8 Tips to Improve Online Ordering
Online ordering has thrived this past year thanks to social distance regulations and more stringent sanitation procedures. Two-thirds of consumers report ordering takeout every week, and most of them would much rather come directly to you rather than use third party services.
Restaurants want the same thing. Third parties tend to take hefty commissions, so you save profit by building your own online ordering platforms. Customers want to support their favorite businesses as long as you attract their attention to your branded website or app.
8 Steps to Better Online Ordering
Most customers will find your restaurant for the first time by looking you up online, so you need virtual directories to list you near the top. Use relevant keywords on your website and in your advertising so you show up on search engines. Many restaurateurs use Google My Business to fill their online profiles with up-to-date information. Your address, phone number, website and other points of contact should all appear when customers search your name.
Sign Up for Social Media
No matter who your target demographic is, they’re on social media somewhere. Find out which websites they frequent to improve your engagement statistics, which in turn influences loyalty and sales. You can post polls and quizzes to get a grasp on what your audience wants, or show sneak peaks of new menu items before you introduce them in-store. Give customers a reason to follow you and they’re more likely to think of your online ordering next time they’re hungry.
Optimize for Mobile
Nearly 80% of customers use their phones for online ordering. Therefore your digital menu needs to work as smoothly on mobile as it does on desktop. Some restaurants have even expanded their mobile services to include QR codes, which they place on the table for guests to scan and browse right from their seats.
The best marketing campaigns will guide customers straight to the online ordering platform, which is why digital marketing matters so much. View detailed sales reports from the POS system to get a general feel for what customers want and reference past trends to predict which promotions will work best in the future.
Dining out isn’t just about food anymore. Restaurants that create a unique dining experience stand out more in customers’ minds. Spend time establishing an appealing atmosphere, with decorations and music to build a specific ambience. Even having to rely on virtual methods can present an opportunity to try new ideas such as offering digital cooking classes or sending meal kits to help those affected by the pandemic.
Getting customers to sign up for your email marketing campaigns has a huge impact on future sales. With direct marketing, you’ll cater to your audience’s specific preferences which incentivizes loyalty, especially when combined with integrated rewards programs. Repeat customers tend to spend more on average than new patrons, so getting them onto your listserv could prove fruitful in the long run.
Reply to Reviews
Prompting guest feedback after each order gives you more detailed information about what they like and dislike about their experience, so you can build a better business moving forward. When you do receive feedback, respond kindly and approach negative reviews with professionalism too. A lot of customers check reviews before they try out a new restaurant, so make sure your online presence puts your brand in a good light.
High-resolution photos are a great incentive. Encourage guests to choose particular menu items by peppering in pictures of dishes you want to push, but also post behind-the-scenes footage of your employees on the job and customers enjoying their experiences to give prospective visitors an idea of what it would be like to come in and enjoy your food.
Online Ordering is the Future
Smart Point of Sales give you the tools necessary to strengthen your online ordering channels and promote the most possible success for your restaurant business. Make sure your takeout, delivery and curbside services are equipped with the technological ecosystem necessary to grow and change as the marketplace does.