Satisfying after-hours’ cravings or maximising convenience in our busy lifestyles has become increasingly popular in recent time through the significant adoption of online ordering and delivery.
In fact, consumers new found love for online ordering is expected to surge, with studies by Nasdaq suggesting the online and on-demand food delivery service market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 32% until 2021. With consumers fundamentally changing the way they interact with their favourite restaurant brands, how does this hot new ingredient impact QSR digital marketing?
Australian’s have an ever increasing appetite for online ordering and food delivery, with comparison site finder.com.au identifying that we’re spending $2.6 billion per year for on-demand food and drink delivery. Meanwhile, corporate consultancy firm Morgan Stanley recently revealed that since popular food delivery establishment, Menulog, delivered their first on-demand order in 2006, the industry has grown to a $600 million market, with the prediction that it will be a $210 billion market. However, despite the significant growth, the Australian market has been identified as relatively infantile in comparison to the UK and US markets, demonstrating a lucrative potential for restaurateurs.
While such services provide profitable market opportunities for food establishments, online ordering and delivery services is largely reliant on digital platforms, therefore also providing a great opportunity to enhance online marketing and advertising. As approximately 25% of fast food restaurants are prepared to embrace online ordering and delivery platforms, websites, search engine optimisation, social media and mobile applications are all important considerations that these QSR establishments will need to factor into their current digital marketing services in order satisfy Australian’s hunger for online ordering and delivery facilities.
It is no surprise, that ordering food online is becoming more and more common, while directly phoning the restaurant is on the decline. Not only does it allow for consumers to visually pick their meals and customise it to their preferences a lot easier, it also helps break down potential communication barriers.
However, in order to successfully implement online ordering or delivery, restaurant brands need to ensure that their websites are user-friendly equipped to handle online ordering. While some brands are hesitant to incorporate online food ordering due to the falsified perception that no consumer to employee interaction will take away from the brand experience, there are many solutions that can be implemented throughout the website to ensure an authentic experience. In fact, News Corp’s recent ‘Food, Mood & Media’ research highlighted that websites play a pivotal and positive role in the customer journey, helping foodies decide what meals they want to indulge in and encouraging additional purchases they may not have considered, driving up the average order value.
In order to provide an exceptional experience, third-party food delivery service, Menulog has used various website design services to cleverly personalise their website for users who are logged in, by using their name to ask why they feel like eating. Meanwhile, brands such as Domino’s use chatbots and virtual assistants to still create a brand interaction and encourage additional purchases.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is also an important factor for restaurant and food brands wishing to capitalise on the online ordering and on-demand delivery opportunity. Brands will need to cleverly incorporate a local SEO strategy to ensure they engage potential consumers in the appropriate areas. Commonly, consumers who are wishing to order online or seeking delivery services will search online by asking for the restaurants “near me”. This highlights the importance for brands to ensure they have optimised the content on their websites to ensure they rank for their local stores.
Third party delivery websites implement various SEO services to categorise potential restaurants for customers by asking them to provide their postcode or full address, while brands who do this in-house will need to ensure consumers are aware their nearby stores offer this service when they search online. For example, Menulog has again done this well, by incorporating links at the bottom of their website for every suburb they service, to ensure local consumers can easily access the on-demand and convenient services in their area. This, therefore, provides the local restaurants listed with additional coverage that they may not have had before.
Social Media Marketing</strong >
Social media marketing has also proven to be beneficial in facilitating online orders and driving additional business for food establishments. Undoubtedly, many social platforms are highly visual and provide the opportunity for restaurant brands and their social media agency or in-house social team to develop unique, captivating and engaging creative to easily showcase their offerings.
Food preparation and delivery brand, YouFoodz, recognised this and highlighted the successful impact that Facebook had on their food delivery business. The brand noticed that the platform is ultimately beneficial for driving brand awareness and encouraging engagement, but was also able to attribute sales to the advertising done on the platform.
Many social platforms also include links for consumers to directly purchase meals upon viewing enticing and mouth-watering images or posts, again adding to the convenience that online ordering allows.
Undoubtedly, increased smartphone penetration in recent times is contributing to the need for instant gratification and online on-demand services, including food ordering and delivery services. In fact, many restaurant brands who have implemented such services have developed their own branded mobile applications to help their consumers easily order and pay for their favourite foods. For example, in the United States, the popular coffee giant Starbucks developed their own app that has over 13 million active users. This application, which also features a loyalty program, is responsible for approximately 20% of transactions during the busiest stores peak periods.
The Starbucks app demonstrates the necessity for other QSR brands and food establishments to implement solutions that meet consumer demand, to help drive further purchases, and increase customer satisfaction due to the convenience and value it provides.
As consumers only get increasingly hungrier for online ordering and convenient delivery, it is imperative that brands consider the digital mediums that will support these services. Without a user-friendly website, localised SEO strategy, social media marketing and mobile applications, an integrated and omnichannel marketing experience is compromised and can have a detrimental effect on the implementation of a service consumers are starving for.
At RGC Advertising, we are a full service digital marketing agency based in Sydney, with experience in developing and implementing various digital marketing and advertising services to connect consumers to brands. To explore digital marketing services that will benefit your brand, please contact Richard on (02) 8883 2988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org