Have you been puzzling over how to leverage third-party order aggregators to best serve your business? You’re not alone! Fortunately, a data-informed examination of how businesses benefit from these platforms points to some key strategies that help clear the way forward, toward a more profitable approach.
A recent Paytonix webinar, How to Get More First-Party Orders, examines the trends and tools you need to know about.
Choose the right tools to help you manage third-party orders.
Huge numbers of customers are turning to third-party aggregators as their first source of information in deciding what they are going to eat. With an estimated 37 percent of the restaurant customer base reporting that they order food for takeout or delivery at least twice per week, getting the tools right is a critical first step.
The latest data has some interesting findings around order sizes and means of fulfillment. About one quarter of online orders placed in 2020 were for delivery, but the fulfillment method used proved to be a significant factor. Although they make up a smaller percentage of guests, people who ordered delivery through third-party order aggregators typically spent more, on average, than those ordering takeout. A possible explanation is that those customers might feel they need to order enough to make the associated fees worth paying. Additionally, some brands were new to offering third-party delivery last year, and their customers might behave differently.
All in all, these third-party channels are responsible for a huge number of orders. They’ve provided a valuable flow of customers – but managing them can get messy. That’s where integration tools like Handoff SM from Paytronix can make life easier. Handoff collects orders from the marketplace and streamlines them into the POS automatically. It can also handle menu changes to give you more control, can help localize reporting, and can handle menu markups more elegantly, rounding up a few cents to a number that makes sense so you don’t wind up with odd-priced items that scream “markup.”
Rely on a thoughtful strategy to transition guests from third-party order aggregators to your own channels.
You have some great options for moving guests into your lane. Number one is an integrated loyalty program. Guests love them. And if your in-person guests join a loyalty program, they fully expect to be able to access it off-premises, too. Promote enrollment on your website and make it easy to join wherever your guest encounters you. Simple strategies like a scannable QR code on cups or packaging or a text-to-join program make guests more likely to join – and return.
Another winning strategy: Integrating gift cards into your online ordering system to make your channel the more appealing option. Gift cards are wildly popular, especially over the holiday season. A recipient may well want to use that card online. Allowing them to do so through a first-party ordering system is a great way to capture a customer.
Finally, consider SEO and digital advertising. These might sound a little old school, but searching online is still a primary way customers make decisions about ordering. If you run a quick search for your business, chances are you will see at least two paid ads — including ads for third-party order aggregators — before your business’s website shows up in the mix. Search engine optimization can help you ensure that you don’t fall further down the list of results. And investing in paid advertising can push you up to the top.
Do you have questions about how to make third-party aggregators work for you? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at 1-617-649-3300 EXT. 5.