This is a follow-up to the article published last January 15, 2022: Are Food Delivery Apps Eating Away Your Profit? Here's What You Should Do.
Securing orders from a food delivery app is a good thing. It means your restaurant or food joint stood out from among hundreds and thousands of other competitors. But what are the chances that you land another order from the same customer? That depends on a lot of factors really like cravings or whether your customer just got tired of scrolling and settled on your store on a whim.
It’s a good thing, yes. But it’s not great. With ordering habits varying from one customer to another, the real winner here are the food delivery apps.
What you should realize is that customers that place orders on food delivery apps are not exactly your direct customers. They’re actually indirect customers since they purchase products from an intermediary, which in this case is the third-party delivery service.
Using indirect distribution channels helps your business increase visibility and address delivery problems in one go but it also creates a distance between you and your customers. Taking this route makes it that much harder to establish brand loyalty due to the lack of direct interaction with customers. Not to mention that it burdens your business with unwelcome additional costs.
The best way to make the most of food delivery app partnerships is to convert the customers you got from them into your own. This way your business can thrive without relying on a third-party delivery service and avoid having its profits sapped.
Continue reading to learn how to convert food delivery app customers. If you’re a ChatGenie merchant then you’re in luck because some of these tips are specific to users of the Mini App.
1. Design Effective Packaging
A memorable experience will leave a positive impression on customers that will make them want to order again and perhaps this time, directly from your own sales channels.
For food retailers, this could mean improving packaging. When packaging food for delivery, it is important not only to ensure the food gets to the customers in one piece. Business owners should look at packaging as a way to attract customers. To put it simply, the packaging should sell itself.
Some things to consider include designing food packaging that is consistent with your brand identity and one that communicates strongly and clearly what your brand message is. The key here is to make sure that your packaging serves more than just a functional purpose.
A list of product ingredients and benefits, a map to your store location, as well as thank you notes to customers, are good additions to packaging.
Onboarded ChatGenie merchants are given custom-made notes that they can include in their food packaging to encourage customers to order directly from them instead of on food delivery apps. These notes come with a QR code that when scanned will redirect customers directly to their online stores inside Messenger, Instagram, Viber, or GCash.
2. Keep Items in Reserve
It is understandable that not all items in your menu will be displayed on food delivery apps. This is because the number of product uploads is dependent on subscription packages.
Worry not because you can still use this to your advantage.
ChatGenie merchants, for instance, can advertise Messenger-exclusive meals not available on their food delivery app menus.
Tying into our previous point, food packaging can include a list of special meals that can only be served to dine-in customers. These meals can include those that need proper presentation and those that cannot be served in a box. You can also inform customers of other items in reserve through tailored social media posts.
Think of the limited number of items on your menu as a teaser of sorts. They should be good enough to make customers want to buy your food and keep them coming back for exclusive treats. This will give customers the push they need to get off their phones and actually walk through your restaurant doors.
3. Offer Loyalty Programs
One way to ensure customers make repeat purchases is by implementing a loyalty program. Food delivery companies do this to entice customers into placing their orders repeatedly within the confines of their apps, which is all the more reason for you to do the same so you can take ownership of customers that buy your food through them.
Big brands have different loyalty programs that can serve as a blueprint. Jollibee gives its customers a reward card that accumulates redeemable points that can be used to pay for subsequent food purchases for dine-in, takeout, and drive-thru transactions.
Custom-made stamp or sticker cards are also popular choices. Starbucks customers are entitled to a reward of their choice, including planners and mugs, upon completing 18 stickers.
ChatGenie merchants can start implementing their own promos by going to the Coupon Codes portion of the ChatGenie Dashboard. These promos can then be managed using the Referral Manager feature of the dashboard.
You can make your loyalty programs known by announcing them on social media. It should be clear from the get-go what the mechanics, program duration and rewards are.
4. Ask for Honest Feedback
An effective way to understand what’s working for your business and what needs fixing is to ask customers for feedback.
Surveys provide invaluable insight on how to close the gap on customer satisfaction and expectations. To get real value out of them, formulate questions that target specific issues and help you meet your goals.
Exploratory customer interviews will generate more specific feedback. Using this method gives businesses an opportunity to challenge false assumptions that developed over time.
When asking for honest feedback, it is important to embrace them and embrace them fast. Remember, customer input is necessary to fine-tune aspects of your business.
5. Stay in Touch With Customers
The survival and the growth of a business, no matter how big or small, hinges on its customers. American author Michael LeBoeuf could not have said it any better: a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.
This is why it is essential that businesses touch base with customers after they enjoyed their orders whether through sending personal emails, engaging in a 5-minute phone call or having a quick chat over social media. It shows them that you care and value their support. The right mindset is to treat customers as you would treat your friends. In the long run, these friends may end up becoming loyal customers.
Indeed, industry insights provided by SmallBizGenius revealed that 65 percent of a company’s business comes from existing customers and 56 percent of customers stay loyal to brands that “get them.”
Staying in touch is made easy through the ChatGenie Dashboard. Its Broadcast Manager feature allows merchants to check in on customers on Facebook Messenger who have reached out within the last 24 hours.
By following these tips, you can truly capture the customers you cater to in food delivery apps. You’ll also be able to relish your hard-earned money instead of breaking even with the commission fees they charge you. And if you use ChatGenie, you’re all set to start the customer acquisition process.
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