Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, vice president, digital and loyalty marketing for Dunkin’ U.S., says this was one of the biggest feedback pain points from members.
“We think it goes a long way in offering up the flexibility for our program that we’ve been wanting to give customers,” she says. “We definitely think it’s the right next step.”
Dunkin’s digital journey has moved quickly. DD Perks took roughly five years to hit 10 million members (in 2019) and was growing at a rate of about 500,000 members per quarter before picking up speed recently.
In mid-2019, Dunkin’ shifted gears, too, focusing less on simply growing the base to actually fine-tuning it. Essentially, pushing the program more toward personalization and customization than sheer numbers.
Like many restaurant chains in the space, the previous iteration looked something like this: x amount of purchases equals y level of redemption. It didn’t matter who you were, where you shopped, or what you bought on a regular basis.
Dunkin’ evolved to become a more typical loyalty-type program, where incentives are personalized and customized based on driving more incremental traffic. That over simply shooting off coupons and hoping for a burst of business.
For example, during Dunkin’s espresso launch, the brand offered three different tiers of points to Perks members based on their current and potential usage of the product. It gave higher levels of points to customers it thought needed greater incentive to try the product. CMO Tony Weisman said at the time that Dunkin’ had a retrial rate greater than the average customer from the effort.
Yet all along, Dunkin’s single greatest barrier to broader participation in its Perks program was the construct that required pre-loading a credit card in order to participate and use on-the-go mobile ordering.
Dunkin’ first tested multi-tender participation for Perks members at California and Pennsylvania locations. The extended April pilot added stores in Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Syracuse, New York; and Springfield, Massachusetts.
Meltzer-Paul says October’s systemwide expansion is all about streamlining the process. In the past, she says, loading funds to a DD card proved successful, and helped Dunkin’ membership. “But it’s a commitment,” she says. “You have to load funds and we heard feedback from certain members that maybe they weren’t quite ready to make that commitment to load funds from day one, and they wanted to try out our loyalty program, get used to our loyalty program, without maybe having to take that additional step.”
Dunkin’ digital ecosystem has improved steadily ever since it secured a perpetual license in 2018 to the code that runs its mobile app. Doing so opened the door for flexibility and allowed Dunkin’ to get to market quicker with some of its digital initiatives.