To your web-savvy customers, loading a slow online ordering website feels like walking up to a restaurant and seeing a long line. They won’t wait. They won’t order—they go somewhere else. For customers who find you online, the ordering site is your new front door.
While it may feel like you have less control over your customers’ first impressions online than you do in the store, that doesn’t have to be the case. Let’s take a look at a few things to look for in an online ordering provider to meet customer expectations and increase online sales.
Branding: Is your website true to you?
Your restaurant is designed to express your brand. Every interior décor decision was made to welcome your customers and express your brand personality. A lot of time and effort goes into in-store branding, from menu design to onboarding new employees and training them in customer service. Does your online ordering site create the same welcoming feeling, and represent your company’s style and values?
Speed: How long is the wait?
For every one-second delay in loading times, online orders drop by up to 20%. Part of the appeal of online ordering, especially for pick-up orders, is not having to wait. Your customers have high expectations online. They have been taught by big tech companies like Amazon, iTunes, and Google to expect quick response times, and easy ordering processes.
You don’t put up with slow customer service in the restaurant—so why would you allow it online?
Accuracy: Are mistakes being made?
Nothing is more frustrating than an order that’s wrong—or pricing that doesn’t match what you saw on the site. SpeedDine, a new online ordering service for SpeedLine point of sale, connects directly with the local store to price each menu item live. Online prices, coupons, and taxes always match the store. And the order information you receive in the kitchen is accurate because your customers enter their own order details using your easy-to-navigate site.
Security: Are you keeping your customers’ payment details safe?
Is the technology behind your online ordering site secure? Does it require an open port in the store that could trip up a PCI scan?
A secure mobile ordering site uses modern cloud technologies and tokenized payment to avoid the risk of security breaches. And a solution like SpeedDine, where the store picks up a payment token from the cloud for each order to process at the store, simplifies your life as well. Expensive e-commerce processing charges go away, and you save time with no separate accounting to reconcile online payments.
Reliability: Are you missing orders?
For your online guests, uptime is critical. With SpeedDine, for example, every POS station in the store can pull down orders and respond to orders. That means there are no bottlenecks when ordering volume spikes, and no single point of failure at the store. If a POS station goes offline, online orders keep coming; as long as you have one station online, you'll keep receiving orders with no interruption.
For even more protection, many operators are adding a backup internet connection as a failover for online orders and credit card processing.
Online ordering is a proven way to grow your customer base. The PMQ Magazine 2018 Pizza Industry Census showed that only 58% of operators offer online ordering, but those that do owe between 5 and 15% of their sales to orders made online. Some of our restaurant clients bring in 25 to 50% or more of total sales online.
Posted on Thu, Apr 05, 2018 @ 08:04 AM.
Updated on June 9, 2020 @ 7:12 PM PST.
As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!