Online ordering should be easy as pie - here's what you need to know

A century ago, patience was a virtue. Today, not so much! As consumers, we want everything to be delivered at our doorstep, without any delays or errors. All we want is to place an order, know that it will be delivered in less than 40 minutes and get on with our work - work that’s more profitable than waiting on a call while the person on the other side inputs the order on his system before confirming the availability of the stock or pricing.

We live a modern life in a modern world that is much more efficient, fast and convenient than any era in the past and we want to make the best use of our time - because time is precious. What more? We are happy to pay a premium price if it brings comfort and convenience.

As for restaurant owners, the truth is that if you are not able to provide a fast, efficient and convenient ordering process to your customers, you’re going to lose business - and a lot more.

Online ordering is the future that provides a new standard for ease and efficiency to both consumers and businesses. If you know how to play your cards right, i.e seamlessly lead your customers from cart to checkout, you can create a pool of loyal customers who would keep coming back to you every time they feel the hunger pangs.

“Having an online ordering system can be a game-changing investment for many entrepreneurs, whether it be restaurant owners, food chain owners or franchisers.”

Here are five ways that will help you get orders streaming in and out the door without any hassle.

Enable multiple online ordering channels

Your customers are everywhere, so should your business! The idea is to cover all possible ordering channels so your customers don't have to waste even a second to find your business after they have made up their mind to order from you. Remove all the barriers between your business and customers. Make it easier for them to order from you, 24/7/365.

So how do you do that? By simply investing in an online ordering system that allows your customers to order from various channels - i.e website, mobile application, and even social media, and make sure that your online ordering system is compatible across all desktop and mobile devices. This means continually optimizing your site so it’s responsive across all devices.

Let your customers have control over the process

How frustrating it can be when you're not allowed to browse the categories/menu/collection without signing up on the website? Such website/businesses experience more than 80% bounce rate on a daily basis. Forcing people to create an account is just too intrusive for first-time customers, and it’s a major conversion killer. Moreover, people tend to resist that which is forced upon them.

Having the "Guest Checkout" option is one of the finest ways to ensure that you provide a seamless online ordering experience to your customers who do not want to sign up. Request only an email ID or phone number that you can use to communicate with them. If they wish to check out as Guest, allow them to fill in additional account information, like billing and shipping details, and make sure to include an explanation for why it’s required.

Provide multiple payment options

One is never enough, neither two, nor three! It's fair to expect customers to use their debit/credit cards to make the payment. You don’t want to lose out on sales to folks who are not very comfortable in sharing their card details on new websites.

The best practice is to offer a range of payment options, including Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, paying with gift cards, pay via cash, pay via card on delivery and so on. These multiple payment options increase your conversion rate.

Deliver a seamless design

As a brand created to serve people, having a consistent design across all channels will build trust and loyalty amongst customers. One of the major benefits of having an efficient online ordering system in place is that it lets you customize the design with your own logos, brand colors, taglines, etc., thus developing a platform with your own branding.

From home page to check out, make sure all pages follow the same theme so your customer feels a sense of familiarity at every point until the final order is placed. For instance, redirecting people to third-party checkout page will only make your customers skeptical, raising concerns about payment security. Why send them away to another website to pay?

Keep distractions to a minimum

It goes without saying, but the checkout page is where all your efforts come to test. It's the final stage of the sales cycle and the most important one. You don't want to ruin the experience by placing unnecessary advertisements or pop-ups to distract your customers from completing the process. The objective here is to make them make the final payment, any kind of distraction at this stage can be a disaster for your business.

If you must place an advertisement, suggest deals or offers, save them until after checkout. Hold off until the customer has placed the order.

Solutions tailored to your needs

Every business is different and has different expectations from an online ordering system. Here at Restolabs, we know how important it is to make your business stand out on the food market! We’re a big fan of efficiency and convenience, and we’ve developed a whole bag of tools to create a seamless online ordering experience for your customers. You can also request a demo to try the software for free for 30days.