While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
Pizza Hut is generating delicious results from its investments in mobile commerce. Sales through its mobile commerce site and apps have grown 4,000% in the last three years, the company says.
Mobile devices don’t discriminate between veggie lovers and meat lovers, and more fans of both varieties of pizza are turning to smartphones and tablets to order their next pie from Pizza Hut.
This year, approximately 50% of all digital orders for Pizza Hut came through smartphones and tablets, with the greatest growth coming via the Pizza Hut mobile site, not the chain’s mobile apps. Sales through Pizza Hut via mobile devices have grown 4,000% in last three years, says Rohit Kapoor, chief information officer for Pizza Hut. Kapoor says Pizza Hut invests between 15% and 20% of its total e-commerce budget in mobile initiatives.
Today smartphone, tablet and desktop orders account for a significant amount of Pizza Hut’s orders. Nearly one-third of U.S. orders are placed via the desktop site and the mobile site and apps.
"Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with purchasing products via their mobile phone, and we've seen that across our system," says Kurt Kane, chief marketing officer for Pizza Hut. "It's only going to continue to increase, just as the more traditional ordering by desktop computer continued to grow in the late 2000s."
Kapoor says he sees mobile’s contribution to Pizza Hut’s sales doubling in coming years.
Pizza Hut mobile ordering apps are available on 95% of smartphones, including devices running Google Inc.’s Android, Apple Inc.’s iOS and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone mobile operating systems, the company says.
"We recognized early on that our consumers were spending more and more of their time online, so we moved quickly to be there with them," says CEO Scott Bergren. "As they moved toward mobile versus the home computer, we were there to greet them.”
The chain’s apps extend beyond the smartphone, too. In April 2013 Pizza Hut launched a commerce-enabled app that works with Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console. The Pizza Hut for Xbox 360 app features high-definition graphics, voice commands and hand-motion recognition through Xbox Kinect, a motion-sensing feature in the gaming console.
Pizza Hut also has a strong social media following with more than 10.9 million U.S. Facebook fans and more than 640,000 U.S. Twitter followers.