Whether you own a clothing business or a restaurant, you must look for ways to serve your customers better.
For many businesses, selling online is key to adapting to today’s challenges. More so now that people want cashless and contactless transactions.
If you own a brick-and-mortar store, you may have thought about accepting orders online to serve your customers better. Plus, it can let you continue operating should something as the COVID-19 pandemic happens again.
If you are thinking about taking online orders, the first step is choosing the right online ordering system.
Note that there are several factors that you need to consider before making a decision. In this post, we have listed ten factors to consider when choosing an online ordering system for your small business:
The online ordering system that you’ll choose should act as an extension of your brand or company.
Ideally, it should offer your customers a seamless experience when doing your business online.
You’ll know that the best systems provide you with customizable options. This includes the freedom to add your business name and or customizing the interface’s color. That way, the ordering system will look aligned with your branding.
It should also alter the overall look and feel of your system.
User Friendly and Attractive User Interface (UI)
An appealing user interface is also another important aspect that attracts people to make a purchase.
For instance, if you’re an owner of a restaurant, you’d notice that you’ll be getting more orders if you have an aesthetically appealing website.
Similarly, an online ordering system with an appealing user interface will attract more people to browse your app and order there.
As a result, this enhances the ratio of repeat customers, which results in an improved ROI of your online ordering app. A great tip here is to continually search for an appealing UI of the online ordering app before incorporating it into your business.
Ease of integration
Ideally, it would be best to search for an online ordering system that can be incorporated with your Point-of-Sale (POS) system. Doing so ensures a more streamlined experience.
The best online ordering systems can be integrated with well-known POS systems. That way, you can incorporate the new with the old, and the onboarding can be a breeze.
With this kind of integration, you can quickly fulfill online and in-person orders because you don’t need to switch the interface. Nonetheless, check with your POS provider first to know the compatibility and avoid any issues in the future.
Many online ordering systems also let customers order using different channels. For instance, you can accept orders via the Facebook shop, and it will be directed straight to your database.
That said, you should also consider the channels where the majority of your customers tend to transact. You may have an online store, but you receive more Facebook orders than your e-commerce shopping cart.
An online ordering system can help you integrate these channels.
Cost in Budget
The next thing you need to consider when choosing an online ordering system for your small business is your budget.
Online ordering systems come with a fee and cost. Some will be charging per transaction, while others with a flat monthly fee.
So, make sure that you review the cost of every system and then review the target ROI.
Ideally, you need to pick the one with all the right features and functions but are still matched within your budget.
Data Collection Capabilities
The ability to collect customer data can help you gain valuable insights. This includes the age range, location, best-selling products, and top sources of orders.
With this data, you can do the following:
- Identify where you should focus your marketing efforts
- Determine where you can open a new store or fulfillment center
- Know what products you need to keep in stock and when
That way, you can keep on improving your customer experience.
There’s no use in having an online ordering system that’s specifically tailored for laptops.
That’s because 83% of adults today look up restaurants using their mobile phones when ordering food online. Therefore, you should pick software that’s compatible with several devices.
This feature impacts the customer experience. That’s why you should consider device compatibility. Otherwise, customers will look elsewhere.
Outstanding Delivery Feature
Another thing you should consider is the delivery features that your online ordering system can provide.
Ideally, you should search for a provider that has the following features in your system:
- Location navigation. Your system should have this feature to know the precise location of received inquiries or orders. This is to ensure customer deliveries are delivered on time, without any delays.
- Menu display and updating. You should place the menu on your system and easily update it regularly.
- Payment modes. It should provide all payment methods so that customers can pay conveniently without wasting their time figuring out how they can pay you.
- Order tracking. You should also have a tracking feature in your online ordering system. This allows customers to know when the exact date and time of delivery of their orders.
Just recently, McDonald’s introduced the “click and collect” feature. This allows the user to place the order and then pick it up, depending on their availability.
This feature is beneficial for restaurants that don’t offer food deliveries in rural areas. To make it easy, users can place their orders in the system and collect them.
When picking an online ordering system, choose one that allows you to articulate your brand. In the same way, it should speak about and promote your brand well.
It should act as a marketing extension, adding value to your brand and company. Having promotions and loyalty programs rewards your customers.
In the same way, it shouldn’t look as if it’s generic. It should be customized to your brand. Therefore, you need to pick a system that can customize, depending on your needs.
Support and Maintenance Services
Another challenge is keeping the system updated with the latest trends or upgrades.
Your online ordering app should also be developed by a provider that offers you support and maintenance services.
Because it’s a technology, it’s bound to encounter errors in the long run. There’s an issue that could arise from the system. This includes placing and tracking orders, missing information, technical server errors, and a lot more.
The app provider you choose should come with regular maintenance and on-demand customer support. That way, you’ll have an error-free and up-to-date system.
Listed above are ten factors to consider when choosing an online ordering system. That way, you can weigh in what system would suit your business and help you serve your customers better.
Juliette Anderson is an Outreach Community Specialist for an e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in partnering with online sellers who have an average parcel weight of 5+ pounds or greater. She works hand-in-hand with e-commerce stores to achieve optimal sales for four years already. Her specialty lies in social media marketing and paid promotions.