January 17th, 2008

Ordering Pizza on the Phone – What’s the big deal?

We’ve been using our phones to order pizzas for years. I am old enough to remember when “pizza delivery” was a big deal, but not when ordering it on the phone was novel. I still do this the old-fashioned way with my cell phone. I use Google SMS to get the phone number. I click on the number in the text message, wait on hold for five minutes, and then spend what seems like 10 minutes providing all of the relevant information it takes to order pizza on the phone.

Pizza Hut has taken ordering pizza on a phone to the next level, and I actually DO think it’s a big deal. (see CNET article) It suits their target demographic. It’s one of categories of products and services for which consumers are willing to receive special offers on their cell phones. The article stated that 20 percent of orders are already placed online so the infrastructure was in place to extend it to mobile.

They’ve done many other things well with the execution:

  • Information about the service is on the front page of their home web site
  • They’ve given it a cool name: “Total Mobile Access”
  • They leverage their web site for account set up and maintenance
  • Education – not only do they explain the differences between using text messaging and their mobile web site, but also they walk you through the steps one by one
  • They have a partially branded short code. They have a 6 digit short code with “hut” being the last three digits. I can only assumed they explored lots of possibilities before settling with that one. “Pizza” must have been taken.

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