McDonald’s plots pan-European mobile coupon app launch

McDonald’s is looking to launch a smartphone coupon app across Europe as part of a larger mobile program it is developing to enhance its reputation among younger consumers.

The app serves up mobile-only offers such as a Big Mac and medium fries for £1.99 or a free coffee with a purchase in the hopes of enticing customers to order additional items.

Deals are updated continuously depending on the time of the day, while users can also “favourite” certain foods to personalise future coupons. Offers are further targeted based on information such as the user’s birthday, their location, weather conditions and whether they are a vegetarian or not.

A restaurant locator and menu also feature alongside the nutrional value of the foods and a list of the current promotions. It acts like a digital version of the restaurant’s popular printed vouchers with the service being attuned to its marketing calendar, which includes its World Cup 2014 activity.

McDonald’s has been testing the app in recent months most notably in Amsterdam where it was downloaded a million times within its first week. Over a five-week period, 2.1 per cent of all McDonald’s customers in the city used at least one coupon, according to the app maker Tribal Worldwide Amsterdam, while 2 per cent of revenue in the period were from offers redeemed using the digital coupons. A version of the app has also been trialled in the US where the company is experimenting with a separate mobile click-and-collect service.  

The potential pan-European launch is understood to be the first major task for the region’s first digital chief Lex Bradshaw-Zanger. The former Facebook brand executive joined last month and is currently assessing what other markets the app could also be extended to moving forward. It is already available to download in Belgium.

A spokeswoman for McDonald’s Europe says: “A few countries are using apps like these but it’s not something we plan to roll out across all of Europe at the moment.”

McDonald’s is playing catch-up to brands such as Starbucks and Domino’s in the mobile space. The company admitted as such to investors in its full-year earnings before outlining a marketing strategy to build on strong 2013 sales in Europe as well as kickstart its struggling US, Japanese and German markets.  

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