Dunkin' Donuts is the coffee chain of choice for many, and now the part of that demographic that is strapped enough for time that being able to order their coffee for pickup while navigating to work have that option, thanks to Waze. The app already has partnerships with a long list of businesses through advertising, including Dunkin' Donuts, and is just now beginning to leverage those relationships to bring real value to consumers. During this test, Waze users will be able to order Dunkin' Donuts fare from within the Waze app, a feat that previously required firing up Dunkin' Donuts' own app. Should this test go well, similar options for other retailers will crop up in the near future.
The move for Waze integration was apparently a logical one for Dunkin', with their chief digital officer, Scott Hudler, saying that Waze, like Dunkin' Donuts themselves, has a userbase built upon ritual. The partnership for ordering does not net Waze any commission on orders; instead, Dunkin' Donuts has agreed to spend an unspecified additional amount on in-app advertising, leaving bleary-eyed Waze users on their morning commute staring at a far larger number of ads for Dunkin' Donuts, and hopefully leaving them that much more inclined to tap one of those ads, place an order, and pick it up on their way to work.
Since this test could end up expanding into an integral part of how Waze works and help to set it apart from other transit apps, it's only natural to imagine that the stakes are somewhat high. Should this test be a flop, Waze will remain largely as it is; ad-driven, with only a fledgling carpool option, also in testing, set to pull in any additional revenue. If this pilot with Dunkin' Donuts meets its goals, however, enough partners coming on board could mean that Waze will become the de facto transport app because of its large feature set. It already has celebrity voices and alternate route suggestions; sweetening the deal with the ability to order things like groceries, coffee, or even other merchandise from a wide variety of retailers is unlikely to have a downside.