The small business owner knows that no matter how successful they are, there is always more work to be done. Marketing and a local reputation can only take a business so far in today’s world, and the time has come to consider leveraging online ordering to extend your reach. But before you rush to build a website, it is first important to understand exactly what online ordering is and what all of its moving parts are to make a lasting first impression.
What Is Online Ordering?
Online ordering is a business strategy that is aimed at presenting customers with more convenience while simultaneously becoming more available to a bigger audience. For example, there are different options such as:
- Ordering apps
- Partner relationships with large distributors (e.g., Amazon)
But the most common form of online ordering for small businesses is the use of a branded website that allows customers to interact with a brand at their leisure and without geographic limitations.
Providing online ordering to customers applies to almost every type of business.
- Restaurants can utilize online menus or contactless dining for added revenue and convenience.
- Salons and spas allow customers to craft their own experience with online scheduling and customizing services.
- Retailers monitor data and analytics to track customer loyalty and preferences to leverage against competitors.
- Repairmen or food truck operators can benefit from the on-demand options that online ordering platforms offer which give their customers more options and flexibility.
Are There Any Specific Technology Requirements to Support It?
Building a branded website can be done rapidly. However, several requirements must be met to maximize the impact of online ordering on your business model.
- A template provided by your POS partner that is easy to customize
- A cloud-based POS system to allow for seamless transitions of data regardless of the source
- Advanced data management to provide in-depth reporting for the monitoring of key business processes
- The ability to coordinate rapid order fulfillment, billing, and instant payment options
A point of sale system that includes these basic elements will maximize the success of online ordering. Customers will gain confidence in your ability to execute orders, and the additional data sources will positively impact your ability to align your products and services to the changing tastes of your customer base.
How Do I Use Online Ordering to Drive Sales?
Encouraging customer interaction with your products via a branded website can be used to drive sales. With a branded online ordering website implemented, you will start to see your brand garner attention from people and places you never thought possible.
And although some geographic limitations may still apply, for example in a restaurant or a salon scenario, this added layer of attention will start boosting revenues almost immediately.
With the right POS tools, specials and product offerings can be advertised immediately using an ordering website. Inventory management will become more streamlined and accurate as you begin to blend your new revenue streams and website with your current tracking systems. This comprehensive monitoring will allow you to better understand best sellers and from which source to broaden your reach.
Where Does Billing or Payment Come Into Play?
Getting paid for your goods and services is just as important as putting your brand in front of potential customers. The POS technology you employ must then also be equipped to accept payment from a variety of channels. Whether it is taking payment at the time of purchase or generating a digital invoice, there are a few payment acceptance options that will ensure that you give the customer a way to pay.
Web-based invoicing software that integrates into your POS solution will give you the ability to track payments and issue digital purchase receipts. Using a POS-provided mobile payment app will cover your bases for in-person purchases while virtual terminals can be used to tackle the payment challenges of online orders.
Ideally, the POS service provider you select can provide all three of these tools under one powerful set of inclusive business tools.
Can POS Technology Support Delivery Options?
The last component to consider when offering online ordering is the way you plan on getting the order to the customer. Although this process is fairly straightforward for items ordered for in-store pick-up, curbside delivery, or click-and-collect, things get a little complicated when delivery is requested. It is here that having cloud-based POS technology will lend a huge assist, especially when your POS solution is mobile-friendly and comes with interchangeable data.
Both in-house and third-party delivery options can be initiated through the integrated flow of data between your POS system and an online ordering portal. This same portal can be used to allow customers to place orders with you via a third-party delivery app or to quickly prepare and package items for delivery services when your in-person staff initiates them.
The seamless flow of order information ensures that accuracy is retained throughout the process regardless of the preferred delivery method.
How Can I Develop My Online Ordering Strategy?
An online ordering presence will create benefits for almost any type of business. But several fundamental technology requirements must first be met to get the most ROI out of this strategy. Leaning on a proven small business technology expert will help you not only to select the right tools for the job but also align your business processes and make all aspects of your business run as efficiently as possible.
It can be difficult to know what online ordering is exactly and how to integrate it into your business. But the small business technology experts at talech will guide you along the way to satisfying your modern POS technology needs. We will learn your business goals and integrate them with the processes you use and recommend the necessary changes to fit your new POS technology. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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