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McDonald’s app got a big boost from its ‘Famous Orders’ platform

The promotions led to more app users and downloads, which is helping set the company up for its future efforts.
McDonald's Famous Orders app downloads
Photograph: Shutterstock

McDonald’s “Famous Orders” platform has helped the chain generate sales growth since its debut last fall. But it could also help the company down the line, too.

Specifically, the platforms all provided a major boost to the chain’s mobile app—which could feed into its digital efforts down the line, such as with the loyalty program launched this summer.

According to the mobile data company SensorTower, the Travis Scott Meal last year helped generate an 11% increase in the number of installs of its mobile app. Daily active users, meanwhile, increased 17% for the first seven days of the campaign last September. McDonald’s spent $6.8 million on digital and social advertising for that partnership.

It spent $9 million on the J Balvin promotion, which ran in October. That one didn’t have the same number of downloads—SensorTower noted that McDonald’s app downloads were down 15% from the level of the Travis Scott promotion. But usage grew. The number of daily average users increased 23% over August 2020.

McDonald’s spent even more on the BTS Meal in late May and into June. The company spent $10 million in digital and social marketing. In the first week of that partnership, app installs soared 23% over the previous week. Daily active users rose 12%.

Use of the app was up 20% during the first week of the BTS partnership compared with the first week of the Travis Scott deal.

McDonald’s used the BTS Meal in particular to get customers on its app. The order featured some app-exclusive content and custom packaging. Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s CEO, told investors last month that the company saw “significant lifts” in Chicken McNuggets sales and “record-breaking levels of social engagement.

The app is increasingly important to the chain’s future given the way consumers are interacting with the brand these days.

“Consumers, and particularly younger consumers, increasingly are looking at the app as sort of the way that they want to be interacting with McDonald’s,” Kempczinski said.

McDonald’s launched its loyalty program over the summer, hoping that its app can keep customers coming back while giving the brand more data on customers’ restaurant use. And the chain has managed to enable that app use through the drive-thru, where it gets the vast majority of its sales.

“Different ways of accessing McDonald’s, they all have to work kind of seamlessly together on that,” Kempczinski said. “The customer is responding. The customer is excited about having a digital relationship with McDonald’s, and they see the power of what the app can do for personalizing their experience.”

McDonald’s is apparently not done with its Famous Orders, either. The chain recently launched its latest Famous Order, the Saweetie Meal with a Big Mac, 4-piece McNuggets, medium fries, medium Sprite and “Saweetie ‘n Sour” and Tangy BBQ Sauces.

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