There was a time when online ordering was something a business could potentially adapt to boost their revenue - now it has become essential.
Since the start of 2020, all industries have been thrown a curveball, left in uncertain times of when they would close, re-open and close again - this has placed the move to online ordering to the forefront of business models. As we inch closer to 2022, not much has changed and the trend of online ordering is unlikely to take a back seat.
Businesses need their own branded website and app with the option for ordering, delivery or pick up, if they want to succeed - a strong digital presence is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Here are 10 simple ways you can increase online orders for your business:
1 - Menu Optimisation
Your online menu should be a visual feast, so it’s important to keep optimising your menu to showcase the meal deals, specific offers and favourite dishes. Mouth-watering images are a must to bring in customers and make them want to order; another thing to consider is watching out for food trends, that way you can optimise the menu for what’s popular.
2 - Exclusive Offers
Who doesn’t love a bargain? Attracting customers with exclusive offers should always be at the forefront of your marketing strategy. The goal is to incentivise customers into ordering directly through your app, or website for pick up or delivery - this avoids having them go through third parties where you lose a large portion of the order value to high fees.
A simple and effective way to promote your business and push for orders is exclusive orders for those channels - this could mean perhaps, offering a free appetiser if they order through the app.
3 - Provide Efficient Services
Efficiency at every stage, that’s what is needed when it comes to the online ordering process; you want to avoid any negative experiences for yourself and your customers. This could mean going to great lengths to ensure food delivery comes with good presentation and temperature control – also consider distinct packaging to make your brand pop.
Informing customers of the estimated time of their delivery can avoid unnecessary confusion, or frustration. Customers like to know how long they’ll be waiting for their food and this comes under efficient service providing.
4 - Promote Services Offline
You can’t just rely on your online ordering platform to advertise itself; you need to go the offline route as well. Staff play a crucial role here as they can inform customers of the different ordering options with dine-in customers; this could prompt customers to go the online ordering route the next time they dine with your restaurant.
Your establishment is also where you should be promoting your services. Outdoor signage and posters plastered throughout the premises are a great way to market your business - the signs should display the information clearly and catch the customers’ attention.
5 - Link Social Media Pages To Your Online Menu
Your customers more than likely scroll through social media throughout their day, why not capitalise on that? Close the gap between your website and social media pages by providing links to your online ordering system on these channels.
7 - Encourage App Downloads
Having a great app is all well and good but not when nobody uses it. As obvious as that might seem, you need to be constantly prompting and encouraging customers to download your app. Once your business is taking up real estate on their phones, they’ll be encouraged to turn to you for their food needs.
App downloads are a large driver of long-term customer loyalty; promoting your app on all platforms should be a key part of your marketing strategy.
8 - Take Advantage Of Digital Advertising
Google ads and social media advertising are examples of sophisticated online marketing tools that can successfully target your customers at the right time. These forms of advertising also provide great value for money and return on investment, especially compared to television advertising costs. For example, Google ads use location advertising to make sure they find potential customers in your area.
9 - Make Use Of Google My Business To Enhance Your Online Presence
These days people turn to the internet for almost everything and Google offers two of the most important online services a business can have - Maps and Google My Business. GMB provides anyone who searches for your business with a full and customisable listing, which can include pictures, ratings, phone numbers and a brief overview of the restaurant. Having your business on Google Maps means it will appear as a local recommendation when customers search for restaurants in that area.
10 - Gather Data With Customer Feedback Forms
Due to strict data protection laws, it can be quite difficult these days to gather customer contact details. However, one way around this caveat is through the use of in-store and online customer feedback forms.
This way you not only get feedback from your customers that can be used to improve your business, but you can also ask customers for permission to have their contact details. This information is extremely valuable when it comes to marketing and promotions.