The chain expects the application's payment feature to speed up transaction time
Quick-service snack chain Dunkin’ Donuts launched a mobile application Thursday morning for Apple and Android smartphones that will enable customers to pay for transactions and send virtual gift cards to others.
The Dunkin' Donuts Mobile App, which the Canton, Mass.-based company said has been in development for a year, kicked off with a multimedia marketing initiative on Facebook, Twitter, the Apple App Store, Google Play for Android users, and the brand’s website. The launch also was publicized on a digital billboard in New York’s Times Square.
The new app is free to download and contains a number of features. Key among them is the ability to pay instantly at all Dunkin’ Donuts stores across the United States by scanning the smartphone at the point-of-purchase, thereby speeding up transaction times, said John Costello, chief global marketing and innovation officer for parent Dunkin’ Brands Inc.
The app also enables customers to purchase, store or reload mobile Dunkin’ Donuts cards for their smartphone as they would with a plastic card.
In addition, Costello told Nation’s Restaurant News, the app features a “unique mGifting capability” that lets customers purchase and send a mobile gift card to others. Virtual versions of Dunkin' Donuts Cards ranging from $2 to $100 can be sent via text, e-mail and Facebook Connect, accompanied by a personalized message.
“Dunkin’ Donuts is the only QSR that does three-way gifting,” or the ability to send virtual gift cards through three different channels, Costello said. He added that the company expects this feature to help spur gift card sales.
The Dunkin' Donuts Mobile App also contains a GPS-enabled store-locator feature that allows consumers to find the closest Dunkin’ Donuts branch anywhere in the United States. The feature also provides a map and directions, as well as information about store hours, in-store Wi-Fi and drive-thru availability.
In addition, the app allows consumers to link to the Dunkin’ Donuts website nutrition page, where they can gather health-related data about individual menu items.
Prior to the launch the company embarked on an extensive training program for employees, Costello said. Among other things, a security issue was addressed by training employees to let customers scan their smartphone themselves so it would never would leave their hand. Longer cords also were installed at the drive-thru windows, allowing employees to pass the scanner to customers in their cars.
Costello said it was too early to determine how many consumers had downloaded the app, but he noted that it ranked as the fifth most popular app in the Apple App Store today.
With the rollout of its mobile app, Dunkin' Donuts joins chains such as coffeehouse operator Starbucks, which has offered its own app since 2011 but recently started accepting payments through Square, a mobile payment startup.
Costello said he anticipates that Dunkin’ Brands’ sister concept, Baskin-Robbins, will launch its own mobile application in the future.
Dunkin' Brands has 7,015 Dunkin' Donuts units and 2,457 Baskin-Robbins locations.
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