The store locator page includes contact information for each location including a list of all the features of the store, such as free Wi-Fi. By focusing on the store locator feature, the goal is to get consumers into a store as quickly as possible.

The store locator feature

Dunkin’ Donuts has also announced that the majority of its stores offer Wi-Fi now. Of the stores that offer it, 80 percent include high-speed Wi-Fi.

Dunkin’ Donuts competitor Starbucks also gave its in-store Wi-Fi a boost by switching from AT&T to Google Wi-Fi and points to the need from cafes and coffee chains to enhance the in-store experience through technology (see story).

Store locators for brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts are critical in helping close the loop, especially for a small purchase such as a cup of coffee.

Consumers could also enter the contest by tweeting a picture of their favorite Dunkin’ Donuts store, most of which likely happened via mobile.

Tweet on mobile
Twitter has been a staple of Dunkin’ Donuts marketing for quite a while.

Dunkin’ Donuts also ran a Twitter campaign in July to promote a link of cold drinks that used pictures of products in different cities as clues. Consumers could then tweet their guess for which city the picture was taken in for a chance to win mobile gift cards (see story).

The social platform is inherently mobile and is therefore used primarily by marketers to push out quick, fun campaigns.

“Consumer awareness of the ability to purchase items via a mobile app had risen as many stores such as Dunkin’ and Starbucks have launched such apps as well as the likes of PayPal,” said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with Dunkin’ Donuts. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“You cooperate to create a market and then compete to divide the market, so the fact that Dunkin’s competitors like Starbucks also have similar mobile commerce apps has helped raise overall awareness of the possibility to pay through mobile apps,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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