COVID -19 led to a huge shift in the restaurant industry, completely changing its dynamics from offline Dine-in to online ordering and Takeaways. In the current scenario, the internet has completely taken over our lives thus making it vital for restaurants to target online customers via the right marketing strategy. A customised mobile app is a one-stop solution to order conveniently and increase customer engagement. The restaurants are now investing in expanding their online ordering capabilities giving way to cloud kitchens, and D2C concepts, all aiming at enhancing digital presence, improving the relationship with customers, and generating profits. Digital solutions like mobile Apps for food ordering increases sales and help restaurants gain an edge over their competitors.
What Makes Direct Online Ordering Better?
According to the latest study by Seven Rooms, 48% of the consumers believe it’s much cheaper to order directly from a restaurant, rather than via a third-party delivery platform.
This is indeed great news for restaurant owners as customers themselves want to support their business by placing direct orders. This ultimately helps them save a huge chunk of their revenue that goes as commission to the third-party platforms. Moreover, since the lockdown has curtailed dine-in, online ordering has come out as the best option. It boosts profitability and helps the restaurant owners deal with their customers directly and customize the ordering system as per the requirements of the customers. There are numerous benefits of having a mobile app ordering solution for restaurants like a detailed menu, easy ordering, ease of sending notifications, cost-effectiveness, and many more.
Ways in which Mobile Apps Help Restaurants to Increase their Direct Orders Digitally:
Have Your Own Brand App: Having your own brand app gives your business the opportunity to increase and earn additional revenue. Whereas when you tie up with a 3rd party aggregator, a huge chunk of your revenue is gone in paying them commissions. Your own brand app also enables you to brand it the way you want and customize its design accordingly which is a great strategy to keep your customers engaged with your brand. 3rd party integrations hinder the customization of the App.
Optimized App: Online ordering needs to be fast and convenient in today's world. Thus, your brand app should not only be appealing but also easy to use for the customers and designed keeping in mind the users' behavior. You can create subsections in your menu and make it visually appealing by adding HD images of dishes. You can also add features such as - customers can reorder their favorites or repeat their previous order in one click, showcase best-selling items, etc. Overall, the app should have an appealing User Interface Design featuring an interactive menu and a simplified process of ordering.
Customer Loyalty Program: It is very important to build relationships with your customers in order to foster brand loyalty. Attractive discounts and cashback offers on online orders not only lure customers and choose you over other competitors but also tie brand loyalty to mobile apps. Thus, reward and add value to your customers that they can’t get anywhere else. Provide them with efficient quality service and exclusive App Offers. Throw app-only contests and giveaways. Reward them with special discounts, coupons, wallet cashback, etc.
App Marketing: It's one thing to have a great app, but you also need to make sure people download it. So, to increase app downloads, you must constantly promote your App via online and offline modes. Build an effective marketing strategy to encourage app downloads. Google ads and social media advertising are the most effective channels to target your customers. You can also participate in events, run promotional campaigns, and use influencer marketing to promote your brand App.
Provide a Real-Time Delivery Tracking System: These days, customers do not want to sit and keep waiting for their order to arrive. They want to know the exact status of the order in real-time. Your brand app should enable customers to track the location of their order using real-time tracking. Uengage Flash a real-time delivery tracking solution offers an accurate estimated time of arrival and provides customers with real-time updates should there be any unexpected delays in the delivery. In addition to it, the contact number of the delivery person should also be provided which helps the customers to put their trust in you.
In-App Message Alerts: Push notifications and In-App alerts help in targeting the customers and gaining visibility. Through push notifications, your brand not only gets closer to facilitating direct interactions with customers but also easily reminds them about your products, special offers, and deals.
Upsell via Your App: Upselling is an excellent way for getting customers to buy more items and also increases your average order value (AOV). For example - customers buying Burgers will appreciate a recommendation for Fries that compliment them. Customers welcome helpful recommendations that relate to the product they want to buy, and thus more effective in increasing AOV. So, if you offer Pizza and have an upsell to garlic bread because they compliment your product well, you may encourage customers to buy both together.
Ratings and Reviews: These days, ratings and reviews are more significant than ever for business. It is the feature that has the most impact on a customer's decision. Thus, your brand app should have feedback forms or rating options so that customers can share their opinions about their experience and make further recommendations. They should be able to rate the particular product/ item/ dish ordered which indicates customer satisfaction. These ratings also help other customers to place orders. Because a customer always looks for reviews to decide what to eat, and relies on the ratings of the delivered food from personal experience.
Own Your Customer Data: Your own brand app gives you full access to the customer data with their name, address, contact details, food preferences, behavior, choices, etc. All the data collected from your own brand app helps in understanding your target audience better and improving your brand marketing strategy with Uengage Prism. Using Uengage Prism you can target the customer data in a better way.
In this era of a “Cashless Economy”, Online ordering is the future of the restaurant business and has completely changed the way traditional restaurants function, giving way to the rise of cloud kitchens. So, to stand tall above your competitors, and scale up your profits, you need to maintain your presence in the industry with your own brand app.
In case you are looking for an online solution for direct food ordering, then Uengage Edge is the most appropriate product designed with the goal of helping businesses grow and gain an edge over their competitors. In addition to getting direct orders without commission and increased sales, Uengage Edge has hundreds of features to help you evolve from a start-up or small-scale business to a profit-driven brand.