CNN profiles the online ordering efforts of the nation’s largest pizza chains:
In the past seven years, Louisville-based Papa John’s International Inc. has made a lot of dough from online ordering — more than $1 billion to be exact.
The nation’s third-largest pizza delivery chain trumpeted the $1 billion milestone Wednesday, noting that its U.S. online sales have been growing at an average clip of more than 50 percent per year. In 2001, the chain’s online sales totaled $20.4 million. Last year, its online sales approached $400 million.
I write about it because “pizza” is the archetypal local search subject. But I also bring it up because this is very much like Circuit City or Wal-Mart’s “buy online, pick up in store” feature. It’s also like online booking for local businesses (e.g., HourTown, ZocDoc, GenBook, Booking Angel). So is this “e-commerce” or local commerce?
It’s a hybrid model that reflects the integration of the Internet with the “real world” and points the way to much more of this sort of thing in the future: online order taking with offline fulfillment.