Last weekend, on a whim, I jumped on Domino’s Pizza’s website to order a pizza. I was after convenience and I got it: it was easy to order and pay. But more interestingly, I wasn’t cast aside immediately after my money had digitally changed hands.
There was a time-elapse wheel that kept me updated on what stage my pizza was at: order submission, preparation, cooking and delivery. I then sat fascinated as I watched, via GPS tracking, my delivery driver make his way to my house. I was given his name and photo, and when his progress stalled (presumably at a red light) a little poll appeared asking me to speculate why he had stopped – had he seen Hugh Jackman? Was he pondering a new combination of pizza toppings? I’m not sure if I would follow my pizza’s progress as closely next time, but that’s beside the point. I was impressed. I valued the transparency and the involvement.
Domino’s seems seriously committed to leveraging technology to advance its business. It went live with online ordering way back in 2005. Last year it introduced Pizza Mogul, which allows people to customise pizzas, market their creations via social media and take a cut of the profit when the creations sell (some bloke made $50 000 in fourth months using this process!). Earlier this year it shaved the online ordering process down to four clicks with a ‘Quick Ordering’ option and at the start of July it launched the GPS tracking.
When listing the business’ four big pillars in an interview with Business News Australia, CEO Don Meij mentioned technology first. Product, store and image followed. That’s big. How many food industry CEOs would cite technology ahead of product?
This focus on innovation has allowed the business to flourish despite having a product that most would not consider a market leader in taste. Domino’s can afford for its product to sit at an average, “good enough” standard because it’s secondary. When I ordered Domino’s on the weekend, I, like many others, prioritised ease and a customer-friendly experience ahead of a pizza that would uphold the finest gourmet traditions. We don’t want to go anywhere or pick up the phone and speak to someone; we want to click a few buttons and be done. Domino’s is constantly improving on that offer in ways that far outstrip its competitors. It’s also inventing ways for customers to digitally engage with its brand, like the Pizza Mogul program.
This strategy is succeeding. Domino’s accounts for 43 per cent of the pizza market, ahead of Pizza Hut (23 per cent), Crust Pizza (21 per cent) and Eagle Boys Pizza (12 per cent). Maybe Pizza Hut can stop piss farting around introducing excessive, niche products like the Four n’ Twenty meat pie stuffed crust pizza and get tech-savvy.