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Taco Bell extends successful mobile-ordering push to the Web

With Taco Bell’s mobile ordering application showing check growth of 30 percent, the chain is bringing digital ordering to a newly overhauled Web site as it continues to ramp up digital innovation.

Taco Bell is adding a new mobile-first Web site to a stable of offerings designed for the on-demand economy that has been growing quickly over the past year, including the Live Mas ordering and payment application and mobile-enabled delivery. The new Web site is meant to redefine ecommerce for the fast food industry through richer content, access to more information and a design overhaul geared toward speaking to the brand’s core millennial customers.

“The majority of our web traffic is mobile-based, so it’s critical that those users have a great experience,” said Andy McCraw, digital innovation product manager at Taco Bell. “From the beginning, our new site was developed with a mobile first strategy.

“We saw a great response with our mobile ordering and payment app, with 3.7 million downloads, and wanted to provide yet another opportunity for one-click access to discovery, anytime and anywhere you want it,” he said.

On-demand economy
The chain is betting on a number of solutions for the on-demand economy to help drive growth at a time when fast food chains, in general, as experiencing soft sales.

Taco Bell believes it can leverage technology to improve the fast food experience by better meeting the needs of millennial consumers while boosting the brand’s image with this group.

On the site, customers can customize, order and pay in advance for their food, then skip to the front of the line once inside the restaurant.

The customization functionality enables users to explore combinations that have not been seen in physical restaurants previously save them for future orders.

The site is designed to work across mobile, tablets and personal computers. Other key features streamlined search, a news feed section, nutritional calculator and careers section.

Digital innovation
The search capabilities enable users to type in any product name and be served quick recommendations for faster ordering.

The Feed curates new content into one easy-to-access place. Here, consumers will find in-depth and behind-the-scenes details about the brand’s collaborations with people, companies and cultural icons.

The new nutrition calendar makes it easier to access ingredient information.

The Web site is the latest effort from Taco Bell’s Digital Innovation and On Demand team.

The launch of the new app last fall initiated the push into digital innovation. The app has seen 3.7 million downloads and check growth of 30 percent, largely driven by customization, according to Taco Bell.

The next big release of the app, coming later this year, is expected to include a gamified feature.

This summer the team spearheaded a partnership with DoorDash to roll out delivery service in more than 200 markets.

Taco Bell is also testing prototypes for leveraging digital to enhance the in-store experience, including through ordering kiosks, a virtual kitchen and a digital communication board.

“Our mobile first mentality provides a great customer experience,” Mr. McCraw said. “The highly responsive mobile layout gives users an app-like experience with the convenience and accessibility of a browser.

“No matter the user’s preference, they’ll have a seamless end to end experience across all platforms,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York