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Musings on the Foodservice Industry

Mobile Goes Mainstream: Are you Online?

IPay.  Email blasts. Enhanced websites. Mobile apps. Online ordering. It makes your head spin just thinking about it.

The list of technology applications and marketing strategies goes on and on and where they stop nobody knows. So, if you are not in line to go online now and don’t have the latest digital marketing, you had better get onboard quickly.

According to many studies, more than 70% of consumers say they have placed an order online. Nearly 60% of Papa Johns’ sales come from online ordering.   Domino’s does more than 45% of its business online.  And those are just the pizza joints.

Mobile retailing’s transition “from momentum to mainstream” has made it an essential part of the everyday retail world, according to Chain Store Age.  Every form of retail – from the old stalwarts like Amazon to mainline retailers like Target to every specialty shop on every corner – has worked the mobile phone into its business practices.

Here’s a little number you should know:  There are almost as many mobile phone subscriptions as there are people in the world: 6.8 billion vs. about seven billion inhabitants.  Mobile phones are no longer phones, but ordering and paying devices.mobile

It boils down to convenience.  We all know about the Millennials and their impatience which is driven by their mobility.  They are constantly shopping for something new but are intensely loyal when they find something they like and use fast and conveniently. Coming generations will even be more attuned and probably more discerning and fickle.

This is relatively old news as mobile technology has become the key driver for all kinds of restaurants.  If you own a restaurant, online ordering should be the focal point of your website and marketing offering the following benefits:

  1. Web, Web, Web – A credible online ordering service will provide enhanced presence for your restaurant. As more customers order from your menu, they will also access your social media like Facebook and Instagram. 
  2. Email Marketing – You can take advantage of your online service’s database to expand email campaigns to promote discounts, coupons and additional services like catering and private parties. This is a great way to stay connected with current and potential customers.
  3. Mobile Ordering – Most emails are opened on a mobile device today so your website has to be mobile optimized, as well as easily viewable on tablets.
  4. Reaching Out – Online ordering allows customers to order what they want, when they want. Think of online ordering as your facilitator and messenger, not just your order-taker.

Some of this may be old hat to you.  If so, congratulations on entering the new technology age.  When talking with an online service ask them about their enhanced services and the features they’re offering to stay ahead of the game.  They can help guide you through the tech maze and give you a competitive edge.

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