Dunkin' Donuts adds voice-enabled orders with Alexa skill
- Dunkin' Donuts, the breakfast chain with 12,600 locations worldwide, added mobile ordering to Alexa, Amazon’s voice-enabled digital assistant. Members of Dunkin's DD Perks Rewards program can order drinks and food on Alexa-powered devices like the Echo smart speaker for pickup in stores, according to a statement.
- Guests can link together their DD Perks and Amazon accounts in the Alexa app. All ordering and payments are handled on the Dunkin' Donuts mobile platform.
- To place an order, customers say, "Alexa, order from Dunkin' Donuts." Guests are then asked which Dunkin' Donuts location to send the order to, and the time they want their orders to be ready for pickup. Guests can also order from their saved "favorites" with the Dunkin' Mobile App.
Dunkin' Donuts has been very active in extending its service through various mobile platforms to reach on-the-go customers and develop loyalty with its DD Perks app, with its Alexa integration just the latest example. Voice commerce via smart-home devices is gaining momentum, with 26% of the owners of smart speakers reporting that they have made a purchase by voice, according to a report by trade publication Voicebot.ai and voice platform developer Voysis. Forecasts for the growth in voice shopping still vary, though. Consulting company Capgemini predicted that 40% of consumers will use a voice assistant as an alternative to a mobile app or website within three years, while a study by Episerver said very few consumers now use the devices to make purchases.
The news shows how Amazon's Alexa continues to attract major brands even as Google Assistant and complementary Home devices continue to gain steam. Amazon's share of smart speaker shipments fell to 41% in Q2 from 76% a year ago while Google Home's share grew to 28% from 16%.
Dunkin' Donuts has followed a blueprint for growth that includes updating the brand and expanding the number of stores, particularly ones with mobile-only drive-thru service and more packaged goods. In February, the company announced it would add 50 "NextGen" restaurants by the end of 2019 with drive-thru lanes, beverage bars and grab-and-go snacks. The company also has a spot on the GM Marketplace that lets drivers order food and beverages as they travel.
As part of its effort to reach mobile customers, Dunkin' Brands last month announced a multi-year deal with mobile wallet provider CardFree for a perpetual license to the software for building and operating the breakfast chain's mobile ordering and payment platform in the U.S. The deal with CardFree gives Dunkin' Brands greater control over the technology that handles mobile payments and ordering on its mobile app. Dunkin' last month reported Q2 2018 profits that missed estimates, but its revenue beat analyst forecasts. The company is growing its customer base, as reflected in the multiyear high in consumer purchase intent data tracked by LikeFolio.