Why Your Pizza Brand Needs To Measure And Optimize Its Digital Brand Experience

While it may be challenging to think of your fast-casual pizza chain in these terms, the modern marketplace has forced all brands to shift towards a digital identity. This is especially true for pizza brands, because online channels help encourage more takeout and delivery orders. If your digital brand identity is lagging behind the rest of the industry, customers will jump to those competitors that are investing in reducing the amount of effort it takes to place and receive a pizza order. As your pizza brand grows, it is essential that your team measures the effort it takes for customers to visit and navigate your site, place an order, execute delivery and pickup orders in addition to the traditional parameters that influence an excellent pizza brand experience.

As the pizza industry becomes increasingly digital, it is imperative that your brand is positioned to compete online. Close to 60% of operators in the industry offer online ordering, and major brands like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have already flagged online channels as responsible for over half of their total sales.[1] Brand experience measurement programs like mystery shopping can help ensure that your digital channels are optimized to provide the correct value to customers. While traditionally thought of as a way to improve in-store experiences, Second To None has a dense history designing and analyzing programs meant specifically to monitor digital performance in the fast-casual restaurant industry. If your brand is not prepared to compete, online customers will jump to whatever brand is making it easiest to receive a pizza, regardless of the quality of the pie itself.

The first step to a great digital customer experience is ensuring that your site is optimized functionally and aesthetically across different devices. Pizza Magazine Quarterly reported that 69% of internet users have ordered food online within the past year,[2] making it essential that the path to your brand for online consumers is simple and accessible. Mobile devices are now a major source of online food orders for takeout and delivery. Opening up this channel can help increase sales, but more importantly it provides enhanced value to customers by meeting them where they already are. Measurement programs like mystery shopping can be used to ensure that customers can easily access all necessary product information, contact your team members, find a store near them and place an order within every available channel in your customer journey.

Once your site is optimized across devices, the next step is making sure that all ordering processes are aligned to provide a simple and easy experience. The common perception is that digital orders are only for delivery, but in reality, 40% of orders on Slice, an online pizza ordering app, are for pickup and takeout.[3] Your team needs to offer a consistent experience regardless of the type of pizza order that takes place. Mystery shopping can help ensure this consistency by monitoring the way each of these channels is performing, pointing out areas for concerns and areas to emulate. Sending qualified evaluators to complete online pick-up and delivery orders from different locations across your branch network can help measure how individual branches are executing your desired Customer Experience strategy. This can also help identify key drivers for change within these ordering avenues that can help improve overall customer satisfaction and retention levels as well as influencing a better consumer perception of your brand.

Ultimately, standing out in this competitive pizza marketplace requires a customer-centric approach to handling every single interaction with a customer. Implementing brand experience measurement programs to collect data on every single consumer touchpoint — in-store, online, on the phone and at their doorstep — can help your team ensure that each and every location is remaining compliant with your determined brand standards.


Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.

We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.

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