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Dunkin’ Donuts supports menu expansion with mobile-ordering test

Dunkin’ Donuts’ recent announcement of a mobile-ordering test supports the brand’s ongoing efforts to expand its menu by encouraging customers to try new items without having to wait in line.

While the preparation of a regular cream and sugar may not cause a line to form, Dunkin’ wants to make it exceptionally easy for customers to try its many breakfast items. Mobile ordering could encourage customers to place larger orders by preventing the need to wait in line.

“Through its testing of mobile ordering, Dunkin Donuts is just taking a page out of the Starbucks playbook,” said Nathalie Reinelt, analyst at Aite Group, Phoenix.

Heating up
While Dunkin’ maintains its own well-sized fan base, its largest competitor Starbucks has primarily reigned in mobile. Dunkin’s move can be seen as mimicking but serves as a positive progression nonetheless.

Wait times are perhaps longer in Starbucks given the complicated coffee menu items, but Dunkin’ continues to promote its breakfast options, including bagel sandwiches and omelets.

These items take longer to prepare, and Dunkin’ is quick to realize the nature of impatient customers rushing to work in the mornings. By implementing mobile ordering, customer orders can be prearranged and completed quickly, making it much more likely for customers to add more to their order if they are not forced to wait.

The news of Dunkin’s testing of mobile ordering comes as no surprise. Third-party providers have been offering mobile ordering as a solution for a while, and it is time for Dunkin’ to do the same.

Dunkin will be testing the technology during Q4 to hopefully be live by 2015.

Caffeinated actions
With a 3.6 percent coupon redemption rate for a recent mobile coupon campaign targeting competitors’ customers in Providence, RI, Dunkin’ Donuts expanded the program to new markets.

Earlier this year, Dunkin’ Donuts rolled out the program to test the effectiveness of leveraging geofencing around competitors’ locations coupled with behavioral targeting to deliver coupons on mobile devices. The results were promising, with 36 percent of those who clicked on the offer taking some secondary action, 18 percent of these saving the coupon and 3.6 percent of secondary actions resulting in a redeemed coupon (see story).

The brand most recently celebrated the two-year anniversary of its mobile application with a two-day sweepstakes that was promoted on Twitter.

The coffee and bakery chain recently reported that it has reached nearly 8 million downloads of the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app and that more than 1.3 million customers have signed up for Dunkin’ Donuts Perks Rewards members, which was introduced earlier this year and is tightly integrated with the app. To further promote the app, Dunkin’ Donuts offered Twitter users a free coupon for entering the sweepstakes by naming which Dunkin’ Donuts beverage they would order through the app and including the hashtag #DunkinAppSweeps (see story).

While Dunkin’s app has garnered so much attention in response to mobile rewards and coupons, mobile ordering is assuredly the next step for the provider. Dunkin’s move will likely continue to trickle down to other brands, prompting them to explore the opportunities of mobile ordering as well.

“In the overall scheme of things, mobile ordering doesn’t really mean anything for mobile commerce,” Ms. Reinelt said. “It’s more about what it says about mobile commerce, which is businesses are realizing that money is going mobile and there are a lot of opportunities to hitch themselves onto the mobile bandwagon.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York