Domino's tests brilliant one-click buy for the physical world

Domino's has proved itself adept at mastering sales via online, mobile and social media

supreme pizza
Credit: Scott Bauer, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pizza chain Domino's is testing an e-commerce tool that is so obvious it could be brilliant. It's a big, physical button that you press to instantly order a Domino's pizza delivery. It's so simple that it may just have an oversized impact on purchases.

Although the button has several limitations and is for now only an experiment offered in the U.K., it does demonstrate Domino's mastery of pizza sales via online, mobile and social media.

Domino's has never been about the pizza; it's about convenience and speed. In the '80s, the convenience meant that a hot pizza was just a phone call away. That remains true 30 years on, but the chain has not been slow to add other ordering options. If a consumer has chosen to go for a convenience fast-food pizza, Domino's wants to make its pizza the easiest to get.

Some limitations of this new trial are similar to those with Domino's social media purchasing efforts. The customer must have previously created a Domino's profile, the order placed can only be identical to the default order on file within that profile, the order must be delivered to the default address on file, and it must be paid for with the default payment method. When Domino's rolled out its social purchase program, a company executive said that situation — "two orders in a row that are exactly the same" — accounts for fewer than 10% of all Domino's orders.

The physical button has other limitations as well. The white plastic button, manufactured by Flic, sits in the middle of a piece of gravel-colored Styrofoam that is shaped like a pizza slice and sits in a cardboard box that looks like a miniature pizza box. The system needs to be set up initially online, but once that is done, you can place an order with a button push. It works via pairing with the Domino's app via Bluetooth. That means your phone has to be nearby and turned on, and Bluetooth has to be enabled (a security no-no), with an active connection.

Given all that, you could say that you might as well place the order using the phone. But the Easy Order Button is truly faster than finding the Domino's app, launching it, getting to the area where a quick order can be placed and then placing it. And, more to the point, it's faster than calling a competitor.

The problem is that it won't work for a different order or if your payment type or anything else changes. But by psychologically associating "easy order" with Domino's, it will get consumers more comfortable making a wide range of Domino's purchases.

Domino's is showing that it gets social media just and what motivates consumers who want fast-food pizza. The Domino's pizza-ordering button just might be brilliant — although the company possibly should worry that its customers will discover that the Styrofoam slice is actually tastier than the pizza itself.

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