The 2020 pandemic, which continues to bring fear to many people worldwide, has affected a lot of businesses to the point where some restaurant owners have to close down their establishments. If you are in the food business and want to boost your income, you will be able to do that when you turn to restaurant ecommerce.
The bitter truth that everyone should learn to accept and swallow is that things may never go back to normal – at least not yet. There are certain things that must be done, which may take time to accomplish before everyone’s life returns to normal. Restaurant owners are finding ways to recoup the lost earnings, stay in the business, and take advantage of new technology that can help bring in profit.
The most viable solution that can help generate more income is to adapt restaurant ecommerce. Take note of the following:
– 96 percent of Americans have bought something online at least once in their life.
– There are about 1.92 billion people who purchased services and goods online in 2019. In the same year, the e-retail worldwide sales surpassed $3.5 trillion.
– Based on the latest calculations, the growth of ecommerce will further accelerate.
– As millions of people stayed at home at the start of the pandemic, they turn to online shopping to buy things. In June 2020, the worldwide ecommerce traffic stood at 22 billion monthly visits and food was one of the most purchased items.
Based on the given data, restaurant ecommerce is booming, and the more reason why restaurant owners should take advantage of it to increase sales. But, what exactly is ecommerce?
Ecommerce is also called internet commerce or electronic commerce. It refers to buying and selling services and goods via online or internet. The payment for the online transactions is also done in the same manner – through the internet. Ecommerce is any commercial transaction via the internet.
Through the years, ecommerce keeps getting better. It is now much easier and more convenient to buy or do business transactions online. Ecommerce is the substitute for a brick-and-mortar store. Many small business owners prefer to set up an ecommerce store, while medium to big businesses have both the physical store and ecommerce.
There are 3 basic things that you can do to benefit a lot from restaurant ecommerce:
– Create a good online presence with your restaurant ecommerce website
– Use social media marketing to reach out to customers
– Engage in email marketing
Your ecommerce website represents your restaurant, and it is the site that your customers can visit when they want to buy something, know the things you offer, learn about the different promotions that you have, and others. You still need to do ecommerce marketing to drive traffic to your site and entice customers to come and visit.
Create a Nice Restaurant Website to Gain Good Online Presence
If you already have an existing restaurant ecommerce website, for example for equipment for a restaurant, make sure to keep it up-to-date regarding the latest happenings surrounding your restaurant. It is one of the important tasks that you need to do to boost your sales. If you neglect giving updates, your customers might think that you are no longer operating. Just imagine how many businesses are forced to close down due to pandemic.
You may have pop-up alerts on your homepage that promote the new products that you have and direct your customers to your ordering page. You can also use high-quality images to make every dish you offer to look scrumptious and divine – enough to make the people salivate and place their order right away.
You may also need to update the payment methods and include some of the popular ones, such as PayPal and Stripe. You will be able to entice more customers if you give them more ways to pay for the items they buy on your restaurant ecommerce website.
If you still don’t have a website yet, it’s about time to have one and establish a good online presence. An online presence makes it easy for your customers to find your restaurant ecommerce website online. It can give you the following benefits:
– Make it is much easier for customers who are looking for the things you offer to find you.
– It becomes easier for you to introduce your products and services on your restaurant ecommerce website.
– You will be able to foster good relationships with potential customers and current patrons.
– Marketing your brand is a cinch when you have an online presence.
Although there are sites that offer DIY web design and development, you may not get the same quality as the one created by a reliable web design and development company.
Take note of the following when hiring a web design and development team:
– The company must be able to present some of their past works and credentials as well as testimonies from past clients.
– They should have a good reputation and online presence to prove their worth.
– They must be able to show good rapport and communication skills.
– The fees they charge should be reasonable.
– They should be easy to reach in case you need some help with your restaurant ecommerce website.
– They should be able to present pieces of evidence that prove their claims regarding their worth.
It is much better if you can find a web design and development company that has years of experience to back them up. Although, there are lots of novice web developers with promising futures.
Social Media Marketing for your Restaurant Ecommerce
More and more people are using different social media platforms to talk to friends, know the latest, and much more. The different social media platforms are the perfect avenue to let your customers know more about your restaurant. Among the different social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram have the most number of members. According to the data that PEW Research Center has provided, men and women between the ages of 18 and older spend more time on Facebook and Instagram. The said social media platforms are the most ideal platforms to advertise your restaurant if you want to drive more traffic to your restaurant ecommerce website.
