Savvy entrepreneurs must be aware of all prevailing technological perks and, importantly, should be capable of embracing the relevant tools that will lead to their entity’s maturation. This is especially critical in a day and age influenced by eCommerce and online shopping.
Our recent post touched more on payment processors and how they could be a life-changer for your startup’s financial transactions. Well, you shouldn’t leave it at that. Adopting other related and complementary software, in this case, an online ordering system, will set your venture on an upper trajectory and give it a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Besides enhancing your customers’ online shopping experience, and ordering system is a practical and efficient strategy to provide additional revenue streams for your startup. But unfortunately, it’s almost impractical to pinpoint all the benefits of setting up an online ordering system.
Nonetheless, lucrative and beneficial as online ordering systems prove to be, adopting a suitable one can be pretty daunting. Struggles with computer glitches while trying to place online orders and complaints about the lengths and complexity of virtual ordering are significant impediments hindering this model’s optimal fruition. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be so frustrating.
Read on to garner valuable insights on the basics of virtual ordering software and the best practices for choosing the most suitable online ordering system for your startup.
Understanding online ordering systems
As the name implies, online ordering systems allow your startup to take orders and accept payments from a distance- both virtually and physically. An appropriate online ordering software enables clients to access your products through mobile ordering, primarily via scanning a QR code or entering a link into the search bar.
Subsequently, customers make their selections, submit their orders, and payout instantly. After receiving the order, you are liable for presenting the requisition to the customer or packaging is ready for delivery.
Online ordering systems operate similar to a virtual takeaway. In a nutshell, clients order online, finalize their payments, and can get their products delivered or picked up at your store—elementary, hassle-free, and contact-free.
How to choose an online ordering system for a startup
Straightforward as online ordering systems appear to be, selecting a suitable one to fit your startup model can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, there isn’t a hard and fast rule in determining the perfect online ordering system considering all businesses have unique preferences and models. However, you can factor in a few several factors to help you select an ideal online ordering system. They are:
1. Fully customizable
Your startup’s online ordering system should provide your clientele with a seamless experience. In addition, it should act as an extension of your brand. For example, it should offer customizable settings that allow you to include your business name and change interface color to match your brand’s. What’s more, it should consist of other features that make your business unique.
Also, if you want to change your menu, such as adding or deleting products to your catalog, an ideal ordering system should streamline the process.
2. Ease of ordering
An online ordering system should eliminate the hassle of clients contacting your startup to place, confirm or follow up on orders. All such information should be available on display on the ordering dashboard. Also, an ordering system that’s attractive and appealing to the public will allure more traffic.
More importantly, the payment procedure should be compatible with various devices, whether computers or mobile phones. In sum, the entire ordering process should be understandable, from viewing your products to paying. Combine this with an attractive user interface and have an optimal ROI from your online ordering app.
3. Ease of integration
An ideal virtual ordering system should integrate with the vast eCommerce platforms. This is especially critical with your Point of Sale system (POS) since it guarantees a more streamlining experience to its users.
Ordering systems integrable with POS allow you to incorporate new features with existing features, making onboarding a breeze. Consequently, it’s possible to fulfill virtual and in-person orders without switching the interface efficiently.
In addition, your startup’s online ordering system should allow users to purchase products through various channels. For instance, you can integrate it with your Facebook page, and in a nutshell, customers can be directed to your database.
4. Data collection capabilities
Online ordering systems come in handy in your hyper-personalization and marketing efforts. An ordering application that allows you to keep track of your customers’ data helps you gather valuable insights to optimize online personalization.
By obtaining and withholding relevant information such as customers’ age range, location, preferred products, shopping habits, etc., you will be on top of ordering patterns and trends. As a result, you can identify your regulars, most preferred products, and, notably, where to focus your marketing efforts.
5. Cost in budget
Essential as ordering systems are, most do not offer free services. Online ordering systems charge fees per transaction or monthly and annual fixed prices in most cases. Therefore, you have to scrutinize your startup’s financial capacity before choosing an ideal application.
A practical and fast rule in determining the perfect fit for your startup is reviewing your target ROI and the pricing of each software. Then, of course, select an ordering system with the right features and functions that don’t overwhelm your budget.
6. Multiple features
Besides integration with other tools, an online ordering system should provide other impactful features such as delivery and pickup. A software that allows access to location navigation, order tracking, and multiple payment modes will streamline your operations and provide an enhanced clientele experience.
In addition, if you don’t deliver to remote places, a pickup feature that allows users to place an order and pick it up depending on their availability will be a lifesaver.
Most importantly, select an online ordering system that offers marketing extension features. As a result, you can articulate and promote your brand. Moreover, you can avail promotions and loyalty programs to reward users of the website to motivate them to purchase your products.
7. Support and maintenance services
Finally, ensure the online ordering system provider offers reliable support and maintenance services. It’s not uncommon for ordering software to have occasional downtimes. As a result, regular maintenance and on-demand customer support will help ensure any glitches are fixed promptly without inconveniencing the users. Also, they will ensure your application is up-to-date with the latest trends and upgrades.
Selecting and adopting the perfect online ordering system for your business is crucial to making or breaking your business. Therefore, take your time to choose wisely by scrutinizing your needs, business model, and the above factors.