Pizza app wars: Domino's and Pizza Hut go toe to toe

Mobile applications and online ordering driving big sales for pizza makers

Pizza Hut will release a 3G mobile ordering application this month following the success of its iPhone app.

Released last month, the iPhone app has attracted 70,000 downloads within 30 days.

It uses location based augmented reality and GPS technology to direct users to the nearest Pizza Hut store and make orders.

“The cutting edge augmented reality function and the easy-to-order functionality of the app has generated fantastic interest and great reviews – it has tracked well above our expectations,” Pizza Hut marketing director, Valerie Kubizniak, said in a statement.

The app uses the smartphone’s in-built camera and GPS technology to tag the names of places the camera is pointed at, “highlighting the direction and distance” of nearby Pizza Hut locations.

Pizza Hut’s success follows that of fierce rival, Domino’s Pizza, which last November launched an iPhone app that allows users to make and track the status of orders. The app also provides a list of the closest Domino’s Pizza locations and allows users to make customised orders.

Domino’s Pizza Online Marketing Manger, Michael Gillespie said the uptake rate of the app was “phenomenal”.

“At the moment we’re sitting at over 270,000 downloads . . . and in the first 8 weeks of the app going out, we broke a $1 million in sales on just the iPhone [sales] . . . which we were incredibly impressed with to see such a fast uptake on that,” Gillespie said.

The Domino’s Pizza app reached the number 1 position on the list of top Free Applications in iTunes within 5 days of its launch.

Gillespie said the sales and uptake results far-exceeded the company’s expectations but cannot be compared with its online order sales – the other arm of the digital side of the business.

“We launched [online ordering] four years ago, you can’t really compare the take up... the iPhone has grown at a much faster rate in regards to reaching benchmark levels of revenue but when we launched online ordering, it did take us a little while to get other stores on board,” he said.

“But when the iPhone online store was launched, it [online ordering] was very mature at that stage . . . people were already used to using iPhones . . . so you can’t compare them.”

Domino’s Pizza reached over $2 million in sales through the app within 3 months of its release. The company has also launched a Facebook fundraising event to help support Mission Australia’s HUSH for Homelessness 2010 campaign by donating 50 cents for every new fan that joins its Facebook page.

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