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Q&A: How Domino’s Tweet to Order, virtual assistant drive mobile sales

Domino’s new chief digital officer highlighted the importance of tapping all available mobile platforms to offer consumers the ability to place quick and seamless orders, a tactic which has enabled the brand to see half of all digital orders come from mobile devices.

Domino’s has whipped up a strong focus on digital strategy in the past year, with recent rollouts including applications for the Pebble smartwatch and Apple Watch, as well as the introduction of its virtual ordering assistant Dom, which allows consumers to place orders while driving or on-the-go. As the quick service restaurant industry grows more competitive, mobile ordering is proving to be a paramount tool for those who want to remain on top.

Wearables are also becoming an optimal gateway to reaching time-strapped potential customers who may be attracted by the idea of tapping a few buttons or speaking into a smartwatch to order food. Domino’s is attempting to stay one step ahead of its competitors by dipping its toes in all facets of mobile.

In an interview with Mobile Commerce Daily, Dennis Maloney, vice president and chief digital officer of Domino’s Pizza, spoke about the brand’s expansion of mobile ordering features and how digital platforms have boosted revenue.

Mr. Maloney, who was recently promoted from vice president of multimedia marketing, has played a key role in building Domino’s digital sales to approximately 50 percent of total U.S. sales. He led the development and launch of Pizza Profiles, Easy Ordering, ordering apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android, voice ordering and ordering on smartwatches and via Twitter.

Domino’s has been a leader in the wearables space with the introduction of the Domino’s Tracker app. Can you discuss any results of app usage, and how this has expanded mobile outreach?
While we can’t talk specific results, we’ve been very happy with the rollout of Domino’s AnyWare platforms on both Android and Pebble smartwatches. Both include functionality which allows the customer to order their Easy Order and to reorder a recent order.

In addition, both include our incredibly popular Domino’s Tracker which gives the customer the ability to track any Domino’s order all the way through to delivery.

How has mobile ordering capability augmented the Domino’s brand?
Mobile ordering allows us to give our customers the ability to order Domino’s when they want, wherever they are, using the device or platform that they are most comfortable with. We consider this type of customer choice and convenience to be an important component to the brand.

Have you had any challenges with any mobile approaches?
Each new platform comes with new challenges. For example: what is the best way to optimize the capabilities of the platform, how are we going to support it, what are the functionality tradeoffs (if any), etc. Each of these challenges gives us the opportunity to reexamine our processes and functionality and often leads to advances to the brand.

Which of your mobile strategies have produced the best results? Which have resonated most with your customers?
Within the mobile space, we strive to maintain functional parity to our desktop experience while simplifying it as much as possible to optimize to mobile capabilities (i.e. smaller screen, slower downloads, etc.).

These strategies led to the development of our Pizza Profiles which allow our customers to save key ordering data (address, credit card, favorite order) resulting in much simpler and faster ordering experience without functionality sacrifices. Customers really do appreciate the increased convenience and speed. 

How important has Dom, the virtual ordering assistant, been in ramping up mobile commerce?
Dom is cutting edge technology. It is one of the most sophisticated integrations of a virtual assistant into any ecommerce site. Our customers recognize that Domino’s is really pushing technology to deliver great ordering experiences that help cement us as leaders in the space.

At the same time, we are learning how to optimize a platform which uses voice and a virtual ordering assistant.

Do you have any forthcoming mobile strategies in the works that you are able to discuss?
While we can’t discuss upcoming future functionality, we did just recently release Tweet to Order, which allows a customer to place an order by tweeting the pizza emoji to Domino’s.

This is the latest technology in our Domino’s AnyWare platforms to provide our customers with ordering and tracking capabilities via a range of platforms.

Can you share a mobile milestone reached in the past year that you are proud of?
Domino’s has been working hard to create great mobile experiences for our customers and we are seeing results, as Domino’s recently crossed the threshold of more than half of our digital orders being placed via mobile devices.

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