Having an online business is a lot of work. Every industry has an ecommerce market by now, and that means that every business within each of those industries is now open to a virtually global market. Even, as it turns out, the food industry and its respective factions.
So, what does it take to succeed in ecommerce if your business is one that specialises in food? There are many moving pieces to owning and operating a food service business, including the online ordering website. But that is not where it ends. In fact, that is just where it starts. Of course, a website is the basis of many successful food businesses these days and one aspect that should be strategically considered.
That is why the process of choosing the ideal platform to design your catering business website is so important. As ecommerce continues to grow, it becomes exceedingly obvious that there are more options than ever to choose from when it comes to ecommerce platforms. Of them all, Shopify is the pioneering leader in global ecommerce, having worked its way to the top in all the right ways. The updated Shopify 2.0 themes are suitable for any type of business. However, Shopify doesn’t provided the food specific modules for your kitchen production and other specific requirements of the food business. Hence, while Shopify has a reputable online ordering website it has limitation when it comes to the food industry.
There are specific online ordering for food businesses and restaurants which offer an advanced online ordering ecommerce website integrated to a catering management platform. A solution like that can help you run your business end-to-end in one platform, rather than having to spend time and money on multiple ones.
But what are the must-haves for an online ordering website for the food business? We have listed the most important ones based on our research.
Food specific functionalities as default
You are running a food business, so look for a software solution that incorporates the basic features required to run a food business online. Some of the features to keep an eye for: dietary requirements filters, kitchen production tools and reports, ingredients and costing, cut-off times and integration to your POS.
Product packages, images, descriptions, and details
The platform should allow you to add all your packages and combo products and even the individual products available within those packages. So that you can create the catering offering for yourself without the need for further platform customisation. After you have added all the individual products and the overall packages, you can then add quality photos as well as description and finer details. This ensures that your catering website has it all, organised nice and neatly.
Customise the design to encapsulate personalisation of your services
Design customisation is one of the most important aspects of a great online ordering website, so that you can implement a design look and feel in line with your brand and target audience. Through design customisation, the system should allow you to effectively take the power into your hands and maintain a website that not only gives you all the right pieces, but all your customers as well – including both existing and prospective customers.
Include a blog to add more depth and personalisation
A blog is a must-have these days. Adding a blog to your catering ecommerce website is such an advantage because it essentially gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers in a way that makes them feel like you are not only a business they love to support, but a business they love to be a part of. In addition, it also helps you with search engine rankings and generating more leads. You can write posts on anything, from recipes, plates, tableware that you use to inspiring posts on creating small grazing boards for holidays at home.
Self managed customer account and customer groups
As a successful food and catering business, you will build a client portfolio over time that continues to flourish and grow. You will build relationships with customers. A self managed customer account, where customers can login, view their previous orders and manage their details is a must have capability. Any wedding planners, party planners, event organisers, or individual clients that you earn over time can have access to their very own customer account, which makes ordering and order history much easier in every sense. Additionally, it should allow you to manage customer groups to create promotions and make it easier for them to find everything that you offer.
It is all about facilitating the decision making processes while providing a great customer experience through a combination of design and functionality.
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