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Industry Innovation

Online Ordering Drives Loyalty

Online Ordering Keys to Success Unlocked

online ordering

ne of the keys to the success of any brand is earning the loyalty of consumers.  Regardless of the industry, one might find themselves in, there’s always competition everywhere you look.  It is almost impossible to be the only one selling a particular item and even if you’ve managed to find a niche, it is only a matter of time before people catch on and someone starts selling the same item.  This is why more and more companies, from the biggest airline in the country to the local corner shop selling groceries are creating loyalty programs that reward the most loyal customers.  This is one way of gaining that brand loyalty from customers.

An alternative that is slowly gaining popularity is online ordering.  Recent studies have shown that online ordering goes a long way in establishing brand loyalty among consumers and especially for restaurants and food stores.  This is because, according to a study by Pew Research Center, about 26% of American adults spend their whole day online while 43% are online several times during the day.  Such consumer behaviors are what make online ordering such a success.

How Does It Work?

To put it simply, most online ordering systems work through a mobile app or website where customers can go through the menu and place an order which will be received by the restaurant through the same app, but a different configuration for the seller.  There are dozens of online ordering systems available but they mostly come in two categories; marketplace ordering systems, standalone ordering systems.

Marketplace Ordering System

Just like the name suggests, this is fundamentally a marketplace filled with hundreds of restaurants.  It could either be a website or mobile app where different restaurants can register themselves, provide the menu details, and wait for customers to make orders.  These apps are owned by independent companies that have nothing to do with food production.  Theirs is to provide a platform for buyers to meet sellers and help the sellers with the distribution.  Market place ordering systems tend to vary depending on the company.  Some host a specific range of sellers.  For instance, you can have an ordering system strictly for pizza and other Italian delicacies and you can have another one strictly for burgers and fast food.  Others like Uber Eats and Door Dash will host hundreds of different sellers and restaurants ranging from your favorite fast-food joint to the ice cream shop that has sells your favorite dessert.

While marketplace ordering systems make it very convenient for the customer to pick what they like from a list of endless options, they don’t help much towards building brand loyalty for the restaurant.  If anything, they build customer loyalty towards that particular delivery service.

Standalone Ordering System

This type of system is quite different from the marketplace system in the sense that restaurants get to create their own website hosted at a domain of their choosing.  This allows more room for customization and branding by the restaurant.  With a standalone ordering system, customers only have access to one restaurant although if they have different branches, you can be able to choose the closest one to you.  Unlike marketplace systems, standalone systems can go a long way in building customer loyalty.  This is because of the following features;

  • Only one Menu: Every time a customer visits the site, they are only going to find the menu of one restaurant.  This means that they can’t be distracted by the menus from other restaurants as is the case with marketplace systems.
  • Easy Feedback: With standalone systems, it is very easy for customers to provide feedback to the restaurants.  Some even have a live chat option where customers can talk to members of staff in real-time.  This improves the overall customer experience because customers naturally appreciate when they are valued and are likely to be loyal to a brand that values them.
  • Targeted Promotions: When a restaurant is operating a standalone system, they get access to available data on their consumers.  For example, they can easily know the favorite dish of a particular customer just by looking at recent orders.  This is very useful especially with marketing because they can very easily send a discount offer specifically suited for one customer.  This also goes a long way in improving brand loyalty because if there’s one thing that people like more than discounts, it's discounts on items they regularly buy.
  • Customization: As pointed out earlier, standalone systems allow opportunities for customization and branding.  When a customer logs in to the site, they will only be able to see your brand colors and logos.  This can also contribute to brand loyalty because people love a solid brand they can identify with.


In this digital age, providing an option for ordering online can go a long way in building brand loyalty.  However, to achieve this, restaurants should avoid going for marketplace systems and instead build their own standalone system.

March 29, 2022