Restaurants and Online Ordering

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Abandoned baskets on your online ordering site

In e-commerce, basket (or cart) abandonment is when an Internet user begins an order without finalizing it, i.e. without seeing the online purchasing process through to completion, and without paying for the items initially ordered. There can be all sorts of reasons behind an abandoned basket on your online ordering site. Here we will explore these reasons and see how to avoid them.

An over-long ordering path

In the restaurant industry, time (or lack of) is one of the key factors on an online ordering site. Your customers will often be hungry and in a hurry when they come to place their orders. If you want to secure their loyalty and make sure them come back to your restaurant, don’t make them wait longer than necessary. Their online purchase path must be straightforward and guided at every step. As discussed in the article “A customer satisfied with your restaurant’s e-commerce site”, you must endeavour to make the customer experience as short and easy as possible. Avoid unnecessary intermediate steps between the moment when a customer reaches your site, and the moment when they confirm their order.

Unexpected – or badly indicated – additional costs

If your service infers any additional costs, don’t hide or fail to disclose them. State them right from the onset, whether they be delivery costs or additional costs on certain items. It can be very frustrating for customers, after feasting their eyes on a mouthwatering photo of some tasty dish, to suddenly find out that they have to pay extra to include it in their selected menu. This is one of the reasons why lots of customers abandon their baskets and, consequently, their order. And yet, this situation can quite easily be avoided: when it is clear right from the start that a given item or service infers an additional cost, the informed customer will not necessarily exclude it from their basket. It’s the “unpleasant surprise” factor that engenders the frustration and, as a result, the abandoned basket.

Excessive delivery costs

abandon-panier-achat-en-ligneDelivery costs are often a purchasing obstacle in e-commerce. While it’s perfectly normal for you to pass on your own delivery expenses (petrol, delivery boy wages, vehicle maintenance, etc.), you must nevertheless make sure that your costs are consistent with the price of your goods and your positioning (fast food vs. gourmet cuisine). Your customers should not have to spend as much on the delivery service as they do on the actual product. In fact, you are advised to offer free delivery for a minimum online order amount. This will not only avoid abandoned baskets, it will also increase the amount of the average basket on your online ordering site.

Ambiguous delivery times

Delivery times may vary considerably depending on the traffic in your restaurant, or the radius of your delivery area. If so, make this clear by informing your customers that, depending on the time when they place their order, or on their delivery address, your deliveries will take X minutes to reach them. As with additional costs, an informed customer will be more patient, and will thus purchase with peace of mind. You can also indicate your “off-peak hours” and “peak hours” on your site; this will allow your customers, if they prefer, to order in advance and avoid busy periods. Another advantage for you is that you will help to spread out peak ordering times and manage your deliveries more easily.

Overly restrictive payment methods

Customers like to have a choice of payment methods for their online purchases. If possible, don’t limit this choice, and offer different payment solutions. An online payment facility is obviously the most efficient solution: for you, as it means shorter queues and faster deliveries, and for your customers, who no longer have to stop by at your establishment to pick up their items or wait for their delivery. However, some Internet users will still prefer to pay only after receiving their items, in cash, by cheque or even using meal vouchers. Offering two or three different online payment methods will help minimize baskets abandoned by your customers.

An e-commerce site that is not perceived as reliable/trustworthy

abandon-de-panierIn e-commerce, if you offer an online payment facility, you must make sure that your ordering site is secure, and show this security to your customers. When paying, customers must feel confident on your site. Show them that they are in a secure area when they pay, and that their data will on no account be disclosed. This might seem trivial, but it is all-important. If your customers have any doubts concerning your site’s reliability or trustworthiness, they are unlikely to proceed with their online orders for fear of possible fraud. Adding a simple “secure payment” icon and/or a concise notice will help to avoid abandoned baskets by distrustful customers.

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