Grab Extra Napkins: Domino’s Digital Strategy Is a Hot Mess

The digital pizza wars rage on, with new technology initiatives rolling out continuously from the big players in the franchise pie space in an attempt to make ordering pizza as easy, for instance, as simply opening a mobile application, chatting with a friend on Facebook or even just blithely shouting your order into the airspace of your living room.

While Domino’s lags in revenue behind Pizza Hut — to the tune of around $11 billion – the scrappy company currently dominates the landscape of app and bot-driven impulse munchy procurement. But, like many other fast-moving, customer-obsessed companies in competitive markets today, it seems the frantic search for an edge-up has led to some serious holes in Domino’s digital strategy. First of all, the aforementioned “zero-click” ordering app, besides being prone to the amazingly-21st-century syndrome of “ordering a pizza with your butt”, also turns out to have been eminently hackable.

These issues, of course, open Domino’s up to some significant risk of loss in the form of unpaid orders, but there’s another poorly-designed element of the company’s digital strategy that is potentially costing it hundreds of times more in lost revenue. This issue is familiar to anyone who’s ever used an online channel to quickly get their hands on something they crave, only to be stopped in their tracks when this “ultra-convenient” tech makes them jump through hoops to establish an account.

Here at Gigya, we’ve seen again and again that, even in the case of highly innovation-driven business models like Domino’s, registration, login, profile management and checkout workflows are often the most broken part of the entire technology stack. Ironic, as these flows are literally the first impression many consumers have of a brand. Assuming you start at the beginning, by visiting Dominos.com and clicking on the button to create a “Pizza Profile”, here’s what you’ll see:

Pizza Profile

Remember, this is before you enter your address and payment information. Want to order with your mobile phone? Better have your reading glasses on:

Pizza Profile Mobile

Speaking of which, the ordering process on the mobile app (browsing coupons and menus and building pies) gets generally high marks for usability, but the checkout process is a disaster, according to BadForms.com. We’re not sure if there is an internal IT team at Domino’s building these wonky flows, but given the overall elegance of the app — apparently designed by Detroit Labs — this seems likely.

This type of siloed strategy is still all too common. The reason? In many cases, IT leaders (of yore) are reluctant to let go of the reins on processes that they traditionally owned, such as user onboarding. If IT’s model for registering a new customer is roughly equivalent to provisioning an employee, this kind of awkward experience is the result.

It’s rather mind-blowing to us, for instance, that a business as socially-driven as Domino’s Pizza doesn’t offer customers the option of registering with their social network credentials, a function called Social Login. Adding this simple and increasingly popular option would reduce friction in the registration process and open up new channels for contextual marketing and advertising based on users’ social data. Done right, this could also allow Domino’s customers themselves to essentially become advertising channels, by liking, sharing and commenting on the brand to their networks.

Even Little Caesars Pizza, who once touted their sparse web presence as a selling point, has some skin in the social game. While nobody would describe Domino’s digital efforts as a failure, there is clearly a big opportunity to take their customer experience from “good” to “great”. It won’t happen in 30 minutes or less, but by lightening the front-end experience and encouraging more engagement and loyalty, Domino’s stands to gain some serious ground on their rivals.

By David Kerin