Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Case Study: Mobile coupons at McDonalds Japan

Mobile coupons at McDonald's Japan -

Contactless Coupon (Kazasu)

Tuesday July 1st, 2008.

The Launch of Contactless Coupon (Kazasu) in Tokyo, Japan.

By Peter Hanami

Video: New mobile phone coupon system at McDonalds Japan.

Recently while visiting my local McDonalds store I came across a new system being introduced called Kazasu Coupon. Kazasu is a Japanese word that means to hold over something. In this case it means to hold your RFID equipped mobile phone over a McDonalds in store reader for walk in and drive thru customers. The new service allows customers to sign up on their mobile phone and get an email newsletter on a mobile website that is full of coupons.

They select the coupon they want and then scan their phone over a reader in store which redeems their coupon and allows them to also pay for the meal using the mobile wallet system on their phone if they have signed up for it. By registering online McDonalds gets customer preferences and therefore can customize preferences based on each customer's history of previous orders. Initially the launch is for 175 select stores and then a rollout throughout the whole network of over 3800 stores nationwide.

Coupons are an important part of business as they give customers a reduced price as an incentive to buy this is increased when the product is a favourite of the customer in question. Adding value is an important marketing strategy in the fast food market as the deflationary economy is forcing companies to lower prices as consumers have seen wages drop and have become ever more cautious when spending discretionary income even on fast food which is a low cost, low involvement product.

The other feature of this system is that it allows customers to order without talking which is a big feature in many Japanese restaurants a big but understated factor in convenience. For example: Many restaurants have tickets where you pay and select as you enter allowing you to not talk the whole time in store accept to confirm your order and size of rice. Customers can also pick their order before entering the store using the online menu and coupons which saves time at the drive thru or in store and will pave way for emailing order to store so order is ready before you arrive.

1. Scan a QR code with your mobile phone

2. Send an empty email to the address given

and 3. From your mobile phone menu list from your phone provider for Kazasu Coupons (Japanese)

Speed is also an important component in fast food strategy. The quicker you can serve a customer the more customers you can serve particularly at busy periods. My local McDonalds often has over eighteen staff behind the counter at busy periods which is a very large staff but they have to manage both drive through and walk in customers and they are on the corner of a major highway leading into Tokyo that has a lot of traffic. The store is twenty four hour and is always full of customers.

The Kazasu Coupon system is all in Japanese so is aimed at Japanese customers only at the moment. But as we know Japan is an innovative test market of new ideas that often make their way overseas to other markets.

We hope this program continues to expand and add value for the customer by drawing on the convenience of technology that allows personalization, purchase history, coupons and contactless payment that is quick.

1. Complete application form

2. Pick your coupon

3. Make order to microphone using the coupon number and the quantity required

4. Then when pick up food you scan phone to redeem coupon

5. Payment

All essential ingredients in keeping Japanese customers happy. Look for this new innovation at a store new you in the near future.

Copyright belongs to respective owners, this is an informational article using photographs taken of publicly available in store sales material.

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