Dunkin’ Donuts Enables Gifting within iMessage
As the holiday shopping season kicks into gear, Dunkin’ Donuts customers now can send gifts via Apple iMessage in iOS 10. The popular chain—and longtime mobile pioneer—is the first national coffee retailer to integrate with the updated messaging service, which enables users to access the Dunkin’ Mobile App within a chat and purchase a mobile gift card using Apple Pay. The gift is then sent via message, and the recipient can move it into her own Dunkin’ Mobile App account, where it can subsequently be used to make purchases at Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Along with the gifting function, Dunkin’ Donuts also has added branded virtual stickers that can be sent within iMessage.
The move to integrate gifting into the newly enhanced iMessage is in keeping with Dunkin’ Donuts’ tradition of being on the cutting edge of mobile payments and loyalty. The chain integrated its popular app with Apple Pay in December 2015, enabling customers to use Apple Pay to purchase, gift or reload virtual Dunkin’ Donuts Cards. That partnership followed a similar online and in-app integration with Visa Checkout earlier that year. And in 2014, the company launched a mobile order-ahead service through its app, which has been downloaded more than 16 million times since its launch in 2012.
On a larger scale, the confluence of messaging and payments/gifting is a trend many industry leaders view as a cornerstone of so-called “contextual commerce,” which was a hot topic at last week’s Money20/20. Facebook has experimented with enabling payment through its own Messenger service, including an initiative unveiled in September to enable payments within Messenger via “buy now” links presented by chat bots from e-merchants.