How to boost delivery and digital sales?

The question is puzzling myriads of restaurant operators, especially in pandemic times. Let's see the 10 pieces that help to solve this puzzle.

First option that many restaurateurs go with is aggregators/third party delivery. Although it's the simplest way to provide online ordering, it provides the least income thanks to high aggregators commissions (up to 30%). Not to mention that the restaurant does not have access to the customer base, cannot influence consumers behavior via marketing communication and control the quality of the service.
The only way to attract consumers' attention in aggregator channels is discounting. The recent researches (pymnts, sense360) show that customer's choice in third party delivery is mostly led by cost. Also, 28% of customers choose an aggregator to order from the restaurant they already know and would order directly if there were such an option.
For restaurant operators, the key to incentivizing consumers to order online from their restaurant starts with optimized, simple website and mobile app platforms like LoyaltyPlant. Many brands use aggregators but still run their own mobile ordering and loyalty app. Percentage of in-app orders differs depending on restaurant business structure: for instance, 77% of McDonalds digital sales are done via its mobile app, while other brands may have lower figures. In any way, launching a brand-owned mobile ordering app provides an opportunity to really influence customers behavior via personalization, loyalty programs and in-app marketing campaigns. The diagram below shows the impact of app launch on restaurant sales (data is taken from LoyaltyPlant/7 Leaves cafe case-study).
So, what are the 10 pieces that help put together the successful boost of direct ordering?
01. Launch branded mobile ordering app with loyalty program. Brand-owned app will serve as an additional sales channel and marketing platform to increase repeat purchases. Restaurants can also integrate the app to the POS system to allow seamless sync of consumers orders data, bonus points and finest personalization of in-app content.
02. Make sure your app has a dynamic user-friendly interface to make ordering both simple and enjoyable: one-click order/repeat order functionality, quick payment option, auto feedback form after each purchase, big mouth-watering visuals. Do not forget to include an “Upsell” feature into the ordering process to suggest customer relevant options.
03. Focus on the 4 customer segments that are not “cold” leads. One of the typical mistakes that restaurants make when trying to increase the number of direct orders is promoting it to potential customers via PPC advertising, instead of focusing on their existing customer base (in-store visitors, aggregator users, etc).
04. Clearly communicate your app’s unique value to all customers. Let your aggregator customers know that personalized offers and other ongoing benefits await those who interact with the brand directly. Deliver the message (put advertising in the delivery box ) that ordering directly is a convenient, special, and highly rewarding experience.

05. Increase in-app orders and revenue by running in-app marketing campaigns! Reach “lapsed” customers via targeted campaigns. These customers are a high-conversion cohort - make sure you’re systematically reaching out to them on a monthly basis.
06. Create a delightful and rewarding experience, not transactional discounting. Make sure your loyalty program focuses on emotional loyalty, rather than transactional “discount-seeking”. This will make you stand out from competitors and aggregators, and lead to a greater customer spend.
07. Don't just show your menu, communicate! Once a customer from any outside platform opts into your direct online channel, engage them with brand content and storytelling. The app's main screen should be constantly updated with personalized offers, news, and messaging based on the user’s previous behavior and brands unique values.
08. Make sure your app isn’t useless in-store (e.g. customers can get a reward in-store just after a registration) and reward employees for promoting in there. Give employees a bonus for the number of app downloads / registrations in your online ordering channel using their promo code.
09. Cross "the chasm of the 2nd direct order" by automating your marketing. People with 3 orders are twice as likely to order again as those who have only ordered once. Businesses are built on turning casual customers into regulars. The in-app customer data makes this happen via automated marketing magic.
10. Maximize your conversion ratio by constantly analyzing customers behavior, implementing calendar for marketing campaigns, automating your marketing via triggers, purchase history. For instance, app can show a push message about a new position in the lunch menu to all those who once ordered lunch.
Direct ordering solutions can have a big financial impact on restaurant revenue. Brand-owned mobile ordering app not only saves up to 33% of revenue from the orders by avoiding aggregator fees.. It boosts restaurant sales thanks to additional marketing mechanics and functionality like loyalty and referral programs.
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