Domino’s Slices Into The Digital Drive

Digital Drive

Quick-service restaurants are embracing connected in-car commerce with digital technology to let commuters and other consumers place their orders on-the-go: Domino’s Pizza, in one case, is bringing in-car ordering to new vehicles this year through a pre-loaded ordering platform dubbed AnyWare. The offering will be powered by an automotive commerce platform for connected cars called Xevo Market, and it will let consumers use the touchscreen on their vehicles to place their orders.

Domino’s Director of Digital Experience Chris Roeser said in an announcement about the in-car ordering offering, “At Domino’s, we want pizza ordering to be simple and always within reach, no matter where a customer happens to be.” Roeser continued, “This new AnyWare platform will make ordering pizza easy, whether you’re in the car waiting for the kids to finish soccer practice or you’re on your way home from work.”

Through the offering, the company said that logged-in customers can save time by requesting their most recent order or “their Easy Order.” Those diners, in turn, can use Domino’s Tracker “so they know when it’s out of the oven,” according to the company. In addition, customers can use the in-car interface to find a nearby brick-and-mortar location of the pizza chain or phone in an order. The feature is said to come to “millions of cars” through the Xevo platform beginning late this year, and, as it stands, Xevo’s technology was already deployed in some 25 million vehicles worldwide per a report last September.

Xevo plans to show the in-vehicle experience in person at the Restaurant Leadership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona at the beginning of April. Xevo Chief Marketing Officer Brian Woods said in the announcement of the technology, “We’re excited to work with Domino’s, and to have them join the Xevo Market platform, which is already live in millions of vehicles on the road today.” Woods continued, “Xevo Market makes it possible for Domino’s to reach people directly in their cars, streamlining mobile ordering to help busy consumers save time.”

In-Car Commerce

According to The Digital Drive Report from PYMNTS, more than seven in ten — or 73 percent — of today’s connected commuters tap into a bevy of devices amid their commutes to make purchases. By comparison, only about two-thirds — or 66.4 percent — of commuters followed the same purchasing behavior in 2017. While connected consumers are drawn to make purchases related to the commute such as gas, they are also using the time to and from work to place orders at restaurants.

Just over 55 million commuters order food, groceries and other items for pick up in the store during their daily digital drive. And commuters ordered food to be delivered upon arrival 40.5 times per year, while they ordered food and picked up in the restaurant 42.8 times per year. This group of consumers ordered food and picked it up at a drive-through at just about the same frequency at 40.7 times per year. And, amid these trends, apps might play an essential role in commerce during digital drives for the connected consumer.

Domino’s offering comes as the report noted that apps are “key to unlocking the commuting commerce ecosystem”: Almost two-thirds of the commuters in the study — or 64 percent —  downloaded an app from a merchant to help with a purchase. And more than eight in ten “car-connected drivers” download an app for that purpose. Overall, the report noted that “consumers seemed to favor apps that allowed them to make purchases during and outside of their commutes, and they most frequently used apps to pay for food, drinks and groceries.”

Digital Innovations

Beyond turning to in-car commerce, Domino’s has introduced additional digital innovations to make it easier for consumers to order that buffalo chicken or pepperoni pizza — or drive loyalty. Last April, the company unveiled Domino’s Hotspots to let customers receive delivery orders in places that don’t have ordinary addresses such as sports fields or parks. Domino’s USA president Russell Weiner said in an announcement at the time, “We know that delivery is all about convenience, and Domino’s Hotspots are an innovation that is all about flexible delivery options for customers.”

As it stands, the company claims that a focus on innovation through technology has “helped Domino’s achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2018 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications.” And, now, building on its offerings through platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Apple Watch, the company as turning to in-car commerce through the help of digital ordering technology.