Pizza Hut digital leader Baron Concors talks mobile strategy, best practices

Pizza Hut digital leader Baron Concors talks mobile strategy, best practices

To understand how mobile is impacting the retail experience one just needs to observe the cash register checkout line. No longer are shoppers grabbing magazines to peruse while waiting. They’ve got the smartphone in hand and are busy doing everything from checking messaging and social network apps to price checking one last time before the purchase transaction.

That’s why, says Baron Concors, the "focus on mobile is a focus on customer." Pizza Hut's global chief digital officer, who formerly served as CIO at Yum! Brands, believes it means retailers must turn their mindset to becoming students of human behavior.

"Humans are conditioned to pull out the phone… and now preoccupied with mobile," he said, adding the checkout line is now one of consumers having "mobile blindness."

Concors shared his insight on the state of mobile during Networld Media Group's CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit last week in Chicago. His keynote session was nearly standing room only and his presentation provided insight on mobile strategy and why Pizza Hut jumped out early with mobile technology and tools.

The main reason, he explained, is that today’s consumers want it.

"There are rapidly changing expectations, consumers want it easy, right now," he said, adding that experience is wanted from paying to dealing with customer service.

"Consumers have become conditioned to this level of service," he added, noting "there has never been an easier time to be a customer and never been a harder time to be a business."

The goal for retailers and restaurants is to become as nimble as possible and act like a start-up in regard to deploying mobile tools, he said.

"It’s about better, cheaper, faster, easier," he said, noting that consumers are also dealing with app fatigue, which for the retail segment, is a big challenge.

"Only diehard, loyalties of the brand are now downloading apps," he said.

So a good first goal is to engage with those who are using the app.

"Focus on this," he said, in a "conversational" approach. "Let your priorities be driven by data and insight. Look at the facts," he added.

During the concluding question-and-answer segment, Concors noted 50 percent of Pizza Hut’s sales are digital at this point, and 70 percent of that 50 percent are mobile device generated.

"The data shows us everything we look at is mobile and it is all we think about," he said.

In addition to engaging app users, the second focus is on attracting new app consumers and retaining them, he advised.

"You need to focus on both [mobile web and mobile app] users," he added.

For more insight shared at the CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit check out these stories:

IoT remains early stage tech in boosting customer experience

Walmart Pay doesn't need loyalty and that's ok

The simple solution for retailers: Be channel agnostic

Wal-Mart SVP: Mobile pay exceeding expectations, meeting consumers' needs

5 tidbits from the CONNECT Mobile Innovation Summit

Amazon, Great Clips share advice for developing a best-in-class mobile experience

Topics: CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, Loyalty Programs, POS, Restaurants, Retail, Trends / Statistics

Companies: Pizza Hut

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