Online ordering has revolutionised how we order food and drink from hospitality venues.
According to Bopple data, customers spend an average of 30% more on online food orders - via a QR code at the table or through a digital menu for delivery or pick-up.
In addition to this, 87% of people who have used online ordering systems agree that it makes their life easier. And, as we are in a world dominated by the need for convenience, online ordering solutions give your customers the flexibility to order how and when they want.
While customer demands dictate the need for diversified ordering options, many business owners are sceptical about introducing online ordering technology to their venues.
In this article, we aim to shed light on the concerns around online ordering, alleviate any fears and dive deep into the benefits of the technology to empower businesses to make the right decisions for their venue.
Online ordering: 3 cons to consider
Before we dive into the many pros of online ordering, it’s first important to address any concerns hospitality owners may have about the service. As with any new technology, it’s natural to have reservations, and it’s essential to explore every angle before implementing anything new into your business.
Con #1: Subscription costs
Subscriptions and transaction fees are often the elephant in the room when it comes to a new service, so let's tackle this one straight up.
Yes, online ordering systems come with a price tag, often in the form of a monthly subscription and transaction fees. However, there are so many services available that there’s usually an option to suit every business and budget.
Bopple, for example, offers competitive, market-leading rates of just 0.8-1.8%, including tax and businesses also have the option to forward the 1.6% transaction fees to customers.
While it may seem counterintuitive to pay for an ordering system when your staff are already performing this task, the benefits of online ordering are far-reaching (as we’ll explore later). And ultimately, many businesses are experiencing business growth and an improved customer experience thanks to this evolving technology.
Con #2: Disrupts the traditional hospitality experience
This is a common concern amongst hospo owners when they’re first considering online ordering, and rightly so. At first glance, it appears that online ordering systems simply replace the need for staff to take orders, but this is not the case.
While many customers are used to having their order taken by a staff member, either at the table, bar or over the phone - it’s now increasingly common for customers to order online via a digital menu.
Yes, this is a deviation from the norm we’re used to, but replacing the need for staff to take orders in person or over the phone empowers them to focus on delivering an impeccable customer experience, time after time.
Online ordering systems seamlessly integrate with your existing workflows rather than disrupt or replace them, and that includes your staff. Simply put, online ordering streamlines your ordering process by placing the responsibility on the customer. In turn, this gives your team more time to focus on the important stuff, like customer service and getting meals out promptly - all of which enhance rather than detract from the hospitality experience.
Con #3: Impacts brand identity
Using a third-party service can often feel like you’re sacrificing your brand identity, and many hospo owners have the same worry when it comes to online ordering. It’s a common worry that customers will be redirected to a storefront that solely represents the third party and doesn’t align with your brand.
While it’s true that some online ordering platforms lack the flexibility to fully represent your brand, Bopple allows you to customise your storefront and digital menu, so you don’t lose your brand identity.
You can upload your logo, choose colours that match your aesthetic and add photos of your dishes so the look and feel of your online experience match that of your venue.
Online ordering: 6 pros of online ordering
Now that we’ve addressed some of the main concerns around online ordering (and hopefully alleviated any fears), it’s time to dive into the benefits - of which there are many!
Pro #1: Boost your Average Transaction Value (ATV)
Online ordering systems are built with your bottom line in mind, as Bopple data shows that customers who order online via a digital menu spend 25% more than traditional dine-in orders.
When customers are dining in or placing orders over the phone, it’s easy for staff to forget to upsell - be that asking to upsize a meal, add a side, or add customisations. However, because online ordering platforms make it easy to build upsell workflows, customers can quickly customise their meals or add sides for a small additional cost – bumping up your average spend.
Bopple's Smart Upsells feature utilises AI to drive higher spend on every order, making it easy to configure the flow of your digital menu to offer upsell options when certain items are selected to maximise your profit potential.
Smart Upsells uses in-depth ordering data to select which items are shown to customers, such as what order type the customer has selected, what time of day it is, and which of your products are getting the most love.
For example, if a customer is ordering food on your digital menu, Smart Upsells will offer them something to drink. On the other hand, if a customer is ordering drinks, it will recommend they add a food item to complete their order. If the order already includes both food and drink, the algorithm will offer up a selection of other complimentary items.
