TECHNOLOGY

Fast-casual giant makes strong online move

BY Marianne Wilson

Pizza Hut has made one of its biggest acquisitions to date.

In a move that will allow it to increase its online ordering capabilities, Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, said that its U.S. business will acquire QuikOrder, an online ordering software and service provider for the restaurant industry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the pizza company called it one of its biggest acquisitions to date.

The deal will enable Pizza Hut U.S. to improve its ability to deliver an easy and personalized online ordering experience and accelerate digital innovation across its base of more than 6,000 restaurants in the U.S., the company said. In 2018, approximately half of Pizza Hut U.S. sales were processed through QuikOrder’s platform. The acquisition will include: Pizza Hut’s current digital ordering platforms, systems and services and QuikOrder’s in-restaurant technology and ancillary services, as well as its future generation products and programming.

“We’re doubling down on our commitment to digital and this deal positions Pizza Hut perfectly for the future,” said Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut U.S. “We’re also gaining access to an immensely talented group of developers and digital innovators. Together we can more quickly provide breakthrough products and convenient services to our customers that will allow for better franchise economics over the long term.”

David Gibbs, CEO of Yum! Brands, said that the acquisition gives Yum the future potential to scale QuikOrder’s technology across all its brands.

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TECHNOLOGY

Retail Tech Predictions for 2019

BY Marianne Wilson

More disruption and more innovation.

That’s the outlook for the retail tech industry as it continues to focus on the adoption of disruptive and innovative technologies, according to a new study from IDC entitled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Retail 2019 Predictions.” The technologies will drive digital transformation (DX) forward at a rapid pace.

“The future belongs to visionary leaders and forward-thinking organizations that are able to break the shackles of legacy systems and accelerate mastering digital-first strategies,” said Leslie Hand, VP, IDC Retail Insights. “The thrivers will be those that champion data-driven, experiential, and personalized approaches to experiential retail business and IT.”

IDC’s worldwide retail industry 2019 predictions are:

• By 2020, DX acceleration among the “digitally determined” will result in 20% of retail organizations advancing to stage four of DX acceleration.

• By year-end 2019, 50% of retailers will plan to implement a digital “core” platform, which will enable faster innovation, continuously utilizing insights to drive intelligent actions.

• By 2021, 30% of retailers will provide real-time contextual experiences wherein conversational search is empowering, services find customers, content supports sales, and consumers monetize their data.

• By 2020, retailers will increase track-and-trace and predictive agile execution investments by 30% to meet consumers expectation of real-time order visibility and perfect delivery performance.

• By 2022, retailers will double investments in distribution automation to meet the dramatic increase of single-item, one-click impulse and auto-replenishment ecommerce and marketplace orders.

• By 2021, 30% of retailers will provide real-time contextual experiences wherein conversational search is empowering, services find customers, content supports sales, and consumers monetize their data.

• By 2023, 25% of retailers will create more customer “promoters” by interweaving customer experience, product and service development, and assortment orchestration to grow 25% faster than their peers.

• By 2022, retailers will have increased investment in workforce technology and training by 30% to equip staff for competitive and differentiating customer experience–focused roles.

• By 2023, 40% of nonfood retailers will have capabilities to profitably mass customize new product introduction, including new “lot size of one” design, buy, make, and move skills and systems.

• By 2023, 50% of retailers will have implemented IoT in at least four digital transformation use cases, also enabling the reallocation of up to 3% of operations budget to innovation budget.

• By 2020, retailers will have raised annual spend on data privacy safeguards by 25% given heightened concerns about data privacy and regulatory requirements including the EU’s GDPR.

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TECHNOLOGY

CarMax to offer online purchasing

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest retailer of used cars is letting customers bypass having to visit a dealership to purchase or even pick up a vehicle.

CarMax is piloting an “omnichannel” buying experience in the Atlanta area, with plans to roll it out nationwide. For the first time, CarMax customers will be able to puchase a car online. The company is also launching a new express pickup option, which allows customers to do most of the process online and complete their purchase in store in as little as 30 minutes.

“The Atlanta launch is only the beginning,” said Bill Nash, CarMax president and CEO. “We plan to continuously improve the new omni-channel offering and scale nationwide. We anticipate having this new buying experience available to the majority of our customers by February 2020.”

CarMax said that customers in the Atlanta area can can now complete the entire car buying process from home — including financing, appraisal and paperwork — without visiting the store. They can also have the vehicle delivered directly to home or work and test drive before buying, with no requirement for the customer to purchase prior to having the vehicle delivered.

The company said its consultants are available to assist customers, in-person and also via phone, text or email.

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