Press Alt+P for pizza

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: What technology would you like to see more of?

A: I expect technology to make my life more convenient, and I find that Amazon’s 1-Click Ordering option does just that—by clicking a single button, my order is placed, payment is tendered, and the product arrives the next day on my doorstep. Unfortunately, this one-click technology has not yet spread to the pizza industry, or many other industries for that matter. I realize that Amazon holds the U.S. patent for 1-click technology (although I find it hard to imagine why such a patent would be granted), but surely “2-click technology” is still available.
The top pizza chains I use still require me to create an account and sign in before building my pizza and entering my payment information—a process that seems to take five to six minutes each time. Surely, my pizzerias should know by now which size and type of pizza I always order and be able to provide me a one-click option for placing that order, but to my dismay, they don’t.

The concept of one-click shopping is not new. Eighteen years ago, I encouraged a friend working for a national restaurant chain to develop and implement a desktop icon that would allow people to order lunch deliveries with a single click of a button, but he said that he just didn’t see the opportunity. Too bad, because by now I would have likely ordered at least an additional 1,000 chicken sandwiches from that chain.

Because most retailers already support online shopping, it seems that it would be a simple matter of memorizing a customer’s last order and credit card information to make placing the next identical order an Alt+P proposition (or some other two-button or multikey combination). I am guessing that the people who make these types of decisions are either myopic in their thinking, or perhaps they simply have not pondered the possibility. I noticed that California Pizza Kitchen’s web store allows me to recall a previous order (which saves time), and Canada-based Nomorerack.com offers a Buy Now button, followed by a Checkout button. I hope that this musing will inspire other companies to add some version of rapid reordering to their websites, and if their product happens to include pepperoni, I am so there.

J. Carlton Collins ( carlton@asaresearch.com ) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

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