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Pizza Hut expands mobile ordering application internationally

Pizza Hut is enabling mobile ordering of its European-inspired pizzas, pastas, salads and desserts via its application for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

The pizza franchise tapped mobile consultancy Green Tomato Ltd. to develop Hong Kong’s first mobile ordering application for iPhone and iPad. Customers in Hong Kong can place both delivery and takeout orders directly via this application.

“The takeaway and delivery service business in Hong Kong is getting very competitive—we need to differentiate ourselves from our competitors,” said Richard Leong, marketing director at Pizza Hut Hong Kong and Macau. “In view of the growing popularity of iPhones, we believe the timing is right for us to launch the mobile ordering service—this is a first in Hong Kong.

“Also, our innovative menu gets updated all the time, so a mobile application is an ideal solution for us to keep our customers in the loop so that they can handily have our menus and special offers in their pocket whenever and wherever they want it,” he said.

“The app is playing a crucial role in our multiple-channel strategy to help us establish a wider audience base.”

Pizza Hut expands mobile commerce initiatives
Using the application, customers can access both the combo and a la carte menus of Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut’s application for iPhone and iPad aligns with its strategy to proactively expand its customer base.

Mobile ordering on iOS devices can also effectively increase the brand loyalty among the mobile-savvy generation.

“We needed to collaborate with a leading mobile solutions provider such as Green Tomato to deliver a highly engaging iPhone and iPad app that not only understands the essence of our brand strength, but also able to deliver business growth to a critical iPhone mass,” Mr. Leong said. “Most of all, we have to deliver a superior customer ordering experience and interface.

“We also possess a sophisticated backend system to clearly build a strong database that will enable us to form a more distinct funneling system to constantly engage our iPhone and iPad users,” he said. “The target profile is upwardly mobile working executives with hectic schedules and busy lifestyles.

“Hence, this app will be able to facilitate their food delivery needs where Pizza Hut’s Hot and On-Time promise is delivered to ensure customer satisfaction.”

Besides being an ordering platform, the application is linked to Pizza Hut’s Rewarding Treats Program, so that after each order transaction, members can immediately see their updated “Rewarding Treats” points balance.

Customers also get access to mobile discounts. The application features an offers section with promotions Pizza Hut is running or joint promotions with its partners, including HSBC and Ocean Park.

“We also like to surprise our customers by presenting them complimentary dish at their check-out as a token of thanks for placing their orders through our app,” Mr. Leong said.

More membership features will be added in future versions.

Since customers have to register before ordering, the bill will be collected upon delivery instead of paying in-application.

For this initial stage, Pizza Hut will reward its early-adopter customers with 15 percent off all orders made through the application.

The free Pizza Hut application is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It requires iOS 3.1 or later.

Pizza Hut is now looking into the opportunity offered by other mobile operating systems such as Google’s Android to extend their mobile ordering channels in the near future.

In less than one week, Pizza Hut HK reached sixth place in Hong Kong’s Apple App Store and No. 1 in the Lifestyle category, based solely on word-of-mouth promotion.

“The fact that we’ve reached sixth place in Hong Kong App Store within four days since launch proves that customers find our app useful and are happy to recommend our mobile ordering service to their friends,” Mr. Leong said.

“Ultimately, we expect mobile ordering to be as important to us as online ordering,” he said. “We are also glad to be experiencing a very positive business growth in this channel already.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily