As new technology is developed, it often has a serious and immediate impact on how we live our lives. One of the newest technological innovations having an impact on life and culture these days has to do with how we order food. As online ordering moves from the fringes to the mainstream, and as technology races to catch up with this trend in the way of mobile applications, more and more information is available as to why it’s so effective.
The Psychology of Ordering Online
One reason that online ordering is so effective has to do with psychology. People prefer to order when it is easy and convenient for them. This makes sense, and yet it has had a huge impact on the way we do business now. That simple act of making ordering convenient has paid off in terms of what are now millions, if not billions, of dollars in annual restaurant sales.
Another aspect of psychology that comes into play here is that people are more inclined to consider ordering a food when they are able to learn more about it. Often, when ordering in person, a customer doesn’t always get the chance to learn enough to consider a meal. This could be because the menu doesn’t have pictures, so they aren’t able to know what something looks like. This could be because they feel pressured to make a decision quickly, and don’t want to wait long enough to consider their options. Regardless of the reason, studies have found that people ordering online are much more inclined to consider different foods, especially when the online menu contains images, videos, and detailed descriptions of the menu items in question.
Another psychological benefit to online ordering (and one that certainly helps the restaurants) is that customers are more likely to order more food and more add-ons when they order online. This is due to several reasons. One reason is that, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, more descriptions lead people to want to try more things. Another reason is that online menus can make it easier for people to know exactly what their options are. A paper menu sometimes can make it difficult to know what sorts of items can be added to an order or a menu item. An online menu, however, makes it much easier for customers to consider their options. In addition, because the whole menu is available and easy to see, customers are more likely to order more items online than, say, when ordering over the phone. All this leads to the same result: online orders have the potential to bring in much more revenue.
The Data Gathering of Ordering Online
Another scientific area when it comes to online sales comes in the form of information gathering. As more and more sales happen through digital platforms, it’s much easier to track orders and compile data about various trends. What’s popular right now? What sorts of items do people order together? When do the most orders come in? The information gathered from digital sales can answer these questions as well as hundreds of others, and can help when it comes to understanding the ordering preferences of both individual customers as well as larger segments of the population.
Questions like these can go a long way towards maximizing the potential of digital platforms. As more information is gathered, restaurants can fine-tune their menus, offerings, and specials to make use of what is hot and important at the current time. Even more importantly, restaurants can take this data to market to individual customers based on their ordering, and to entire market areas based on the current trends of the day. This is definitely an area where there’s no such thing as too much information!
The Convenience of Ordering Online
Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the science of customer satisfaction. It’s not hard to understand that customers who order online are typically happy with the convenience and options that come with getting their food this way, and the happiness leads to more sales as well as free word-of-mouth advertising. Since a happy customer is a returning customer, using digital platforms to create this rewarding experience is definitely an important thing for your restaurant, both financially and psychologically.
If your restaurant is a little behind the times when it comes to online ordering, and you’d like to catch up, we can help. Our experts can look at your current situation and recommend just the right tools to expand your restaurant into the digital age. Even more, we can build your digital applications for you, so you can stay focused on running your restaurant. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
The Science behind Ordering Food Online was last modified: June 9th, 2017 by Rafi Cohen
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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