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Subway continues mobile ordering push via optimized site, app

Restaurant franchise Subway will be rolling out a mobile-optimized site and application this summer that lets consumers design their favorite sandwich and order meals.

The company has delved into the mobile space before with mobile coupons and mobile ads, but this is their first initiative in the mcommerce space. Subway tapped Velti to help build its mobile offerings.

"A company like Subway should most definitely be on mobile, their customers are wanting quick, real time information that has a coupon or an offer attached to an SMS, QR code or email campaign," said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta.

"They should also make sure to have a GPS function for finding locations, location details, and offers specific to each location to help aid in their customers quick lunch or fast dinner decisions," she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Subway. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Subway did not respond by press time.

Sandwich time
Subway?s mobile marketing campaign will launch in more than 24,000 Subway stores in the U.S. this summer, with global rollout planned for later in 2011 through 2012.

Velti is a leading global provider of mobile marketing and advertising technology and solutions that enable brands, advertising agencies, mobile operators and media to implement highly targeted, interactive and measurable campaigns by communicating with and engaging consumers via their mobile devices.

The company is using Velti?s mGage platform to launch transactional mobile marketing programs, which will let hungry customers order meals via their mobile devices, which they can pick up at the closest Subway restaurant to them.

Additionally, consumers can access information such as menu, nutrition and store locations via the mobile app and optimized site.

Mobile efforts
This is not the company?s first foray into mobile.

In 2008, the Subway restaurant franchisees for the Buffalo, New York, area recorded a redemption rate of 5-6 percent for mobile coupons.

More than 100 Subway restaurants in Buffalo participated in the My Subway Mobile effort and used mobile coupons to drive retail traffic with periodic coupons and last-minute special offers.

Retail media delivery services firm Modiv Media helped the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust with this program (see story).

In 2009, Subway let its customers place orders via their mobile device.

The company has partnered with GoMobo for the Subway Now program to target New Yorkers, who can text their orders to short code 466626. Diners get a text back confirming when their order will be ready (see story).

Most recently, select franchisees of fast food chain Subway are targeting hungry consumers and letting them opt-in to an SMS service that pushes offers when they approach a local store.

The company partnered with O2 More for the mobile campaign. Currently, the campaign is running in Britain (see story).

"From a menu perspective, it?s easier for a customer to click through a mobile ad campaign, go to the mobile site, and make a decision on what they want before they arrive," Ms. Troutman said.

"Not only does this speed up the lag time in front of the window for Subway as a 'buffet' style of restaurant, but it enables Subway to offer deals on each image with great pictures to pull the customer to a decision quicker," she said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York