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Dunkin’ Donuts uncaps mobile ordering and delivery to topple competitors

Dunkin’ Donuts is rolling out mobile ordering and delivery services this week for Portland and Dallas residents, respectively, highlighting its dedication to staying competitive with Starbucks by targeting on-the-go consumers.

The coffee giant is starting to test its On-the-Go ordering platform for DD Perks loyalty members in Portland, Maine, enabling them to skip long lines in-store and retrieve previously-paid-for drinks. Meanwhile, Dallas residents will be able to use the DoorDash delivery application to order their favorite beverages and treats up to 24 hours in advance via mobile, a move that could unsettle fellow digital leader Starbucks.

“Mobile is the center of everything that consumers do today,” said Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement for Dunkin’ Donuts, Canton, MA. “Additionally, Dunkin’ is a brand that is built on speed and we think that providing our guests the ability to order via their mobile device and skip the line is a tremendous consumer benefit.”

Mobile runs on Dunkin’
Dunkin’ Donuts is ramping up to maximize holiday sales as consumers flock to their favorite coffee chains to pick up seasonally-themed beverages and sweets. Time-strapped customers in Maine can now use the DD On-the-Go Ordering Portland app to place orders prior to arriving at their nearby Dunkin’ location and also pay in advance.

Once they arrive on premises, they can walk up to the designated area to pick up their purchases and leave within seconds, beating any long in-store lines. Additionally, customers may opt to retrieve their orders from the drive-thru at select locations.

Orders can be placed up to one day in advance, and may be confirmed once the consumer is at the chosen restaurant. Users may save favorite drinks and food for easy reordering in the future.

The service is available to members of Dunkin’ Donuts’ DD Perks rewards program. The ordering app allows them to redeem any existing rewards, such as a free beverage on their birthday.

The brand’s dedication to catering to fans via mobile has been strengthened as of late.

This past August, Dunkin’ Donuts dispersed mobile gift cards to winners of a social media sweepstakes and offered a coupon to app users ahead of back-to-school season, proving it has the wherewithal to dethrone Starbucks as a food and beverage leader in mobile (see story).

Outsourcing delivery help
Dunkin’ Donuts is also partnering up with the DoorDash delivery app to enable consumers in Dallas to enjoy on-demand delivery at the tap of a finger. Dunkin’ Delivery is also set to roll out in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C. in the coming weeks.

Dallas residents can order via DoorDash from 7 AM to 10 PM. They may choose from Dunkin’ Donuts’ vast array of coffee, sandwiches, donuts, bakery snacks and frozen drinks, and have the selected items arrive at their doorsteps within 45 minutes.

Dunkin’ claims to have introduced this service as a response to consumers who have demanded that the chain makes its full menu available all day.

The brand will likely see sales jump even higher following extended rollouts of these programs. It may also experience a surge in the amount of consumers who sign up for the DD Perks loyalty platform, which offers five points per dollar spent on qualifying items.

After customers accumulate 200 points, they can redeem them for a free, any-size drink of their choice.

Although its competitor Starbucks is currently piloting the Green Apron Delivery service in Manhattan, Dunkin’ may have the leg up in the sense that it has decided to join forces with a popular delivery app. DoorDash users who are not frequent Dunkin’ customers could be inspired to order a late-night donut or drink if they happen to scroll past the marketer’s menu in the app.

Starbucks’ mobile ordering and delivery options may be more geared toward its passionate fans.

“We think that our customers will react very favorably to this test,” Mr. Hudler said. “Our consumers are busy and on-the-go and providing them the opportunity to order great tasting food and beverages and skip the line is an incredible benefit.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York