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Domino’s voice-activated ordering assistant tops half-million orders

Domino’s Pizza’s virtual ordering assistant Dom, which lets consumers dictate orders via mobile devices while on-the-go, has reached a half-million orders since its 2014 launch, suggesting that more food brands should consider investing in voice ordering technology.

The mobile application was created to increase personalization as more consumers turn to digital channels to place orders for food and beverage items. Although Domino’s does also offer customers the ability to order via a mobile Web site or the brand’s app, Dom’s catchphrases have proven to be popular and have contributed to the company’s milestone of 50 percent of sales coming from digital platforms.

“The hands free technology phenomenon is now becoming a standard behavior,” said Aurélie Guerrieri of MobPartner, San Francisco, CA. “Voice control apps like Siri can be your personal assistant but cannot be relevant to accomplishing all of the things that a person needs.

“Voice control and voice recognition technology will be the new equivalent of typing for input, as typing is becoming a thing of the past,” she said. “Technological progress has been made on voice recognition that has enabled it to be accurate and cheap enough to be made into app functionality rather than a standalone application.”

Successful technology
Domino’s acknowledges that technology has played a crucial role in ramping up sales. Mobile also accounts for half of the 50 percent of digital sales, proving that consumers are increasingly ordering more from their smartphones and tablets.

While Domino’s has invested into its mobile Web platform with responsive design to make it as user-friendly as possible, it revealed during an earnings call this week that Dom is actually being used just as much as other mobile channels.

“Dom augments the Domino’s brand by allowing the app to integrate with their customers’ existing and desired lifestyle,” said Jennifer Gavin, senior director of marketing and sales development at PadSquad, New York. “Dom brings a fun and interesting level of personalization to the ordering experience with a seamless mobile Web platform that allows consumers to place a food order with a simple voice command; adding ease of use to a sometimes complicated ordering process.”

The food brand has received much positive feedback from customers regarding Dom and his commercials, and claimed that pizza fans very much enjoy interacting with him, leading to the milestone of half a million orders via his platform.

Dom is sometimes deemed the “Siri” of the pizza industry, and is capable of taking orders for carryout or delivery (see story). He can also suggest additional items to make users’ meals as delicious as possible, and helps customers locate deals or coupons.

Most importantly, the feature prevents a smartphone from going to sleep while ordering, making it simple for consumers to phone in an order while driving or on-the-go.

Mobile strides
Domino’s also making strides in the mobile sector with the introduction of its Tracker application, available on the Pebble smartwatch (see story). The app enables Domino’s fans to track their orders from the minute they are placed until the food arrives at their doorsteps.

Consumers may also elect to receive alerts when the pizza is baking, traveling with a driver and being delivered. The minute-to-minute updates are optimal for a busy customer.

Optimizing applications for wearables is a strategy that many other food and beverage marketers should be focusing on in 2015.

“Food and beverage brands can certainly benefit from not only offering voice ordering apps but enhanced mobile Web platforms,” PadSquad’s Ms. Gavin said. “With continuous advancements in consumer technology, consumers expect more from brands/retailers and demand mobile enhancements that are more aligned with their daily behavior.”

Domino’s also saw strong sales in the 2014 fiscal year, with domestic same store sales growing by 7.5 percent for the full year.

“Voice control features should be integrated into an app as a controller, just like a keyed in command or response,” Ms. Guerrieri said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York