Online Ordering Systems: What Are The Advantages of Using One?

September 4, 2020

Implementing an online ordering system - sometimes called virtual ordering or contactless table ordering - is one of the best ways to turn a website into a customer acquisition channel.

By setting up your own online shop, you can start taking online orders. And just like that, you’ve opened up a new channel to cater to new and repeat customers!

An online ordering system can be used to take online orders, but it can also be used to take in-person orders to make the ordering process more efficient.

  1. What is an online ordering system?
  2. How do online ordering systems work?
  3. What are the advantages of ordering online?
  4. How can I improve my online ordering system?
  5. How to set up an online ordering system

What is an online ordering system?

An online ordering system is a system that is put in place to allow restaurants and cafes to take orders and accept payments from a distance - both online and in-person.

With this system, customers simply access an online menu. This can either be done by scanning a QR code, or entering a link into the search bar.

Once your customer makes their selection, they submit their order and pay all in one go. Once the order is received on the restaurant’s end, all that’s left is for the order to be taken to the customer’s table or packaged ready for delivery.

As you can imagine, this speeds up the whole online ordering process: everything takes place through a smartphone, instead of constant back and forths with staff.

Learn how to build your own online menu with Pomelo Pay’s Menu Maker

How do online ordering systems work?

Online ordering systems operate similarly to online takeaway: your customer orders online, completes their payment and can then get their food delivered or decide pick it up at your store. The ordering process is straightforward:

  1. Your customer browses your online menu on their laptop or mobile phone. They can do this in front of your store (also called click and collect) or at home
  2. They pick what they want to order, and add any delivery or meal instructions
  3. They pay directly through the system by filling in their card details. You can also choose to send them a payment link if you are taking the order over the phone
  4. The payment is processed securely, and no payment details are stored on any device
  5. Your customer's order is delivered to their house or they can pick it up at a specific time

Simple, straightforward and contact-free!

Learn more: How to get started with click and collect

pomelo pay online ordering system

What are the advantages of ordering online?

1. Safer and healthier

To reopen, food businesses need to set up shop to meet UK government health and safety regulations. Owners must maintain social distancing, use contactless ordering/payment methods and ensure surfaces are cleaned regularly.

Even if you’re a small shop, social distancing doesn’t have to be stressful. Shifting to an online ordering system for businesses means your customers can order and pay from outside the shop or from a table inside.

This makes it easier to maintain safe distances if necessary.

Get Started: Try Pomelo Pay for free!

2. Less room for error

One of the advantages of online food ordering for customers is that it ensures prices are accurate and there’s less room for error when it’s time to settle the bill.

That’s because customers need to physically pick an item on a menu with a corresponding price, ensuring the correct amount will always be paid.

This has some good benefits for your business; there’s less chance of incorrect charging, less time wasted sorting out mistakes and fewer free coffees handed out to appease customers!

3. More customers

As the new normal progresses, online ordering and payments are becoming more accepted and expected. If your menu and payment system is hassle-free your regular customers will be recommending you to their friends, and sharing on social media.

You can increase your customers, and your profit, simply by offering a seamless customer experience.

4. Increased customer loyalty

Customers will choose your shop over a competitor’s if you give them a reason to keep coming back. Great coffee and cakes may be that reason, but you can also encourage their loyalty with a reward programme.

According to a recent study, a personalised digital experience is also a good way to encourage customers to keep coming back. Out of 1000 customers surveyed, 50% said they would switch brands that give them a poor online experience, and 73% expected online personalisation.

With a restaurant online ordering system you can send personalised offers, request reviews to boost your ratings and receive feedback about your service.

5. Higher customer spend

We know that a larger number of customers are now engaging with digital products and services than ever before.

They’re also spending more when they order online.That’s because studying an online menu is different to standing in a queue.

Customers have more time to make an informed decision. If they want the rich, gooey chocolate cake then they can order it with their skinny latte without fear of judgement from others. Even better if it’s bagged up to take away!

Those with food intolerances can clearly read all the information necessary and take their time. This means customers are likely to place larger orders.

Read more: QR Code Payments: What They are and How to Get Started

6. Highly customisable

Menu apps are highly customisable so you can easily promote your logo, brand colours or other features that make your business unique. Plus if you want to delete or add an item to the menu all you have to do is log in, make your changes and it’s done!

customise online menu pomelo pay
Easily customise your online ordering system with Pomelo Shop 

7. Reduced costs

With a card terminal you’re looking at a number of accompanying fees that can seriously reduce your bottom line. An ordering system for small businesses is a lot cheaper because it’s all digital, and in many cases the only cost is a small processing fee on transactions.

Set up your own online ordering system with Pomelo Pay for free

How can I improve my online ordering system?

There are quite a few ways you can improve your online ordering system and increase the number of online orders. Here are some strategies:

  1. Let customers you see in-person know that you have an online ordering system
  2. Offer exclusive offers to those who order online
  3. Promote your ordering system on social media
  4. Offer click and collect
  5. Ask for feedback so you know what to improve
  6. Provide free delivery for orders over a certain amount
  7. Allow customers to checkout as guests so they don't need to sign up

Read more on how to get started with pre-orders

How to set up an online ordering system

What’s the best way to move forward when picking an online ordering system? Most solutions involve website builders, which are often too complicated and too expensive.

With Pomelo Pay, you can create your very own online store for free. Customers can view your online menu through a QR code or link, and order and pay for items, just like a normal website!

You’ll also get a few other benefits with Pomelo Pay

  • Customisable menu
  • Printable static QR code
  • Payment links
  • Free online ordering system (1.49% transaction fee)
pho real online ordering system

Tom, a street food vendor based in Kingston, uses Pomelo Pay’s online menu to accept both in-person and online orders. Thanks to his all-in-one customisable menu, he can take quick orders in-person, as well as large online orders.

Ever since getting started with Pomelo Pay, his revenue has grown by 10% and he can’t imagine doing things any other way.

Read the case study: How a Street Food Vendor increased business revenue by 10%.

A free online food ordering system like Pomelo Pay works as your one-stop solution to start accepting online orders, helping you rank head and shoulders above the competition. Forget about complex and expensive website builders - we do all the heavy lifting for you.

And since it’s free, you won’t lose anything by just testing it out!