5 Tips for Optimizing Your Digital Ordering Strategy

Jessica O'Brien | 3 min read | Back

In today’s fast-paced digital age, an optimized digital ordering strategy is crucial for restaurants looking to increase sales and remain competitive. The pandemic greatly accelerated the adoption of digital ordering, and consumers now expect restaurants to have convenient, frictionless, and contactless digital ordering experiences. Here are five tips for optimizing your digital ordering strategy to help generate more online sales for your restaurant. 


Optimize for Mobile

Most consumers now use their mobile devices to place online food orders for delivery or pickup. They gravitate toward experiences that are convenient and easy to use. Take a mobile-first design approach when developing your digital ordering experience, starting with intuitive navigation. Additionally, minimize clicks as much as possible and incorporate features that facilitate speed and convenience, such as favorites and reorder buttons. 


Create a Frictionless Ordering Experience 

Ensuring that your digital ordering experience is as frictionless as possible will be critical to generating online sales and encouraging repeat orders. When possible, gather consumer feedback on your digital ordering experience to identify points of friction and optimization opportunities. Some best practices for digital ordering experiences include: 

  • Mimicking the in-store ordering flow as much as possible
  • Including images and descriptions for all menu items
  • Allowing users to customize their orders and ensuring they can easily edit/undo customizations
  • Incorporating upsells within the ordering process and at checkout to increase average check size 
  • Including a progress bar that shows users how far along they are in the ordering process
  • Providing a detailed order summary with editing functions 


Offer Discounts & Promotions

Discounts and promotions are known to motivate consumers to place orders and develop loyalty, ultimately increasing order frequency. They’re also an excellent tactic for engaging lapsed users who haven’t ordered recently. Offers are most effective and more likely to be redeemed when they’re personalized, so leverage data from your CRM system to customize offers as much as possible. If your restaurant has a loyalty program, ensure rewards are set at attainable levels that provide an equitable reward for the amount spent. Lastly, integrate offers into the digital ordering flow for seamless redemptions. 


Integrate Digital Payment & Pickup Methods 

The final two steps in the digital ordering flow are payment and pickup/delivery. To reduce cart abandonment, make the payment process simple and convenient, ensuring users can place an order easily and quickly from anywhere. In addition to offering traditional payment methods like cash on delivery, your payment process should support a variety of digital payment methods, including credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and gift cards. For pickup, ensure consumers and staff members know how/where to pick up digital orders and establish easy communication methods such as texting/calling or notifying via the app when they arrive. Consider incorporating a delivery status feature so users can keep track of when their order will arrive. 


Spread the Word

Last but not least, it’s time to spread the word that your restaurant offers digital ordering. Promote it with a cross-channel marketing strategy that includes owned, earned, shared, and paid media. Showcase digital ordering on your website and leverage social media to share craveworthy photos and videos of your menu items. Initiate personalized campaigns through email or text message to reach out to repeat customers or loyalty program members. If budget allows, leverage paid media to advertise offers and encourage digital orders. 


Convenient, easy-to-use digital ordering experiences are now table stakes for restaurants; therefore, optimizing your digital ordering strategy is essential for your restaurant’s success. By following the tips above, you can make the digital ordering experience as enjoyable and effortless as possible for users, setting you up to grow your restaurant’s digital sales.

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