16

Aug2012

The Benefits of Mobile Ordering for Restaurants


May I Place an Order Now?

The statistics are in and the results clearly indicate that smartphone usage is skyrocketing.

Mobile Usage:

According to comScore, in 2012 the U.S. reached 98 million smartphone subscribers and that number is expected to exceed 100 Million by 2013.  With so many people increasingly relying on their phones to do far more than their original intention of making calls, what are people doing with their smartphones?

One function stands out as the rising star.  It is estimated that 64% of mobile phone time is spent on apps (Nielson 2012).   How can the restaurant industry tap into this trend and reach the consumers where they are spending the bulk of their mobile phone time?

The Shift:

There has been a shift among some restaurant industries to move towards online ordering, however, the streamlined process of mobile ordering can be an efficient and cost-effective way to attract customers.

Restaurant websites should absolutely include mobile friendly e-commerce website design in order for businesses, particularly restaurants, to stay competitive with this trend.  Why not move the ordering experience to the avenue that is most convenient for the customers?

Mobile Ordering:

Mobile ordering for restaurants begins with a mobile optimized website.  Users will see the option to place an order they can make their selections accordingly.  Payment processing information can be stored to make the experience that much faster.  In theory, the process is so streamlined and efficient someone can place an order while they’re in a business meeting or anywhere on the go.

The benefits, both direct and indirect, of mobile ordering for restaurants are:

– Customer retention:   Online ordering may be a functionality that your current customers will appreciate and make them more likely to continue to order from you over a competitor.

– Reach a wider market:  There may be an un-tapped resource for your restaurant that appeals to new customers.

– Potential to integrate with CRM:  Your payment processing could be linked with CRM to provide valuable information about inventory, consumer behavior, etc.

Limitations:

What are some of the limitations of online ordering for restaurants?  In a word, it’s visibility.  The best marketing agencies will all agree that no matter how wonderful a product or service is, it’s virtually useless of nobody knows about it.  In order for a consumer to have a strong craving for a particular type of cuisine and then associate that craving with a particular restaurant, an aggressive SEO campaign has to be in place to maximize visibility.  SEO web design must go hand in hand with a mobile optimized site offering the option to order online.

Restaurants that are considering the mobile ordering function, should keep in mind all associated costs to determine if it is right for their business.  Budget for assistance from online marketing agencies, for the costs associated with development of the online ordering functionality, and compare that to projected revenue from online sales.

Questions on Mobile Ordering?  Shoot us an email.

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