8 February 2018
Domino’s Pizza recently taught me something about what customers want.
Last year, Domino’s added a functionality to their mobile app that informs customers of the current status of their order. It looks like this:
The app currently has a 4.8/5.0 rating (over 1 million ratings) on Apple’s app store. It would appear that people are happy with it.
I was trying to put my finger on exactly why this tracking element matters, and this article sums it up well:
“One reason the Domino’s app works so well is it opens up a process of their business that used to be closed. Before you’d wait at home hungry, wondering when food might arrive. Now you might at least have some satisfaction knowing it’s being made or on the way. It’s transparent. We know what’s going on. It establishes trust.”
Does anyone really need to know exactly where there pizza is? It doesn’t speed up the process or give you any more control than you had before. Yet it’s reassuring to see that progress is being made. It removes uncertainty (or, at least, the perception of uncertainty–the app may not be 100% accurate).
What does this mean for other companies and entrepreneurs?
Domino’s isn’t the first company to do this. Parcel delivery services have offered tracking numbers for years, and both Uber and Postmates are built largely on the idea that you can see the exact location of the vehicle.
I think the key is to identify areas where customers feel helplessly uninformed…and inform them. This is a relatively easy way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
What does this mean for Kickstarter creators?
There are a number of potential applications for creators. Here are 3:
- Regularly post project updates featuring progress bars.
- Share the ocean freight vessel numbers with backers and link to marinetraffic.com or vesselfinder.com.
- Make sure that your fulfillment company uses tracking numbers (and that they actually send those numbers to customers when the products depart from their facility).
What does this mean for tabletop game publishers?
One method I’ve used for a few years now is to feature a comprehensive status bar list for all in-progress products in our monthly e-newsletter (it’s also always available here). I use InDesign to make it. I’ve heard from our fans and followers that they really like being able to see the status of these products (even though it’s sometimes frustrating if a product they’re excited about isn’t moving along faster). Fantasy Flight has something similar.
I also keep retailers informed about the status of products in a private monthly e-newsletter. Customers order the vast majority of products through retailers, so it’s really important for those retailers to have accurate timelines.
How do tracking apps and status updates impact your views of a company? Can you think of some examples I’m missing here?
This series features innovative strategies from non-Kickstarter, non-tabletop game businesses as they might apply to creators and entrepreneurs.