“No one in a business has all the questions or all the answers… data is so powerful if you can democratize it.””
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In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Michael Gillespie, Chief Digital & Technology Officer at pizza giant, Domino’s. The conversation takes us from the early days of digital at Domino’s, pioneering online pizza sales right through to the most recent AI innovations the team is rolling out across Australia and beyond. Michael shares his tips for up-selling and cross-selling success, his views on the importance of democratising data and how he and his team have taken the ultimate crash course in agility thanks to Covid. And if you like cool efficiency with your pizza, listen out for the low down on robot and drone delivery.
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Questions answered in this episode include…
- What’s the key to Domino’s recent digital sales success?
- What’s your approach to using data effectively?
- How did you mobilise your team to react to Covid19?
- How close are we to robot and drone food delivery?
“No one in a business has all the questions or all the answers… data is so powerful if you can democratize it.”
While a lot of businesses around the world have suffered due to lockdowns and restrictions to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, there are those who rose to the challenges and have thrived. Domino’s is one of the few businesses that experienced an increase in sales and barely suffered any losses due to the health crisis.
In this episode of Add to Cart, Michael Gillespie, Group Chief Digital & Technology Officer takes us from the early days of digital at Domino’s to the most recent AI innovations the team is rolling out to provide a better experience for their customers.
What’s the key to Domino’s recent digital sales success?
“It wasn’t the norm to order tangible goods on the internet in those days, you know and I’ve talked about this recently to a few people, some of them did laugh at me when I was saying I was going to work at Domino’s to sell pizza on the internet.”
According to Michael, ordering pizza online has great potential to enhance the customer’s purchase experience. Domino’s has certainly found a way to provide a better platform where customers can customise their pizza. Compared to ordering over the phone, it is a lot easier for customers to choose their base and toppings, as well as variations and quantities using the online platform.
Michael says that the key is allowing customers to choose a platform that is easily accessible for them. Some prefer ordering on the website, while others use the app for their purchase. He also mentioned that for both platforms, adding good visuals is critical to helping the customers choose and boost their appetite.
The pizza giant also continues to push the boundaries of technology to enhance their customer’s experience, as well as get the data they need to improve their operations. Optimising the app and other online platforms has allowed the brand to reach larger markets. In the early days, Domino’s pioneered online pizza sales and is continuously working to create a platform that can be shared across the market. This is to provide a more flexible means for their customers to order pizza.
How the team reacted to COVID-19
Michael and his team understands how fortunate they are to continue their operations in a time of crisis. There were lessons to be learned here:
– How do we deliver results like this?
– How do we continue to connect with the community to make sure the needs are met?
Michael mentions that the key is to be as proactive as possible in implementing measures that will put the customers and the staff in the safest position. In response to the various restrictions implemented by states or countries where they operate, Domino’s rolled out new service methods to accommodate the needs of the customers.
While it was challenging to roll out such big changes to service solutions that have been working for years, the brand had to work quickly in coming up with solutions to provide a positive experience for their customers; to give them a reason to order pizza in the comfort of their homes.
Domino’s quickly integrated payment solutions. They also rolled out zero contact and car park deliveries as an additional safety measure for their staff and customers.
Domino’s approach to using data effectively
Being one of the first to sell pizza online, Domino’s has a massive collection of data that has built up over time. In the conversation, Michael noted that it is very important to make sure that the data provided by the customers is used properly. Data is often used to enhance their platforms and make the purchasing process easier for the customers. They also use this data to enhance customer experience through operational improvements.
The brand also reviews the customers’ purchase journeys to help them understand their customers and give them a more focused message moving forward. He mentioned that this data is important to help them determine what message the customers want to receive and how they want to receive it.
Michael is also a great believer in democratising data. By making data available to everyone in the business, you can all share in its power and benefit from the insights in can provide.
Domino’s up-selling and cross-selling
“There’s an experience that’s best practice for your particular business and you can take what would be industry best practice but that would be ideas, you have to validate if that’s gonna work for your customers and if that’s gonna work for your eCommerce solution.”
In growing and maintaining good online services, it is ideal to watch the space and continue to look for ways to improve Explore or look into innovations that might work for the different platforms you are using to reach your customers.
As the industry continues to change, leveraging the data sets to enhance new features, improve operations, speed up deliveries, and increase service efficiency is critical for the growth of the business.
Michael Gillespie is the Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer for Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Limited (DPE). With more than 20 years’ experience in online marketing and digital strategy, he is responsible for overseeing the Digital and Information Technology teams across DPE’s nine markets – Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Luxemburg and Denmark. Michael’s vision and leadership has helped transform Domino’s into one of the most sophisticated online and digital retailers in the world. His team is committed to constant innovation and has achieved a number of world firsts including autonomous delivery vehicles, drone delivery, virtual assistants and online ordering with augmented reality, as well as working with operations to bring innovative technology solutions like DOM Pizza Checker to life in stores.
Nathan Bush is the founder and lead strategist at eCommerce consultancy, 12HIGH. He has led eCommerce for businesses with revenue $100m+ and has been recognised as one of Australia’s Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row. You can contact Nathan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.
If you learned a lot from Michael and his team’s efforts in responding to the demands of the market during a health crisis, you might enjoy our podcast on “COVID-19’s Effect on Australian eCommerce“.
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