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Papa John’s hits 50pc digital sales as mobile ordering takes off

Papa John’s continues to be a force to reckon with in mobile ordering with its digital and mobile channels recently reaching a new milestone to account for more than 50 percent of sales in the United States.

Papa John’s claims to be the first brand in its industry to surpass the digital and mobile sales milestone. The company, which was the first U.S.-based pizza chain to introduce digital ordering to its delivery restaurants in 2001, continues to streamline the payment process by accepting Google Wallet Instant Buy for delivery and take-out orders placed via its Android mobile application.

“Papa John’s brand is known for being digitally savvy; adding Google Wallet (or any other payment system for that matter) helps show further evolution of their digital strategy,” said Tim Hajirakar, director of business development at Atimi, Vancouver, Canada.

“More so, Google Wallet will help Papa John enhance purchasing experience with quicker checkouts, increase sales via gift card integration, and engage consumers by showcasing their loyalty program with Google Wallet.”

Google Wallet integration
Due to its app only being available on the Android platform, Papa John’s is leveraging Google Wallet Instant Buy’s payment system, breaking from the mold of food brands that have been integrating with Apple Pay. Guests that place orders through the app can simply tap the “Buy with Google” button visible during the checkout process to pay with their mobile devices.

Google Wallet Instant Buy provides a two-click checkout and does not require users to manually input payment information, which Google believes will combat mobile shopping cart abandonment. Marketers that incorporate Google Wallet Instant Buy into their existing payment platforms will not incur extra fees.

From a consumer’s standpoint, Papa John’s adoption of Instant Buy is likely to help drive impulse buys for consumers that decide for impromptu delivery service and may not have cash immediately accessible. Providing an easier way of paying for orders may catapult Papa John’s mobile sales to even higher numbers.

“The take-off factor will depend on consumer and retailer/brand adoption and implementation,” Mr. Hajirakar said. “Like anything, the easier it is for the consumer to use, the more likely it will be used.”

Loyal mobile users
The pizza chain has been cultivating its loyal fan base of mobile customers since launching mobile ordering via SMS text in 2007 and introducing a digital rewards platform, Papa Rewards, in 2010.

Papa Rewards was the first loyalty program to offer gift cards redeemable on mobile devices, and took the number one spot in Bond Brand Loyalty’s 2014 annual loyalty survey, topping even Starbucks’ loyalty program. Members of Papa Rewards earn 1 point for each $5 spent and are eligible to receive a free large pizza after 25 points have been accumulated.

Papa John’s was also awarded the highest score among the restaurant industry for its fast-loading mobile Web site in a recent report by The Search Agency, “The Mobile Experience Scorecard – Restaurants & Catering” (see story). Consumers can also purchase eGift cards via the mobile site.

The pizza brand has found that bolstering its mobile and digital experiences helps not only consumers, but employees as well. Technology aids in placing more focus on the quality of orders and putting consumer satisfaction first.

“As long as digital wallets provide the brand’s ability to engage consumers and increase brand loyalty, they will continue to gain traction,” Mr. Hajirakar said.

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