McDonalds Trials First US App in Philadelphia

McDonaldsFast food fans in the City of Brotherly Love are the among the first to get a chance to download McDonalds US app onto their smartphones, ahead of a planned national rollout later this year.

According to Mobile Commerce Daily, the company is promoting the new app by providing consumers with complimentary items from the menu for each download, in the hope of establishing a wide user base.

The app, which is powered by mobile engagement platform Mowingo, will enable users to receive and claim mobile coupons for the fast food brand, as well as providing the company with a valuable additional channel to consumers.

“Mowingo and its customers have experimented various offers, in different markets,” said Danial Dreymann, CEO and co-founder of Mowingo. “When consumers perceive the welcome offer to be lame many of them arent motivated enough to give the app a chance.

“On the other hand, if the welcome offer is ridiculously attractive, you get a stampede of customers with no affinity for the brand, who just want to take advantage of the welcome offer. We have found empirically that a free sandwich hits the sweet spots: lots of downloads, converting to happy repeat users.”

McDonalds has been notably slow in rolling out an app to the US market while competitors like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have raced ahead, embracing not just coupons for smartphones but mobile ordering and various other innovations.

By providing incentives to consumers to download the app, the company is clearly aiming to make up for lost time in terms of downloads, but time will tell if that translates to loyal users and high engagement.