You can advertise your restaurant ecommerce for free, but you may not get the traffic that you expect to get. Your Facebook friends may share your posts about your restaurant, but it is not enough to boost your sales. You may still notice a significant change in your income after sharing a post about your restaurant.
It pays to obtain the outcome that you want to get. When you talk about ecommerce, Facebook is the most suitable choice for lead generation. Many advertisers who tried advertising their products on Facebook said that they paid less than a dollar for each lead.
You can do any of these most common social media advertising campaigns to promote your restaurant:
– Free delivery (with minimum purchase and within a certain area)
– Deals for combo meals
You need to do the following to set up Facebook advertising campaigns for your restaurant ecommerce website:
1. You need to have a Facebook account for your restaurant ecommerce site first so create one now if you still haven’t.
2. Open your account and log-in to the Ads Manager of Facebook. Do the following:
– Choose the Campaigns tab and click Create.
– You will be presented with various marketing objectives, and you only need to choose the one that can help you accomplish your aim.
3. Choose a suitable name for your ads.
4. If you still don’t have an ad account, you can create one by clicking the Set Up Ad Account button.
5. Choose a page where you want to put your restaurant ecommerce campaign to attract the right audience.
6. Select the spots where you want your ads to appear or you can choose Automatic Placements.
7. Set your schedule and the amount that you are willing to spend.
8. Pick the format that you want to follow before you create your ads.
Facebook offers advertisers a more advanced targeting than any other social media platforms. You can target based on the location, interest, past activities, and others. You will be able to entice more customers if you have the correct audience to introduce a particular offer of your restaurant ecommerce website.
If you want to use Instagram to promote your restaurant, it is recommended to use images with high resolution. Instagram has the highest engagement rate among the social media platforms, including Facebook. It is famous for its videos and images. A restaurant ecommerce website owner will surely gain a lot of benefits in using Instagram. The visuals of the scrumptious dishes will surely entice the onlookers even more.
Most users of Instagram are 18 to 29 years old. It also appeals more to women and minorities. If you want to introduce a new dish to millennials, you will gain a lot in using Instagram for your campaigns. You may directly link your Instagram ads to a page on your website to allow the users to engage directly with the things in your restaurant ecommerce website.
Facebook is also the owner of Instagram. Setting up ads on Instagram is the same as how you do it on Facebook. However, you need to have a Facebook page to run your Instagram ads.
Once you logged into the Facebook portal of your restaurant ecommerce website you need to pick the account that you want to use.
After that, you can proceed with the following:
1. Pick an editor where you will create your ads, and you may use the following tools for your Instagram:
– Power Editor
– Ads Manager
– Facebook Ads API
2. Pick your objective, which should be suitable to the aim of your campaign. It could be any of the following:
– Boost your posts
– Get video views
– Get lots of conversions
– Obtain sizeable traffic
3. Decide on the type of audience you want to attract.
4. Decide where you want to put your ads.
5. Set your schedule and budget.
6. Let your imagination go wild when making your ads but make sure that it is appropriate to the objective and theme of your campaign.
7. Create the links and page.
8. Observe the performance of your campaign.
You can make some adjustments if you think that your campaign is not doing great. However, you also need to give it some time before you make the necessary adjustments.
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
In the modern restaurant landscape, it is important to include email marketing in your business operation. You can build your email lists through your restaurant website with the help of a simple email capture form.
Through email marketing you can:
– Tempt loyal customers with promo codes, which are included in your newsletter, to try the dishes that you offer at discounted prices.
– Update them of the latest happenings in your restaurant and make them feel like the number one customer by letting them know first before the rest of the crowd.
– Offer them to give a gift card to a friend by buying it from your website.
– Make your customers keep coming back to your website to order the new, limited dish or refreshment that you have just concocted.
– Let your customers know about the upcoming changes that your restaurant may have.
– If your area already allows dine-ins, you may tell your customers that you and your team are doing everything you can to make sure that they will have a safe, enjoyable dining experience.
– Impart some tips that your customers will find useful, especially regarding proper storage of foods or anything that has something to do with your business or brand.
Don’t make your email sound like a bot has created it. Add a bit of your personality to let your customers feel that you care for them more than doing business. You want them to enjoy their meal and put their minds at ease even for a bit during this pandemic.
You can also provide useful, relevant content to your customers as part of your restaurant ecommerce marketing. You need to keep your customers curious about your restaurant and give them something new now and then to keep them coming back for more.