Your online presence is a customer conversation. As with any communication you have with your customers, you should want this conversation to be easy to understand, informative, and to end with an enjoyable experience and a sale.
Of course, the trick with this conversation is that you are prepared in advance and to answer as many questions as you can anticipate. The upside is you know all the answers already because the topic of conversation is and always will be your business. If your online ordering system introduction begins with this idea, you’ll have no problem guiding your customers to the products they need and want.
An Online Presence Is Crucial to Success
Every business needs an online presence in the 2020s. Since the spread of smartphones placed an entire world of possibilities into the pockets of just about every American—in 2019, 81% of adults had a smartphone, while in 2010 no one did—the internet and personal tech have become a key part of everyday life.
It doesn’t even matter much if you don’t plan on drawing much revenue from your online opportunities. Many Americans use the web as a way of checking up on a new business, either searching through its electronic wares themselves or getting a first impression through review sites and social media comments.
Taking ownership of your web presence is like opening a whole new shop front to potential customers. You get to show them exactly what makes you unique and worthy of exploration, and you can do it with a depth of information and choice that becomes overpowering in an in-store space.
What Can an Online Ordering System Do?
Any online ordering system introduction begins with a simple question: What are we trying to tell our customers? The answer to that will go a long way toward shaping your web presence.
The details can be dramatically different for each industry, but that central question still holds. Are you trying to service existing, knowledgeable shoppers? Are you trying to add a communication platform to service regulars? Are you trying to tempt new diners with personalized meals and deals?
An online ordering system can accommodate all of this and more, but there are a few key functions you should insist upon when you reach out for support in building a website:
- Make sure it can be fully customized as a standalone brand
- Make sure it can be fully integrated with the rest of your business management tools
- Make sure it flows logically from welcome to final purchase
- Make sure it includes comprehensive sales and data reporting
- Make sure it matches the standards and unique features of your in-store business
- Make sure it is safe, secure, and reassuring to use
As you can see from the list above, maximizing your online presence in 2020 is more about the successful translation of your business to a digital audience than it is about tech wizardry or dazzling virtual reality impact.
The most important aspect of your online ordering system is that it works, and “working” matters across several elements.
Firstly, while many small and medium business operators have a sound IT knowledge, few would claim to be experts in the field. Your success in business usually requires a different set of skills, so leave the construction of your site to an expert. Frustrating your customers with a glitchy, broken webpage doesn’t just cost you sales, it costs you your reputation.
Secondly, consider every action within your online ordering system from the perspective of a complete newcomer to your business, online or otherwise. Make sure you can logically navigate from initial interest to fully customized end-product.
Thirdly, don’t neglect the in-store powers behind the online presence. Your online ordering system needs to completely mesh with the chef, sales team, or stylist that will have to deliver on the promise you just made to your customer online. Your web presence needs to be integrated with your inventory management solutions and your workflows so that there’s both the product and the necessary instructions available to fill each order.
Your online ordering system is, after all, just an extension of your main business.
An Online Ordering System Introduction to the Entire Business
To expand on where we began, an online ordering system is a conversation between your customers and your entire business. The best solutions are ones that connect every aspect of your outlet into a single entity. That means linking the purchase orders to the sales reports, adjusting staff levels in accordance with online and in-store demand, adjusting sales figures to account for digital marketing campaigns, and so on.
These connections can be created and sustained if you tie your online presence directly to your in-store and accounting responsibilities through a single, all-in-one point of sale platform. Such digital POS systems use everyday technologies, such as iPad and smartphones, to coordinate your entire business. Moreover, the leading POS providers now supply internet capacity and tech support as standard in their subscription deals.
If you are going to thrive in the 2020s you need to master the art of digital customer conversation. The best way to do that is to simplify your tech interactions down to an easy to understand, easy to operate POS solution with built-in online ordering.
When you partner with talech for your online eCommerce technology needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to translate your business to an online platform with innovative POS solutions that level the playing field. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.