6 things to consider when buying an online ordering system for your takeaway
By Darren Hiles
Everywhere now you see more and more takeaways and restaurants turning to the new custom an online ordering system can unlock. However there are many different systems out there competing for your choice.
Below I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the most important things to consider when selecting your online ordering system.
1. Findability/Search Engine Optimisation
First and foremost to sell to people you have to get their attention. Now online you can't just push a printed menu through their door.
In the online world people usually search for what they want to see by using one of many search engines that scour the internet looking for sites that may be relevant. To ensure that your website is easily found it needs to speak in a language that search engines understand.
Almost all of what you can do to ensure search engines see your site is controlled by the system you use. If your software has not been developed with this in mind you could be spending a fortune to no avail as when someone searches for a takeaway in your area you may not ever appear!
Worse still the software you choose may be out of date and/or use tactics that at one time were acceptable, have now been deemed "wrong" by certain search engines. This could lead to blacklisting from the search engines results.
In a time of people searching for content you need to appear in the top page at least to be in with a good shot of grabbing someones attention.
Now this wouldn't be much of an article without some kind of sell but this is one with a twist. Keep reading to the bottom to find the twist.
The new Cheap Takeaway Menus Online Ordering System uses many wide ranging techniques from meta tags to rich snippets to provide search engines with clear indications of what your site is about and the information it contains. This has been proven to ensure your content is stored by the search engines to be used for future searches.
Usability is a many sided thing. Loosely put usability is how simple something is to comprehend and use to fulfill a task.
A great number of the online ordering systems available on the market are products of a bygone era when every company on the internet had a designated "nerd/techie" working day and night on their website. They are large clunky systems developed with the knowledge that a skilled web technician would be the main user.
Switch to the modern day where anyone and everyone can have a website. Usability now becomes a huge factor. Who's going to help you when you can't get to grips with the item entry system? Or link your emails? What if it breaksdown?
Truth be told the simpler a system is to use the more it is open for anyone to use.
We at Cheap Takeaway Menus have worked hard to ensure that all aspects of our online ordering system are simple and easy to use without erring on the side of "catering for the stupid element" present in many ordering systems. The system is intuitive to use. You can test that out for yourself on our demo site.
I would be amiss if I did not acknowledge the part a design plays in attracting custom. The internet may be a technical beast but just like every other part of our lives design influences our moods and decisions. On the internet design plays a huge part in the success of a website.
Whether it is a simple, clean, effective design such as the Google Homepage or the crazy "mess" of Lings Cars many different styles are employed to attract custom. In the case of an online ordering system Lings may not be the way to go but your design will directly impact how your users interact with and rate the site.
If they don't rate it high enough they may not come back!
Cheap Takeaway Menus has an army of designers, some specialise in great menu design, others in great website design. We use these designers to create unique, eye catching, bespoke, tailored designs for both your website and your printed menus. This ensures a continuous flow of brand, image and design from one to the other resulting in a seamless brand interaction.
Features, features, FEATURES!!!!
Yes I know we all like features. Features are good! Features do stuff!!
But what do these features actually do? Do they help or hinder your customers?
Yes a feature that can share your favourite takeaway meal with everyone on facebook is great! Tweeting that you are having a smokey sausage and chips with a picture is grand!
But really are they helping your customers buy what you want them to or are they just distracting them from the purpose you spent your money to provide?
Features unless carefully selected can detract from your customers attention span on your site. Linking to other sites can bring benefits such as extra traffic from the social element but it can steer your customers attentions away from your food and onto some cute little kitten falling over.
Updates are where your system can really let you down. An old system may not be flexible, it may have been developed with a different set of processes and methods in mind.
For example say your "new" system doesn't allow you to add products on as special offers? What if you would like a new user area so your users can store information about themselves in the form of saved orders? Do you know who to see to get this work done? How much will it cost you? Can it even be done? Will you be left with thousands of pounds of system with no way of using it effectively?
Cheap Takeaway Menus' system is possibly the newest online ordering system on the internet today. It is up to date, it is modern, it is built with todays modern takeaways in mind.
We also know that the market place changes, we know that systems need to change and we know no system is perfect for everyones needs. But over time we will be updating the Cheap Takeaway Menus Online Ordering System for free to include many new useful features which will not detract from your users experience but add to it providing many useful things that will aide them during their time on your site and in visits to come.
Here's the usual clincher for any outlay. No matter what you are investing in for your business a business owner will always consider price.
Many systems out on the market at the minute take advantage of what people expect to pay for a website. Many people are still under the impression that simple websites should cost thousands. They shouldn't.
Other sellers take the same route as us and offer websites for free. However many of them are not as upfront as us when it comes to possible extra charges. At Cheap Takeaway Menus we try to remain transparent. This is why we have our free website terms and conditions easily accessible on our site. We are upfront about the costs of hosting a website and the other costs that go along with that.
We at Cheap Takeaway Menus are proud to have developed this system and we are confident that at the price of "FREE with any purchase of printed menus at Cheap Takeaway Menus" you won't get any better an offer than that!
If there were comments available on these articles I would ask if there were any factors I forgot or which of these factors is the most important to you. (Guess I'll have to get on that comment thing...)
However I do encourage you to take a good look at the software you are about to purchase with a long hard stare. Ask yourself...
- What does it do to get itself noticed?
- How easy is it for my customers and myself to use?
- How good is the design? Can I get it changed?
- Do I really need the features this adds or will it distract my customers from their true purpose?
- Can I get this update? What will it cost me?
- Can I get more for a better price?
I also ask you to ask those questions while taking a look around our demo site.