Not Just Online Ordering, but a Marketing Platform: What to Consider When Choosing an Online Ordering Platform

June 13, 2023

With the competitive nature of today's restaurant industry, online ordering has become a basic necessity for every restaurant. In this blog post, we will discuss the key factors to consider when choosing an online ordering platform for your restaurant, focusing on features that go beyond the basic ordering system.

Back in 2018, before the days of COVID-19, online ordering accounted for only about 10-15% of Appfront customers' total orders. According to our findings, even our largest chains indicated only a slightly higher range of 15-30%. However, with the onset of the pandemic, these figures changed dramatically. Online ordering skyrocketed to 100%, becoming an essential lifeline across the industry. Today, online ordering remains a critical component of revenues, now accounting for about 40% of restaurant sales. However, merely having an online ordering system is no longer enough. With increasing competition from other restaurants and third-party platforms such as DoorDash and Uber Eats, it is crucial to choose a comprehensive online ordering platform that not only enables efficient ordering but also acts as a marketing and customer retention tool.

We'll take a look at the main considerations when choosing an online ordering platform for your restaurant, emphasizing features that go beyond basic ordering.

  1. Enhanced Marketing Capabilities: A robust online ordering platform should serve as a marketing platform that helps bring customers back to your restaurant. It should provide features such as pop-ups, checkboxes, and data capture mechanisms to collect valuable customer information. This data can be used for targeted marketing campaigns, personalized offers, and loyalty programs. By leveraging AI technology, the platform should also be able to analyze customer behavior and preferences to increase order frequency and value.
  2. Customer Retention and Engagement: The online ordering platform should integrate seamlessly with a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system. A strong CRM enables you to track customer preferences, order history, and contact information, allowing you to engage with customers through personalized communications and targeted promotions. By implementing a retention platform, you can retarget your customers and keep them engaged, thereby increasing customer loyalty and repeat business.
  3. Chargeback Radar and Security Measures: To safeguard your business against fraudulent activities, choosing an online ordering platform with a chargeback radar is crucial. This feature helps detect suspicious transactions and prevents chargebacks, which can be costly for your restaurant. Additionally, the platform should have comprehensive security measures in place to ensure the safety of customer data and payment information.
  4. Integration with Third-Party Platforms: In today's restaurant landscape, many customers prefer to order from third-party delivery platforms. Therefore, when selecting an online ordering platform, it is essential to ensure compatibility and integration with popular third-party platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Seamless integration allows you to manage orders from multiple channels efficiently, providing a unified view of your sales and simplifying order execution.
  5. User-Friendly Interface and Operational Efficiency: The chosen online ordering platform should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface for both staff and customers. The ease of placing orders and making modifications should be a priority to enhance the customer experience. Furthermore, the platform should provide efficient order management tools, allowing you to process orders seamlessly and streamline operations.

Selecting the right online ordering platform for your restaurant is crucial for success. Beyond basic online ordering capabilities, a comprehensive platform should act as a marketing tool, helping you capture customer data, increase order frequency, and retain customers through targeted promotions and personalized engagement. Integration with third-party platforms, security measures, and operational efficiency are also important factors. That’s where Appfront comes in - our online ordering platform that meets these criteria and so much more. Discover how you can enhance your restaurant's online presence and drive business growth today. 

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