4 Reasons Why I Love Pizza Inn Kenya’s Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Digital Transformation Strategy.

This is a brilliant execution of a direct-to-consumer or DTC digital transformation strategy. What is happening here exactly? Let me explain.

During the pandemic, many restaurants and hospitality brands got caught flat-footed without their own e-commerce platforms and had to resort to working with a myriad of food delivery apps.

The caveat is that in many instances they would cede as much as 35% of their revenues to the food delivery platforms. Secondly, they got disintermediated from their own customers as the food delivery platforms had first-party data insights that they did not have access to – imagine that.

Lastly, their brands and offerings were at the mercy of the whims of the food delivery platforms where they were just one of hundreds if not thousands of restaurants jostling to be seen, found, and purchased from, just like in a proverbial supermarket.

So, in this instance, we can see how Pizza Inn is going big on DTC to turn the tide quite aggressively. The first thing is they have launched their own bespoke mobile app that’s dedicated to their brand offerings. This means they control the customer experience end to end with no third parties in between, meaning they also don’t have to pay a 35% toll charge to the food delivery platforms.

The second thing happening here is that Pizza Inn now has comprehensive first-party data on their customers. This means things like their locations, their phone numbers and email addresses, their meal preferences, etc etc.

As we move into a privacy-first digital context where consumers are concerned in Kenya thanks to the data protection act and the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner or ODPC, those brands and organizations that have consented data will be the winners as they can use this data to sell more to their customers and even better know and anticipate their preferences and behavior around their brands.

If you want to know why Amazon is so ridiculously successful in e-commerce this is the foundational reason – Amazon knows you intimately when it comes to what you like and eventually buy. Data is everything!

The last thing here is the price incentive. In order for Pizza Inn to onboard customers at scale to their mobile app they are discounting the price by Kes. 400 or almost 30%. This is almost the same amount they would have had to pay a third-party food delivery app or platform for the privilege of using them. So, in this instance, the winner is the customer and not the food delivery platforms.

So, in a nutshell, this is a DTC strategy that leverages digital transformation to reinstate the customer and brand relationship using old-school business logic whilst leveraging the current market trends and innovation that the pandemic accelerated in Kenya’s restaurant and hospitality sector!

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