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Krispy Kreme bakes in donut rewards with new loyalty app

Krispy Kreme is ramping up its mobile strategy to reward customers and compete with other major quick-service restaurants’ loyalty platforms with the release of its My Krispy Kreme Treats mobile application.

Customers in the Nashville, Richmond, Grand Rapids and greater Detroit areas can take advantage of the loyalty app, which offers rewards point for each purchase made that can be redeemed for free products at bricks-and-mortar Krispy Kreme stores. Users can also upload their credit card information onto the app to provide for a quick payment process at select locations.

“While it is definitely too early in the test to make any significant predictions, if the performance and engagement rates of our existing Friends of Krispy Kreme e-club and Hot Light App are any indication of the loyalty app success, we expect to see a very positive response to the rollout of the new My Krispy Kreme Treats loyalty app,” said Lafeea Watson, manager of public relations and media relations at Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, Winston Salem, N.C.

“Specifically, we think consumers we expect to see positive engagement with the stored value and rewards program functionality of the app.”

Enhancing point-of-sale
The app is designed to work seamlessly with Krispy Kreme’s existing point-of-sale technology. Guests can pay on mobile with virtual gift cards and will earn 5 rewards points for every dollar spent that can be used to receive free doughnuts and beverages.

Consumers receive a free doughnut upon signing up for the app, a free drink and doughnut on their birthday and other surprises throughout the year.

Users of Krispy Kreme’s Hot Light app can receive the My Treats app once they update their Hot Light app. The Hot Light app tells customers when hot doughnuts are expected to come off the line, and even sends push notifications when the Hot Light is on at a user’s nearest Krispy Kreme location.

The My Treats app is designed to enhance the brand’s existing customer engagement offerings. Hot Light has seen more than 100,000 app downloads since its launch, and more than 900,000 consumers are members of the Friends of Krispy Kreme eClub.

Loyalty program competition
Other brands in the food and beverage sector, such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, also have strong mobile loyalty programs that continually net them more new customers. It has become paramount for these brands to offer consumers rewards for shopping with them, and using one of the most effective communication channels to reach a wide audience: mobile.

Incorporating mobile payments into a loyalty platform is also an optimal idea of ensuring a streamlined checkout and rewards points redemption process.

While the My Treats app is only available in the test locations of Richmond, Nashville, Detroit and Grand Rapids, Krispy Kreme fans nationwide can expect to get access to the app in 2015.

“We will be testing the platform in the coming months, learning from our experience, and planning for a broader domestic launch later next year,” Ms. Watson said.

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