Nearly twenty years ago, a Pizza Hut pizza marked the first online purchase as the Internet boom began, according to the brand. Now, the national pizza chain is keeping step with innovation by rolling out an improved mobile ordering app and refreshing its mobile website.
Launched in 2009, Pizza Hut’s mobile app was the first of its kind for the pizza segment, bringing the brand’s signature online ordering experience to consumers’ fingertips. “It was clear early on that we needed to be in the mobile ordering space,” says Caroline Masullo, Pizza Hut’s director of digital experience, in an e-mail. “We didn’t know at first if it was more important for it to be an ordering platform or a ‘brochure-type’ application. We netted out with ordering and are glad we did.”
With only a handful of mobile commerce apps available for iOS platforms as the brand began experimenting, Masullo says there was little to learn from. “We were able to overcome these challenges by focusing on building a technology foundation upon which we could continually build to meet the growing consumer demand for a full-featured mobile ordering experience,” she says.
That foundation has served Pizza Hut well, as mobile sales contribute nicely to the bottom line, and Masullo says they’ve grown by 4,000 percent in the last three years.
Improvements to the mobile app will likely contribute to that growth. For the 30 percent of customers that rely on mobile ordering with Pizza Hut, they can expect an enhanced experience with a simplified ordering flow that is GPS-enabled and based on best-practice mobile navigation and user experience. Also new to the app are an inbox and application badges for delivering deal messages to users. Customers can also see Pizza Hut’s latest menu additions without downloading updates.
The company is developing a reordering feature to launch in the near future that will allow users to place an order in ten seconds, according to the brand. They also hope to add push notifications that will notify app users when their delivery order is on its way.
“We believe we are offering the best mobile pizza ordering experience there is right now, be it through Apps or our mobile site,” Masullo says. “We’re thrilled about the updates we’ve made to the experience and have a pipeline of new features we expect to add in the near future.”
By Tamara Omazic