Pizza Hut, the quick-service restaurant chain, is using digital testing to ensure that changes to its online hub make the right impression on consumers from a behavioral and attitudinal perspective alike.

Rachel Lorraine, director/strategic pricing at Pizza Hut, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event (TMRE) 2018, a conference held by KNect365.

“Today, more than half of our orders are placed online,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Pizza Hut’s deep digital tests create new recipes for success.)

“So, clearly, online is important for us. And, effectively, because so much of our business is done online, our website is basically our biggest storefront.”

Given that consumers who make purchases on the phone or in a store often browse its website first, it is clear this platform has an influence across the brand’s business. “Our website has a really, really big responsibility,” said Lorraine.

“It needs to message the right things for our brand; it needs to help us highlight our key products and what we want consumers to buy; and, of course, it needs to be easy to shop, and make it easy for customers to place their orders.”

Against this backdrop, the Plano, Texas-based enterprise deploys various forms of online testing, from user-experience research with small groups of people through to the A/B testing of different website tools and features.

Sitting between that pair of research methodologies is a virtual testing program, which typically sees 400 to 600 online customers trial a cloned version of its digital hub that is not live on the web, but precisely replicates its real-life service.

This analysis is “more behaviorally-based” and aims to ascertain how alterations to its digital site will change “their buying behavior, or how do we think it will affect their buying behavior”.

Developed with Decision Insight – a shopper intelligence and retail-strategy firm located in Kansas City, Missouri – the dummy version of enables the brand to attach some valuable metrics to potential online changes.

More specifically, it helps the brand assess what consumers see, think and do, whether the brand is considering potential pricing changes or new ways for customers to tip a delivery driver.

“This is something that helps us prioritise digital solutions … based on not just what do consumers like and what are they telling us, but projected bottom-line impact,” Lorraine said.

Sourced from WARC