April 28, 2014, 10:30 AM

Pizza Hut bakes up a new web site

After a year of work, the quick-service food chain today debuts its revamped e-commerce site, which features a new pizza builder tool and displays personalized content.

Lead Photo

A screenshot of the new PizzaHut.com

Pizza Hut Inc. is makin’ it digital.

After a year of design and testing work, the Italian fast-food chain last week launched an updated web site. It features a new pizza builder tool, which allows customers to construct a custom pie over a realistic image of crust and base, as viewed from above; when a customer selects ingredients—perhaps ham and jalapenos—the toppings appear on the pie. A “special requests” option allows her to enter a note about the order, too, such as to not slice the pizza.

Once a customer has finished designing her pizza, PizzaHut.com asks if she would like any additional sides with the meal. A popup near the top of the site promotes the deal of the day, which can also be found in the “deals” tab that lists special order offers. On the upper-right side, a shopping cart icon reflects the running tab for the order, which updates as a customer adds toppings and side dishes.

In addition to the custom pizza-building tool, Pizza Hut added an express reordering feature to its web site and technology for dynamically displaying personalized content to consumers based on their behaviors and preferences, says chief digital officer Baron Concors. The restaurant also deployed a new content management system that enables faster updates to the web site’s content, such as the messaging, products or pricing information that appears, he says.

Pizza Hut revamped its site with a combination of in-house work and external development by its e-commerce technology providers, which Concors declines to name. It also hired usability experts “to ensure the site was easy, fast and contemporary,” he says.

The quick-service food chain surpassed $1 billion in digital sales in early 2014, with half of that coming from mobile, Concors says. “The rapid adoption of technology by our consumers has resulted in e-commerce growing rapidly month over month,” he says, without giving specific figures. The new PizzaHut.com follows the chain’s release a few months ago of a new mobile site, which he says so far has been “very successful.” Compared to the old web site, the new version, which Pizza Hut tested with consumers before launching, has been generating higher conversion rates and average order values.

E-commerce is a priority for Pizza Hut globally, Concors says. “Our customers want the easiest way to order, and that’s through digital, so we must continually enhance our digital experiences,” he says.

Pizza Hut will promote the site through a variety of media, including via Facebook, where it has more than 31 million fans globally, he says.

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