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Dunkin Donuts embraces messaging, lets users buy and send gifts through iMessage

Dunkin’ Donuts is taking advantage of iOS 10’s revamped iMessage application by letting customers send each other gifts through the messaging service.

Called Dunkin’ Donuts mGifts, users can use Apple Pay to send each other Dunkin’ Donuts products. This move takes advantage of the growing shift towards messaging as a popular form of commerce.

“The mobile messaging space is unique in that it allows for more peer-to-peer sharing, rich visuals, and creative content development,” said Sherrill Kaplan, vice president of digital marketing & innovation at Dunkin’ Brands. “That said, both our Dunkin’ Mobile App and our iOS10 capabilities aim to provide users with visually-exciting, fun content that not only gives them information about new products, but also keeps them excited about and engaged with the brand. In each digital (and traditional) space, we work to meet our guests needs and make it easy for them to incorporate Dunkin’ in their daily routines.”

Mobile gifts
Dunkin’ Donuts will be the first coffee chain to make use of iMessages new open features by letting customers make purchases with Apple Pay through the Messages app and to send those purchases to friends through the messaging platform.

The gifts, which Dunkin’ is calling mGifts, can be easily imported and exported to the company’s popular mainline mobile app. If one user sends an mGift to another, the second can then transfer that to his or her main Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app for redemption in-store.

Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts customers can also send Dunkin’-themed stickers through Apple’s messaging system. The stickers are made by Snaps, which has made a variety of branded emoji keyboards for other brands as well.

A few other additions to the company’s mobile app include compatibility with the iPhone 6S’ 3D touch feature, letting customer navigate the app with greater ease.

Other quality of life features include the ability to log in to the Dunkin’ Donuts account across multiple devices and a new layout that makes navigating the app easier.

Messaging as commerce
When iOS 10 dropped earlier this year, one of the biggest shakeups it brought to Apple’s mobile devices was the revamped Messages app.

What was before a simple app that was good mainly for sending and receiving texts, photos and a few other types of messages including locations and contact information, was now a robust platform with its own app store and a large suite of new features.

Brands and marketers immediately seized upon the newly opened capabilities that allowed them to connect with customers in an entirely new way.

Snaps, a company that specializes in branded messaging experiences, has been the most visible proponent of the new wave of messaging marketing.

At an event earlier this month, an executive from Snaps spoke about how messaging is the mobile channel of the future (see story). Soon, the executive claimed, messaging platforms such as Apple’s Messages, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Whatsapp and more will be the new home for many mobile millennials who will be able to talk to each other, make transactions and engage with brands all through messaging.

Messaging has the potential to combine the benefits of commercial apps and social media in the way it encourages users to share and communicate with both brands and each other. Dunkin’ Donuts is bridging that gap by letting consumer snot only make purchases through Messages, but share those purchases with others as well.

“Messaging is definitely an incredible tool because it brings together emotions, visually-driven content, conversation and purchases all in one space,” Ms. Kaplan said. “We know our guests are always on the go, so we’re excited to be able to offer our guests the ability to use Apple Pay to purchase gifts easily and seamlessly.”