Domino's launches voice-ordering app

Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) has had quite a few firsts in the restaurant chain's history, and now it can claim to be the first to offer a mobile app that lets customers order by voice.

Domino's new voice ordering platform is powered by Nuance's Nina Mobile, an intelligent virtual assistant that leverages speech recognition, speech synthesis and natural language understanding technologies. The platform delivers a human-like, conversational customer service experience that allows users to speak an order and quickly add items to their cart.

Customers can launch the app on an iPhone or Android device, and touch "talk to Dom." The app then answers in a human male voice and completes the order. The platform launched Tuesday in beta format, which the company said will allow for additional future enhancements.

Domino's has been at the forefront of mobile development, launching new enhancements and services at a rapid rate.

In April, Domino's integrated Google Wallet (NASDAQ:GOOG) into its ordering app, allowing Android customers pay for their online orders using the service. And in January, Domino's unveiled its app for the Ford Sync that allows customers to place saved orders via voice activation in the car company's AppLink in-car connectivity system.

Domino's mobile app now accounts for approximately 40 percent of U.S. orders, and last year the company reported $3 billion in digital sales globally. Investing in, and promoting, mobile ordering is a priority for the chain. Domino's encourages customers to create profiles and store payment information in order to speed up the process. Domino's customers can now order a pizza in roughly 30 seconds.

"We are doing just about equal amounts of sales digitally, versus over the phone," said Patrick Doyle, Domino's president and CEO, during a conference call with analysts. "We're continuing to see nice robust growth out of that channel. And we think that's going to continue."

"There will be a day when typing on keyboards or with thumbs on mobile devices will come to a close; we want to be the ones who continue to advance the technology experience — hand-in-hand with our customers," said Doyle. "Our mobile app users who are a part of this launch are truly helping set the foundation for the innovations of today, that will soon enough become the standards of tomorrow."

For more:
-See this Domino's Pizza press release
-See this USA Today story

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