What Dunkin’ Donuts Can Teach Small Businesses About Creating Incentives for Mobile App


DD Concept Store Gives Priority to Customers Who Order on Mobile App

Dunkin’ Donuts has come up with a unique way to get more customers using its mobile app. A new concept store the company unveiled in Quincy, Massachusetts features a drive thru with a dedicated lane for those who order on the Dunkin’ mobile app, allowing them to essentially cut in line and get their coffee or donuts quicker.

The idea behind this change is to give people more of an incentive to use the app. Previously, you could place orders via your phone, but you’d still have to wait in line once you get to the store, potentially leaving you with some lukewarm coffee or a less-than-fresh donut.

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DD Concept Store

This is just one change that the new concept store touts. There’s also a selection of new menu items, new employee uniforms and a sign that just says “Dunkin’” rather than the traditional “Dunkin’ Donuts.” But the mobile app change is one that a lot of small businesses can potentially learn from.

Mobile apps can be a great asset for coffee shops, carry out restaurants and similar businesses. They can increase customer loyalty and drastically improve the customer experience — but only if you can actually get people to use them.

With an ever-increasing selection of apps, you have to work harder than ever to stand out from the competition. So it’s not enough that you simply have a mobile app that lets people place orders. It has to also offer a more tangible benefit. In the case of Dunkin’ Donuts, letting people skip to the front of the line lets them save significant time.

Your small business could emulate this benefit. Even if you don’t have a drive-thru, you could create a line in your store for mobile orders. Or you could focus on a different benefit — maybe special discounted pricing for mobile orders or a punch card-like loyalty program. The main lesson is that you have to incentivize mobile app usage in some way. If customers don’t see a tangible benefit in using your app, they’re going to delete it off their device or forget about it in no time.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions

  1. These days, you need to give your customers a reason to do anything. They are so used to being bribed that it is somewhat expected. But you still need to strive to exceed their expectations.

  2. You now have this opportunity to reach your customers through a personal tool such as their mobile phones. This will help you to not only build your brand but build a relationship with your customers.

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