Canadian Pizza Magazine

From the Editor’s Desk: March 2007

By Cam Wood   

Features Business and Operations Marketing

What a tangled web

When the subject was first mentioned, it seemed more than a little odd to this old-school foodie.

What a tangled web

When the subject was first mentioned, it seemed more than a little odd to this old-school foodie.

Who, really, would order a pizza online?


Doesn’t that put our favourite food right up there with discarded electronics and tarnished family trinkets flogged on eBay?

Well, as it turns out, these days if you’re not on the Internet, you’re behind in business.

While the good people that bring us the paper-based Yellow Pages might disagree, the web is now the primary source for information among Canadian consumers. Two-thirds of all Canadians surfed the Internet last year, with over 85 per cent of adults, aged 18 to 44, using the technology on a regular basis. A 2005 survey by the Canadian Internet Project found that over half of the respondents – 52 per cent – have purchased something online.

In fact, in a global comparison, Canada ranked 11th for Internet use. This year, e-commerce in Canada is expected to grow by 25 per cent to $8.3 billion in sales. Some analysts have pegged a $12.3 billion point by the end of 2008.

Now, of course, not all of that are pizza sales … not even in our wildest dreams. And sure, that’s a lot of statistics rolling around. But what the figures indicate is that the Internet is rapidly becoming an integral part of our daily routine, and a key player in our economic life.

Online ordering may not be the solution for everyone. There are numerous options available, but all still rely on having a system in the pizzeria that reacts to those electronic orders immediately. One delay in checking that e-mail, instant message, etc., and your credibility is blown. There are some good systems that will connect into your POS system, but at what cost? Suitable for the Pizza Huts, perhaps; but maybe not so viable for the Mom & Pop Pizza Shop.

The greatest tool that an independent pizzeria can use when going online is that of broadcasting their menu. By providing consumers with a complete menu, and showcasing the specials, your shop can save valuable phone time. The consumer has already seen what is offered, made their choice and picked up the phone.

In discussion surrounding how to use the Internet in the pizzeria, this was the leading suggestion. Following that was the ability to save on paper-based coupons by providing Internet customers with an electronic coupon – that they printed out and brought into the shop.

The reality is that the Internet is only going to grow as a daily part of our lives. When it comes to consumers, the ability to access immediate information – the kind of information that will help them make a buying decision – this is where you need to be ahead of your competition.•

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