Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Pizza Hut goes for larger slice of mobile pie with plans for iPad, Android

Pizza Hut is expanding its mobile offerings with applications for the iPad and Android platforms and is updating its existing iPhone app at the same time.

The pizza chain claims that its ordering app for the iPhone, which was introduced in 2009, has been downloaded 3 million times. The company’s further expansion into mobile comes as it is looking to build on that success and give customers even more ways to order from it.

“We live to pride ourselves on being innovators in digital,” said Baron Concors, chief digital and information officer at Pizza Hut, Dallas. “We now have more access points than any other pizza chain.”

The flurry of mobile activity from Pizza Hut reflects the growing importance of the medium as the adoption rate for smart devices continues its rapid ascent. 

“I definitely think mobile is the primary growth channel for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Concors said.

And, contrary to the expectations of some retailers, mobile is not cannibalizing Pizza Hut’s online sales but is, instead, augmenting it.

“We see our online sales growing significantly even with the release of mobile apps,” he said.

Larger slice
The new Pizza Hut iPad app offers functionality such as GPS, so that users can find a nearby location; drag-and-drop, which enables users to easily pick which ingredients they want on their pizza and even place ingredients on half a pizza; and the ability to look at a pizza before ordering it.

In addition, Pizza Hut is updating its iPhone app with new functionality so that users can easily reorder an item that has been ordered previously. They can now also order via a guest pass, thereby eliminating the need to set up an account before ordering.

The new Android app has similar functionality.

Going forward, the company is looking to introduce an app for the Windows 7 phone later this year as well as completely redesign its mobile Web site.

Site to see
The new mobile Web site will have some of the same functionality as the apps, such as one-click reordering, the ability to look at a pizza before ordering and a guest pass.

Pizza Hut also has plans to start giving out exclusive offers to its mobile customers.

The benefits of the apps include the ability to place an order without knowing the telephone number of the location where the customer is ordering from as well as not having to rush through placing an order.

“Because I’m not on the phone with someone placing an order, we can take our time while we create the order,” Mr. Concors said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily