News Feature | January 8, 2015

Krispy Kreme Tries To Snare Customers With Loyalty Program

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Krispy Kreme Appoints New CEO

Sales jump as Krispy Kreme ramps up its mobile strategy to reward loyal customers with donuts.

Krispy Kreme unveiled its new loyalty app earlier this month, which offers rewards points for each purchase made that are redeemable for free products at its brick-and-mortar restaurants. The app also has a payment platform feature that allows customers to upload their credit card information to make quick payments at select locations in the test markets of Richmond, Nashville, and the greater Detroit and Grand Rapids areas.

“The new My Krispy Kreme Treats App is designed as a complement to our existing guest engagement offerings,” Dwayne Chambers, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer for Krispy Kreme said in a company statement.

“The My Krispy Kreme Treats App not only provides our retail guests faster and more convenient service at checkout, it also enhances our connection with our most loyal fans as we celebrate them with personalized surprises and delights throughout the year, and easy-to-earn reward points redeemable for their favorite Krispy Kreme products at their convenience.”

“While it is definitely too early in the test to make any significant predictions, if the performance and engagement rates of our existing Friends of Krispy Kreme e-club and Hot Light App are any indication of the loyalty app success, we expect to see a very positive response to the rollout of the new My Krispy Kreme Treats loyalty app,” Lafeea Watson, manager of public relations and media relations at Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, told Mobile Commerce Daily.

“Specifically, we think consumers we expect to see positive engagement with the stored value and rewards program functionality of the app.”

Chambers explained, “The brand currently has a 900,000-member Friends of Krispy Kreme e-club, and its Hot Light App has had over 100,000 downloads since its launch.”

According to QSR Web, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ Q3 results saw a 3.7-percent jump in domestic same-store sales and a 4.6-percent increase in store count. Krispy Kreme now has 925 company and franchise stores across the globe.

During the company's earnings call, CEO Tony Thompson said customer traffic rose 5.7 percent at company shops, compared to 0.8 percent in Q2. This improvement was driven by "deliberate and strategic" promotions and higher marketing spend.

Krispy Kreme also announced on the call that it is increasing its technology investments to "directly engage with retail and wholesale consumers and to improve our analytical capabilities," Thompson said.

"The other big opportunity on the technology front is enhancing our business intelligence capabilities, specifically gathering more precise and timely data to drive immediate action. Those initiatives which are in the early stages of implementation should support better decision making and improved forecast capability," Thompson said. "These initiatives are a big opportunity for us."

The My Krispy Kreme Treats App is available for free download in Apple’s iTunes and Google Play Market.