How Did Online Ordering Become The Giant Industry That It Is?
A number of us head home from work and order our dinners online- from our favorite apps or restaurants. We want to make the most of our time, and we don’t want to spend whatever little personal time we get slaving over a hot stove in the kitchen. People are looking to get the most out of their time and money and that’s where Online Ordering solves at least one problem. Ordering in is now a common part of our lives. People in cities order online up to 4 times a month on average!
It’s no surprise that the online ordering market has reached a value of USD 82 Billion in 2018 in terms of gross revenue booked and is expected to double by 2025. Yet, this industry only services about 11% of the world population. It’s a heated battle to the top in this market where players are coming in every day and disappearing just as quickly. The volumes are high and margins are thinner than ever. The sharks are eating up the big and small fish alike. Players like Deliveryhero sold their German arm to Takeaway.com, and bought Talabat, and Zomato in the Middle East. Grubhub, Just Eat, Uber Eats are all examples of how a handful of players are dominating the American and European Markets.
Yet, not one of these names belongs to a restaurant. Somehow, in an effort to make the cash registers ring, the restaurants have traded their brands in for more orders. The total investment made in the food delivery industry sat at USD 9.6 billion in 2018 alone. This has helped aggregators outspend their supply base and win the restaurant’s customers. The restaurants, however, lost loyalists, repeat business and a lot of brand value.
The Sweet Spot
It’s only in the past couple of years that brands have realized that the trade-off may not have worked for them as hoped. Given how margins are diminishing in the F&B industry, restaurants have begun investing heavily in their own delivery fleets, order generation, and management systems. At the same time, customers are looking for the best deals, service, and variety when it comes to who they order from. Here lies the opportunity for restaurants. This customer behavior gives restaurants a fighting chance to win their customers and margins back. If restaurants can be a source of these deals, the service, and variety, there’s no reason why customers won’t order from them directly.
If brands can give their customers the ordering experience of an aggregator app with additional benefits, it will be possible to switch behavior. Considering the fact that online ordering platforms are now charging up to 30% of the order value as commission, the restaurants have no real choice but to offer their own delivery services. With customers spending more time online now than ever before, the solution is clearly digital, or more specifically, social.
Restaurant owners and managers the world over, are short on time and resources and need a solution that fits into their existing systems. A platform solution that comes pre-integrated with payment, logistics, and marketing services along with order management and fulfillment would literally solve this problem with one click.
Now there are a few players that offer Restaurant platforms like these, but every restaurant has unique needs and you must find the right fit for you. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before choosing an online ordering platform for your restaurant:
1. Does this serve your customers well?
A smooth UI/UX, reliable and timely delivery, clear payment methods would usually be the factors you would watch here.
2. Does this solution fit all the moving pieces of your business as it stands?
Do your staff members, riders, managers and other team members feel comfortable using it? Can it be integrated with your current tech? How does it fit with your existing marketing channels?
3. Does it put your brand first?
Are you again paying someone for transactional value where your brand loses? Is this platform truly yours? Owned and built for you? Does it let you put your brand out there for your customers to interact with?
4. How much more time and effort will you have to put in to make it work?
Will it help your operation become more or less efficient? A good support platform would help you find time to do more, not take away your precious time.
These 4 focus areas are of prime importance if you really wish to save those ever-thinning revenue margins. Not only are consumers opening up to the possibility of ordering directly from restaurants to save on delivery fees and order minimums, but they are also primed for a shift in the online ordering space. So much so that players like Zomato are exploring the expansion of their dine-in loyalty program, “Gold” to delivery to retain users.
The battle here is to bring good experience to the end-user, beating the aggregators at their own game, and arming your brand for the blood bath to come in the online ordering space.
At Lyve, we focus on just one thing- putting restaurants first. And the best way to do that is to help them serve their customers. Our approach to online ordering is very simple. The customer is ordering your food, from your restaurant and as such, your brand comes first. We have combined our deep knowledge of consumer behavior in this space with what restaurants need and created a platform that serves both ends of the value chain.
Our Platform As A Service approach goes beyond just order generation. The intention is to create an organic, fully owned channel for your brand. This means the customer always sees you, via your social media and websites. We enable order generation, order management, logistics, and payments. All of this comes to you fully customized, fully integrated with the payment gateways, POS tech and logistics providers of your choice in our easy-to-use dashboard- Compass.
Our platform’s user interface comes in the form of a link that you can add to your website and social media and users can start ordering directly with you. No middlemen, no intermediaries. Just a direct transaction between you and your customers. With Lyve, the money that you spend to get orders flowing in serves your brand awareness goals as well. As we said, we’re about putting restaurants first.
To know more about how you can get your restaurant on Lyve, schedule a demo with our product experts here.