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Online Ordering Needs to Be Smartphone-Friendly

by | Oct 16, 2016

Be available during “micromoments” when THEY “want to buy”

Phone ordering is having a resurgence in the restaurant business. No, not calling in to speak their orders, but placing orders by smartphone. The use of desktop computers on the Internet is flat or declining, while mobile usage is growing rapidly.

Don’t just take our word for it at 9Fold. Google often publishes compelling articles known in a series of “Micromoments” solely based on the move to mobile ordering and mobile pre-buying research of consumers as a whole across various industries. An entire series of blogs and article research by Google writers follows a theme of “I Want To” – describing the inner thinking behind consumer behavior on the go. The series is speaking to the nature and habits of consumers seeking things such as  “I want to Go” and “I want to know” moments while they search with their mobile phones “in the moment” .   In an article about mobile habits of consumers focusing on ” I want to Buy” moments, research finds that 65% of people use their phones in their “I want to buy moments” before they decide to purchase. On top of that, 71% of people visit the specific retailers website during this search. Simple translation? If you have little or no presence for your own restaurant on mobile,  your missing the boat.
online ordering smartphone friendly move

The move to mobile ordering for restaurant’s

About two-thirds of Americans have smartphones. Younger adults, as well as people with higher income and educational levels, are the most likely to have them. A surprising 7% of the population has a smartphone as its only convenient way for getting to the Internet.

The majority of e-commerce traffic comes from mobile devices, but the majority of purchases still come from desktop computers. However, local businesses like restaurants have a different story. When people are searching for local information, eight out of ten mobile searches result in a purchase.

This makes sense. People who want something to eat want it the same day. It’s not a decision they’ll research and then come back to, like buying furniture. They make a lot of meal orders when they aren’t at home. Restaurants are one of the best market segments for mobile ordering.

Any restaurant’s online ordering needs to be friendly to mobile devices, or it will lose a big chunk of business. Besides, Google and other search engines downgrade sites in their search rankings if they aren’t easy to use with mobile devices.

The major food ordering sites understand this. GrubHub and EAT24 provide mobile applications for ordering. Restaurants that take direct ordering will normally find a website makes more sense than an application. The site has to be “responsive,” adaptable to both large and small screens, so everyone can order easily.

People ordering takeout are especially likely to use their phones. They might order on their way home, waiting till they’re close enough that the food won’t be ready before they get there. They can order from a bus or train. Don’t count home delivery out, though; people will often reach for their phone, even at home, because it’s handier than the desktop computer. And certainly don’t forget hotel delivery, the perfect setting for orders by people with smartphones and expense accounts.

online ordering smartphone friendly make it simple

Make ordering simple for the customer

Making things easy for the customer is the key to success. That’s the big benefit of online ordering. People don’t have to wait for someone to answer the phone, and they don’t have to worry about whether the person taking the order heard it correctly. They can see what’s on the menu and what it costs.

Mobile ordering takes convenience to the next level. When people can order from a smartphone, there’s even less of a barrier to ordering. If they have to use their desktop machine, they might change their minds by the time they get to it. Take the phone out of your pocket and place the order — that’s definitely easier.

It’s harder to turn a mobile view into a sale than it is on the desktop, so it’s important to make the user experience as positive as possible. Sites that are hard to read or have inconveniently small controls won’t make as many sales.

Even if people don’t order from the phone, you want to make a positive impression. They might be using their phones just to see what’s available. If the mobile site is a good one, they may later order from the desktop or place an old-fashioned voice call. If it’s unpleasant to read, you could lose their future business.

The shift to mobile ordering is certain to continue, and if you get ready for it now, you won’t be behind the competition later. 9Fold provides a complete approach to online ordering that works through your website and branding, is mobile-friendly, and provides a broad range of options. Please contact us to learn more.

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