Dunkin' Donuts rolls out loyalty program linked to mobile app

Dunkin' Donuts (NASDAQ: DNKN) has launched a new loyalty program that will soon be integrated into its mobile payment app. But will it be able to catch up to Starbucks and its 10 million active mobile users?

The company has launched a loyalty program to compete with rival Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX). The new DD Perks Rewards program offers points toward free Dunkin' Donuts beverages and by early February, will be fully integrated into the Dunkin' mobile app for mobile payments.

With DD Perks, customers earn five points for every dollar they spend on qualifying purchases at Dunkin' Donuts when they pay using an enrolled Dunkin' Donuts Card, either plastic or via the Dunkin' Mobile App.
Starbucks began accepting mobile payments in January 2011. It now makes roughly five million mobile transactions each week and 20 percent of transactions on Starbucks cards are now made through its app. There are 10 million active mobile Starbuck's users today, according to CEO Howard Schulz. That's more than twice that of Dunkin' Donuts.

Can Dunkin' Donuts catch up?

Dunkin' Donuts launched its mobile app for payments in August 2012, but has been much slower to grow the program. "We're committed to being a leader in digital mobile and loyalty in the QSR industry," said John Costello, president of global marketing and innovation during a conference call with analysts. "To achieve this, we've been, and we'll continue to be, highly methodical, deliberate and strategic in designing and rolling out a fully integrated mobile technology program from our franchisees' unified POS to the mobile app and now with our DD Perks rewards program."

Once a member accrues 200 points, he or she receives a coupon for a free medium beverage of choice, redeemable at participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants. Additionally, throughout the year DD Perks members will receive personalized offers to earn bonus points for specific food and beverage purchases. DD Perks members can also share or gift their free medium beverage reward coupon.  

"We want to recognize our best guests for their allegiance to our brand by creating a robust loyalty program unsurpassed in QSR," said Costello, "Following the very successful launch of our Dunkin' mobile app, our enhanced DD Perks Rewards program is an important milestone in our ongoing commitment to engage with our guests and provide a superior customer experience."

The Dunkin' Mobile App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or iPod touch or at  www.itunes.com/appstore  and from the Google Play Store at https://play.google.com/store. The Dunkin' Mobile App also allows guests the option of sending virtual Dunkin' Donuts Cards to friends, family and colleagues with the mGift feature. Dunkin' Donuts Cards can be mGifted three ways: via text, email or Facebook Connect.

For more:
-See this Mobile Marketing Watch story
-See this Dunkin' Donuts press release

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