According to new research from PriceGrabber, 39 percent of consumers are planning to shop online for Cyber Monday.
Pizza Hut is hoping to take advantage of the influx of web shoppers by offering a Cyber Monday promotion of 20-percent off any PizzaHut.com order. An exclusive link to the deal will be available for those following the brand on Facebook, Twitter or email subscription.
The discount is good for any item on the menu and comes on the heels of the Big Dinner Box (two medium 1-topping pizzas, eight wings and five breadsticks for $19.99) launch.
The idea behind the Cyber Monday promotion is to introduce more people to Pizza Hut's online component, according to Tressie Lieberman, senior manager of digital marketing.
"We want more and more consumers going online, where they can control their own experience. This one day deal is a way to drive people to try it who maybe haven't tried to order online before," she said. "We hope they have a great experience and they'll then come back time and time again."
The Cyber Monday offer is the chain's biggest discount promotion to date. It will be introduced via Facebook, Twitter and email subscribers on Sunday, Nov. 27.
Lieberman said it wasn't a difficult decision for the company to offer such a deep discount for one day to accomplish its goal of generating more online interest.
"The world is changing and online is now such a core part of the business. There is a need to invest there. It's important to surprise and delight our social community and make them happy to be a part of it," she said. "There are going to be so many people online already, we just want them to order food online also."
Pizza Hut doesn't disclose how much of their business comes from online ordering. Close competitor Domino's Pizza has estimated its online-based orders to be nearing 30 percent.
In addition to engaging new and existing online customers, the Cyber Monday promotion could also provide a boost on what is usually one of the slower pizza delivery days of the week.
"Mondays are typically slow, so that works out nicely. But we still would have done this if it was called 'Cyber Wednesday,'" Lieberman said.
The company could also get a one-two punch from the campaign, as it falls shortly after one of the busiest pizza delivery days of the year – the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Cyber Monday is the third online promotion that has been introduced by Pizza Hut during November. The company plans to monitor feedback from the campaigns, in collaboration with third-party company Radian6, to measure if fans prefer discounts, free food offers or a variety.
"It's a way to really test and learn so we know we are driving guests and surprising and delighting them," Lieberman said. "This is the most aggressive online campaign we've put out there. There are no strings attached. We know all brands are being aggressive for Cyber Monday and we want to meet consumer expectations."
Read more about online and social campaigns.
Alicia Kelso has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.