The COVID-19 pandemic has forced stores and restaurants to close down.
With that said, an unexpected opportunity arising from this is the growth of online ordering and delivery.
More and more places are taking their products online to fulfill the need for convenience when going out shopping is no longer a safe alternative.
However, there's a lot businesses can do significantly improve their online operations.
If you are a small business owner, you can use these simple but proven tactics for increasing your online ordering and sales volume.
Let customers know that you are accepting online orders.
The easiest way to get more orders is to let people know that you are open for business. It may seem obvious, but many business owners neglect to announce developments in their stores on their online channels.
If you put just a small sign on your storefront announcing that you are open for deliveries, your message will only reach people who walk by your store.
Let as many people know as possible—put your online channels on your delivery bags, on takeout containers, menus, and business cards. You can even run sponsored posts and social media ads containing your store's delivery information.
Ensure that your customers will find it easy to order
The ordering system is the next hurdle after awareness. Larger chains are aware of the impact of the customer journey on revenue, so they strive to make their ordering portals intuitive and user-friendly.
Customers used to a certain level of service will naturally expect that even from your online portals. A way to begin is to make sure you have a point of sale app that can manage orders from the Internet while integrating your in-store operations.
Make sure that your fees are reasonable
A big issue among all types of e-commerce businesses is cart abandonment. When people arrive at a checkout page, they might not push through with their purchase because of excessive delivery or service fees. Keep these charges at a reasonable price to encourage people to complete the purchase.
For instance, restaurants that use third-party providers like GrubHub or Uber Eats split an order's value with their provider. As much as 30 percent of the amount paid for orders go to these delivery platforms. The cost of the items themselves, though, do not increase.
Prioritize and communicate online security
When you set up an online payment system, you automatically need to follow your payment processor's security protocols and the issuing cards. Let your customers know that transacting on your website is safe and would not compromise their credit card information.
Third-party providers can do this, but if you handle payments yourself, you have to use as many security features available like MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa.
Give customers incentives for ordering online.
Link your in-store loyalty program with your online platform. This practice encourages regular patrons to keep purchasing from your store. You can also run promotions and loyalty programs that are 100 percent online. It has the added benefit of letting you gather consumer data through online signups or subscriptions.
Selling online is possible even during these challenging times. If you are an independent restaurant owner, a small retailer, or someone whose brick-and-mortar had to close because of the pandemic, you can still reach your customers and keep serving them using online deliveries.