Adding relevant upsell prompts into the order flow of your online ordering workflow is a great way to tempt customers to spend a little bit extra. If 1 in 5 customers opt for an upsell that costs $3, that can add up to an extra few hundred dollars a week and thousands of dollars a year.
Comuna Cantina, for example, introduced Smart Upsells and made an extra $8,000 in online ordering revenue over a two-month period.
Pro #2: focus on customer service
We touched on this point earlier, and it’s one of the most significant benefits of online ordering. Instead of spending time taking orders at the table, manning the phones and running to enter them into the POS, your staff can focus on delivering a memorable experience for your customers.
With 64% of people finding customer experience more important than price, online ordering allows you and your staff to be more efficient with time. With less time spent taking orders and processing payments, staff can ensure customers are always topped up with drinks, meals are delivered promptly, and tables are turned quickly. Plus, they’ll have more time to check everything is going well and build a rapport with your guests.
Pro #3: Enhance the customer experience
In today’s world, convenience is king, and customers have extremely high expectations when it comes to service. Ordering needs to be quick and effortless, wait times minimal, queues short and payments hassle-free - all of which online ordering can facilitate. Here are a few ways online ordering enhances the customer experience.
- Reduces wait time as orders and payments are taken from the app
- Provides more ordering options so you never miss out on a sale
- Customers order when they’re ready, instead of waiting around to flag down busy waitstaff
- Payments are easily made at the time of ordering, eliminating dine'n'dash worries
- Customers can quickly and easily re-order
- Offers multiple payment methods (debit cards, ApplePay, GooglePay and Paypal),
Pro #4: Reduce order errors
The great thing about online ordering is that it, quite literally, puts the responsibility of ordering in the hands of your customers.
Customers have to place the order themselves via their phones and are presented with an order summary before they confirm and pay. Not only does this dramatically reduce the likelihood of order errors, but it also places the responsibility of getting the order correct with the customer.
“With less people on the phone, it increases your output and saves time – you make fewer mistakes.” – Tankk Fish & Chips, Bopple customer.
Pro #5: Drive your marketing
72% of consumers said they only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests. Therefore, the more personalised and targeted you can make your emails, the better - and data from your online ordering can help you do this.
With Bopple, when customers place an order via your online ordering system, they are prompted to enter their email address or phone number (or both) to receive their order confirmation and receipt. This is a great opportunity for customers to opt-in for marketing communications and allows you to collect valuable customer data.
Not only will you receive your customers’ contact information, but you also get to understand exactly how much they spend, how frequently and what type of dishes they prefer. This information can then be collated to send targeted and relevant marketing communications.
Pro #6: Open up other revenue channels
Implementing online ordering is a great way for venues to explore multiple revenue channels, such as QR code table ordering, delivery and pick-up.
According to Statista, 43% of people say they order food online because they don’t feel like cooking. That’s a huge pool of potential new customers actively searching for restaurants online to order food.
Therefore, having an online ordering system integrated with your website automatically opens up a whole new base of people previously restricted by location or because they didn’t know your restaurant offered takeaway or delivery.
Did you know? Venues that use Bopple see an average online sales increase of $5,551 per month.
Grow your online sales with Bopple
Online ordering is becoming increasingly popular, and we’re seeing that these services aren’t just a passing trend, but something hospitality owners use daily to grow their business.
Features like QR code table ordering should be implemented into your day-to-day workflows to improve customer service and boost AOV. However, these services also add a layer of flexibility and convenience that customers have come to crave.
With Bopple, it’s easy to sync your online orders straight to your POS and kitchen printer – just like a traditional dine-in order. It’s also super easy to update your digital menu, add promotions and make customisations all from the same platform – meaning minimal disruption to your operations.
- Start, run and grow your business with Bopple and unlock more sales.
- Create your online store for free in seconds
- 0.8-1.8% rates, including tax
- Full control of your store, sales and customer data
- No third-party platform to manage
- Same-day payouts, no lengthy delays
- Accept prepaid orders from mobile apps and your online web store
- Loyalty built-in
- No lock-in contract or terms
Sign up to Bopple today!