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McDonald’s centers growth plan on mobile ordering

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March 3, 2017

McDonald's is putting mobile at the forefront of its retail process

McDonald’s is putting mobile at the forefront of its retail process

McDonald’s is centering its long-term global growth plan on the new capabilities afforded by digital, with mobile pay and mobile ordering being a central part of this new strategy.

This information was revealed at the company’s Investor Day event in Chicago. The move shows that the biggest fast food brand in the world sees mobile as a vital part of its continued growth.

“We have fundamentally changed the trajectory of our business over the past two years. Now, we are fit for purpose, ready to build on our momentum and transition to focus our efforts on profitable, long-term growth,” said Easterbrook. “We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious feel good moments easy for everyone, and I believe the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s as the global leader in the informal eating out category.”

Global growth plan
While other brands and food chains have been steadily upping their commitment to mobile, McDonald’s was noticeably quiet on that front for a while.

For months, McDonald’s had only a basic mobile presence without any of the mobile ordering or other features that brands such as Starbucks and Domino’s had begun to create.

That all changed a few months ago when McDonald’s officially announced that it would begin testing and implementing mobile ordering in its retail process.

mcdonalds voucher other 420
McDonald’s mobile app

Now, the full extent of this investment is clearer, and it is obvious that McDonald’s sees mobile as a key part of its continued growth.

The primary step of its growth plan for the future is to leverage digital and mobile to improve the customer experience as much as possible.

At the event, McDonald’s admitted that part of the motivation for this plan was to regain customers that had been lost to other quick-serve restaurants, and that McDonald’s had not done a good job of keeping up.

That will change as the brand introduces mobile ordering as a key feature for the new McDonald’s retail experience.

Mobile ordering and mobile payments will work both in-store, at the drive-thru and event through delivery.

By the end of 2017, McDonald’s plans to have mobile ordering integrated into 20,000 stores around the world.

Mobile ordering
Since its founding, McDonald’s has been one of the dominant fast food restaurants.

But even the brand can acknowledge that its mobile offerings have been slacking compared to the more robust platforms and experiences offered by competitors.

The news of a possible delivery option is unsurprising, as a recent partnership with UberEATS suggested that McDonald’s was doing a test run for its own delivery service (see story).

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McDonald’s phone charging stations was an early paean towards mobile

The brand has come up with a few other unique mobile options, including an app designed to help customers find a McDonald’s that is serving the ephemeral McRib (see story).

But it is clear from McDonald’s statements at this event that a McRib app is not what their customers want. Instead, McDonald’s is making the smart choice of committing to robust mobile experiences that will improve customer satisfaction.

“To deliver sustained growth, we have to attract more customers, more often,” said Easterbrook. “Our greatest opportunities reside at the very heart of our brand – our food, value and the customer experience.”

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Danny Parisi is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach him at danny@napean.com.

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