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Pizza Hut honors 20th anniversary of world's first online order

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It might surprise many to learn that the first ever ecommerce purchase was not a book or article of clothing, but a Pizza Hut pizza. The chain is honoring the 20th anniversary of that first ever online purchase this week with a series of promotions, including 50% off any medium or large pizza ordered online from now until Friday.

“We want to celebrate the fact that before consumers could buy books, clothes, music or vacation packages via the internet, they could place an online order for a Pizza Hut pizza,” said Carrie Walsh, chief marketing officer at Pizza Hut.

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More than a year before Amazon.com came online, a crude early website called PizzaNet was born, allowing online ordering of pizza in select markets as early as 1994. A replica of the original PizzaNet website has been posted on Pizza Hut's current website as a tribute to the anniversary.

“Our focus on digital, from 1994 to today and into the future, is about creatively engaging with our customers in ways that fit their evolving lifestyles,” said Rohit Kapoor, chief information officer at Pizza Hut. “We knew we were on to something 20 years ago with PizzaNet, and we haven’t stopped innovating since the day that first order was placed.”

The system's first ever order was a large pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese pizza.

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