Twenty years ago, Pizza Hut sold the first pizza, the first physical item, over the internet when it launched "PizzaNet," Pizza Hut's digital ordering hub in 1994. What was that first ever online order? A large pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese pizza.
Today, mobile orders are its fastest growing business.
To celebrate the annivesary and further grow mobile, Pizza Hut (NYSE: YUM) has resurrected PizzaNet and is giving customers 50 percent off any medium or large pizza ordered online through Jan. 10. "We want to celebrate the fact that before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza," said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut.
The technology used to make online ordering a reality on PizzaNet evolved into a more current-generation Web-ordering experience that launched for a handful of restaurants in 2001. That led the way for nationwide online ordering at PizzaHut.com as online sales topped $1 billion by 2008.
Pizza Hut scored another first with mobile, launching a category-first ordering app for the iPhone in 2009 that allowed users to swipe and build their own pies topping by topping. Apps for Android smartphones and the iPad, as well as a revamped mobile web ordering experience, soon followed.
Digital orders at Pizza Hut have increased 100 percent since 2009. Mobile ordering, the fastest growing division within digital at Pizza Hut, has grown by 4,000 percent in the last three years. In 2013, Pizza Hut surpassed $6 billion in all-time digital sales.
"Our focus on digital, from 1994 to today and into the future, is about creatively engaging with our customers in ways that fit their evolving lifestyles," said Rohit Kapoor, chief information officer at Pizza Hut. "We knew we were on to something 20 years ago with PizzaNet, and we haven't stopped innovating since the day that first order was placed. We feel 2014 will be a banner year for Pizza Hut on the digital front."
For more see:
-This Pizza Hut press release
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