Whether you own a restaurant or a clothing boutique, it’s always important to find better ways to serve your customers. For many businesses, conducting more business on the Internet is key to adapting to today’s challenges.
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you may have begun thinking about accepting online orders so that you can continue to serve your customers if something occurs that would prevent normal on-site business. If you’re looking to start taking orders online and shifting to an Internet business, the first step is determining which online ordering system to use.
When choosing an online ordering system, you should consider a few important factors before making your decision. In this post, we’ll discuss five key factors to consider when choosing an online ordering system for your small business.
1. Ease of integration
Look for an online ordering system that integrates with your Point-of-Sale (POS) system so that you’re able to have the most streamlined experience. Many of the top online ordering systems integrate with most of the well-known POS systems, simplifying the move to conducting business on the Internet.
With this type of integration, online orders can be easily fulfilled alongside in-person orders, as the orders will already be added directly into your system. Before deciding on an online ordering system, check with your POS provider to determine the compatibility and avoid potential problems down the line.
Many online ordering systems also allow customers to order from a range of different channels, including Google’s search results or your business’s Facebook page. Consider which channels your target audience frequently uses and look for ordering systems that can be easily integrated with these channels.
2. Ability to customize to your Internet business
Your online ordering system should feel like an extension of your company and provide your customers with a seamless experience when conducting business on the Internet. The best systems will allow you customization options, such as adding your own branding—including your business’s logos and colors—and altering the overall look and feel of the system.
3. Fees and costs
All online ordering systems come with a cost. Some providers charge per transaction, while others charge a flat monthly fee. Take some time to review the costs of each system and compare the target ROI. While per-transaction costs may seem attractive at first, they could significantly impact your profitability in the long run depending on the volume of transactions.
4. Promotional support
New and potential customers must know about the launch of your new ordering system. Many online ordering systems offer customized marketing packages that can help you promote the launch and increase awareness. When considering different vendors, check which marketing support options they offer.
5. Access to customer data
The ability to collect customer data from orders placed through your online order system gives you valuable insight on how to run promotions and campaigns. This type of data can help you better understand and cater to your customer preferences. Not all online ordering vendors will give you access to this type of data, so be sure to ask about this when evaluating your options. Some vendors may charge an additional cost, and some may not release the information at all.
Whichever ordering system you choose to conduct business on the Internet with, make sure that it provides an enjoyable online experience for your customers. Take some time to investigate all the options available, compare apples to apples, and discuss added features whenever possible.