Fast-tracked for many businesses by the COVID-19 pandemic, online ordering has been a gradually adopted offering for many restaurants and retailers. After all, this option allows businesses to connect with even more consumers than they could possibly attract to local brick-and-mortar locations alone.
Offering online ordering isn’t enough to set a business apart from the competition, though. Follow the online ordering best practices outlined in this guide to set your solution up for success!
When implementing online ordering, it is important to establish a plan to ensure success. As they say, “What gets measured, gets done.” Spend time thinking about the purpose for adding online ordering and what you want to achieve. The most powerful goals follow the SMART goal setting method. Your goals should be:
Check out the list below for some ideas about what kinds of goals you should set:
After identifying your goals, make sure to document your goals and then let’s move on to identifying the right customers to help you achieve your goals.
Who will be placing online orders? Take some time to think about your target online ordering customers. By identifying the potential users, you’ll be able to think strategically how to achieve your goals.
New businesses: If you’re just getting into business and are using online ordering, this can be a great opportunity to set your business apart and appeal to the customer groups that are likely to use online ordering
Existing businesses: If you are using a customer relationship manager (CRM) to keep track of your customers, you have information that will help you reach your customers.
Online ordering adds a new set of responsibilities within your establishment. With orders coming in through your online ordering platform, you should plan and assign your responsibilities accordingly.
Educate your team. As with any other tool you introduce to your establishment, make sure your team understands the way online ordering works and how orders come through into your queue.
Assign an online order taker. Just as you have staff taking orders in person, make sure one member of your staff holds the responsibility of monitoring incoming online orders. You don’t want online orders to go unfulfilled.
Pro Tip: Since online orders are sent directly to your Revel iPad POS, monitoring online orders just requires somebody who knows orders will be coming and can keep an eye out for incoming orders.
Adding online ordering alone will not bring in revenue. It is important to implement smart marketing and communication tactics to make sure your target audiences are aware and excited about your gift cards.
Test coupons and promotions. Online ordering allows you to test promotions on your online platform, and determine which are the most effective in bringing in new customers.
Go social. Reach your customers where they are – online. Reach each of your target groups where they spend their time, millennials
Share your new offering. Get social and let your loyal customers know you now offer online ordering. Share the link on your Facebook or Instagram – anywhere you have a presence is an opportunity to share.
Photos are important online. Especially for new customers who are not familiar with your business, compelling photos highlight your offerings and your establishment. If you don’t have photos of your food online, make sure your online ordering platform features enticing photos that showcase your best.
Explore delivery. Once you’ve got a hold on online ordering, think about adding delivery. Whether through your online ordering platform, or with third party partners like GrubHub or UberEats, delivery opens your business to more customers and adds yet another stream of revenue.
Pro Tip: Having a search-optimized website plays a role too. Just as Maple Street Biscuits wants their restaurant to pop up in the searches when a hungry customer searches for biscuits in Jacksonville, FL., you want your establishment to be high in the search results. Check out this blog for more!
Track the results of your establishment’s investment in online ordering. Use your reporting data to measure the goals you established. Monthly evaluation is important to keep you on track to achieving your goals.
Keep your goals top of mind. One way to do this is to keep track with a chart or log to clearly measure your performance against your goals. Revisit your chart each month to measure! Example:
|Actual – January
|Actual – February
|Actual – March
|Process 20 online orders a month
|Achieve $1000 in monthly online ordering revenue
If you didn’t meet your expectations one month, take some time to evaluate your marketing and promotional strategy. Adding the option for customers to place orders online is a proven method to increasing revenue, but as with any added service, it will take work to get up and running, and running smoothly.