Papa John's Doesn't Know Its iPhone Apps From Its Elbow
Apple, after all, just celebrated the 1 billionth download from its App Store, and the apps themselves -- now more than 35,000 in total -- are usually the subject of gushing enthusiasm. McDonnell, marketing manager, emerging channels, for Papa John's, explained during an OMMA panel Wednesday that the company's iPhone app had not performed as well as mobile display advertising in driving business to its outlets.
But it turns out that when he referred to Papa John's "iPhone app," he actually meant its iPhone-enabled mobile site (mobile.papajohns.com), which includes a store locator and a shortcut to the main ordering menu. Papa John's doesn't offer an app through the App Store. The limitations of the site could be one reason why they have not seen better results from the iPhone.
Lilly Gold, founder of New York-based Intuwin, which specializes in developing iPhone and other apps, rattled off a number of additional features that Papa John's could offer through an iPhone app such as coupon delivery, information on specials, payment systems and options for ordering "favorites."
"Ordering manually via an iPhone-enabled site is one method -- a very slow one--iPhone users come to expect much more," she said.
Following up on his remarks on the OMMA panel, McDonnell was quoted in ReadWriteWeb Thursday as saying that Papa John's had driven $1 million in revenue from its iPhone-enabled site. Not exactly chump change. But he said the company had no plans to launch an actual iPhone app because the company is still "dipping their toe in the pond."
When Papa John's is ready to plunge into the App Store, Intuwin and other developers will surely be standing by, ready to help.