In this fast-changing tech landscape, when more and more diners are migrating online, restaurants have realized that if they fail to provide a robust, seamless and efficient online ordering platform, they will quickly be left out of the race. After all, 60% of U.S. consumers are ordering delivery or takeout once a week and 34% of them spend at least $50 per order when purchasing food online. These statistics are a welcome sign and present huge opportunities for those restaurateurs keen on taking advantage of the digital takeover.
Having your own in-house online ordering service can definitely help boost any restaurant’s sales. You can take charge of your own brand and save on commission fees charged by third-party aggregators. But simply putting up a website or building a mobile app for customers to order from does not help.
Once you decide to offer online ordering services, there are several important details to take into account, from something as simple as the look of your website to far complex issues like ensuring the security of sensitive customer data. All of these are factors if gone amiss can potentially harm your brand, as well as increase the bounce rate.
Here are some of the most common difficulties that customers face from day to day when ordering food online from a restaurant and how you and your staff can efficiently tackle them.
A hungry customer can spend on average an hour to decide what to eat! This scenario is especially true for multi-cuisine restaurants. Having so many options to choose from often overwhelm the customers, and many times results in a dropped sale - can’t decide what to eat, close the website and order the good ol’ Whopper from Burger King!
How can you fix this issue? By helping your customers with data-driven recommendations and suggestions. Restolabs online ordering provides insights and data on customers ordering patterns that you can utilize to help them make quick selection. If it’s a customer, then having a live chat feature can be a good strategy. Simply have a pop-up window asking “what would you like to have today”, and let their answers guide the recommendation window on the website or the app.
A recurring problem that customers face when ordering food online is regarding payment. Some restaurant websites do not accept multiple payment methods, forcing customers to drop their orders.
Security is another factor that people consider when purchasing anything online and if your payment gateway doesn’t assure it, they’ll have no reason to proceed further with their order.
Even things like not showing a payment confirmation message or being redirected to another website can be exasperating. Then there are the issues of a difficult refund process in cases of failed payments or canceled orders.
How to fix this issue? Begin with offering a plethora of payment options. While card payment and PayPal are the dominant methods of paying online, alternate methods like Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc. are gaining popularity amongst tech-savvy customers. Offering convenience, speed, and security to your customers is essential for increasing conversions and sales.
Convenience is one reason why more customers than ever before prefer ordering their food online these days. But there are still plenty of websites which have been created without giving any thought to optimizing the user experience. Sometimes it can even be difficult to find the ‘Menu’ button on a site! At times there’s an information overload and at others too little. Most customers also consider websites that require customers to register on the site before placing an order troublesome.
To make the ordering process as smooth as possible, you must be accessible on all platforms, including websites, mobile applications and social media. Keep the design clean and concise, with as few steps as possible required during the checkout process. A clear call to action on every page is a must to ensure your customers are able to complete the transaction successfully without having to move between pages.
When it comes to issues in delivery, they not only include delays, but also the quality and quantity of the food, packaging and unpleasant behavior by delivery persons.
Always send freshly prepared food from the kitchen. Take care to ensure you use appropriate packaging techniques for hot and cold food.
In your online menu, feel free to throw in some information on preparation and delivery time, as well as portion size so that the customer knows what to expect.
Lastly, having a live tracking option for customers allows them to check where exactly their order is. Adding a tracker to track the movement is a good way to keep the customers updated about their order status. You can use push notifications or text messages to send updates.
Whether it’s regarding delays in delivery, dissatisfaction with the food queries about payments and refunds or any general questions and complaints, customers will want to get in touch with you and want to feel like they’re being heard.
According to an American Express report, if they have even a single bad experience, 33% of US customers say they’d switch to a competitor and 50% have abandoned a purchase due to a poor service experience.
On the other hand, there are big rewards to be gained for those businesses who provide outstanding customer service because shoppers are willing to spend 17% more money with a business that constantly offers good customer service.
Provide different channels of communication like email, live chats, social media and phone calls. Always use positive language when communicating with a customer. Make sure your customer support staff is equipped to handle queries of all kinds and is prepared to tackle tricky situations, whenever they arise. Have an FAQ page on your website, which has responses to basic questions also helps.
We hope that you would take note of these common issues with online ordering and fix things before they get out of hand. Having an effective online food ordering system that meets customer expectations is what you need to climb the ladder of success in today’s highly competitive market.