Pizza Hut + Shoes = Better Mobile Sales?

March 7, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

It may sound like the mathematics of the truly insane, but Pizza Hut has a plan to improve its mobile sales with the help of sneakers powered by Bluetooth. Dubbed “Pie Tops,” the shoes in question will be a limited edition that offers a means to order pizza that’s so shockingly simple most anyone can pull it off: just press the shoe’s tongue.

Part of a promotion that’s connected to the NCAA’s annual March Madness tournament, Pizza Hut’s Pie Tops will link directly to a mobile app that contains users’ order preferences. Pressing a button contained in the shoe’s tongue will set up a Bluetooth connection to a mobile device, activate that favorite order, and make it ready for pickup.

Only 64 users will receive a pair of the Pie Tops—just how one gets a pair is unclear—and a “handful” of the devices will be later released to the public if there’s any interest, which there likely will be at least among collectors if nothing else.

Some, like Business Insider, are dismissive of the notion that “pizza shoes” could become a thing, but we actually know better. BI actually makes a great point that says Pizza Hut’s mobile business is on the rise, with about 70 percent of online sales coming from mobile. In general, about half its takeout and delivery orders come from digital channels, and offering more digital channels in general is a good path to keeping those overall order numbers high.

What BI doesn’t note, however, is recent news we caught a while back, about how Visa and IBM were working on a shoe-based mobile payments system. If Pizza Hut can make a shoe-based ordering system to match, it becomes possible that a simple, one-touch mechanism could both order and pay for dinner. While that may not necessarily be built into a shoe, it certainly could be, and it could even be a fashion statement of sorts.

Pizza Hut’s Pie Tops have an unexpected synergy with other market developments, and this could be the start of something particularly noteworthy in the field. Only time will tell how noteworthy, but our fancy dinner shoes of the future could not only look good, but order and pay for a meal as well.