Mobile Ordering

Why Mobile Ordering Apps Matter

Traditionally online ordering has been about orders from your website, could the time be that now it's about orders from a mobile phone

September 03, 2019 - 6 min read

Online ordering is a great way of getting customers to order from you. Traditionally online ordering meant having a website. With that website customers would find your Website address and place orders from you.

To do so required your customers to be sat at their computer or laptop, click your website and place orders.

Mobile Ordering is going to be almost 90% of all orders in just 2 years

But times are now changing. But more recently the trend is for Mobile Ordering Apps to replace Online Ordering Websites. The graphic below shows some interesting statistics as to the reason why.

Mobile Ordering App *Figure 1: The growth of websites being accessed by mobile phones

The problem is how we now access the internet

What the chart shows is quite shocking. Over 50% of customers are now using their mobile phones to access websites. That was in 2018. The expectation is it will soon be 85%.

What’s more the younger generation, those between 18 - 30 are far more likely to be using their mobiles, that number is closer to 85%.

Each year millions of new users turn 18, nearly 100% of these users are mobile app users. Brands that recognise this do very well.

So that’s sorted then, nothing much has changed really, customers have just changed from using their laptops and computers to browse a website, to using their Smartphones.

Well not quite. See there is a tiny little challenge there. Websites used to place Food orders, typically don’t look as good on a Mobile Phone as they might on a Laptop. So all these customers, are now looking at your traditional website using their mobile phone. And guess what, what they see, their experience isn’t great.

The Answer

So there are a few things a business can do. The first is they can make their traditional website more responsive to mobile. There is nothing wrong with this however this is missing the point.

Smartphones are designed for Apps as well as websites. Only Apps offer a much improved user experience. Companies like Facebook and Twitter recognised years ago that whilst their platforms where primarily used by laptop users, they worked out that habits where changing. By using their smartphones, customers prefer a new, better mobile customer experience.

Not all brands got this right, Blockbuster we’re slow to adapt. Even large Food brands like Wimpy never adapted and companies like Burger King and McDonalds lost £ms in revenue until they recently adapted to Mobile Apps for ordering.

They could have just made Facebook mobile friendly…and they did. But importantly they didn’t stop there. They went one step further and they built the Facebook mobile app.

Today it is their Mobile app that serves the vast majority of their advertising revenue, and many people believe their mobile app is the main reason for their fortunes rising.

So it’s all about Mobile Apps.

But mobile apps are expensive right?

Mobile Ordering App *Figure 2: Mobile Ordering Apps

The biggest fear many small businesses owners have with a Mobile App is the cost. Certainly custom building an app similar to the one Starbucks use can be expensive. Multi million pound expensive.

But that isn’t always the case. It is now possible to get a mobile app for under £100 per month, or for a small commission.

So why Mobile Apps Matter

Customers, your customers are in their droves choosing to use their smartphones more than their laptops. The websites they used to look at on their laptops don’t look as good or work as smoothly on their mobiles.

Many large brands such as Starbucks and Wetherspoon are saying in their financial reports that their own mobile ordering apps are adding £ms in revenue to their businesses.

Other brands, not just large brands, but smaller brands have seen huge returns from offering their customers a Mobile Ordering App. Mobile Ordering lets customers buy from you in a convenient way, it lets them use their smartphone in a way it is designed and it lets they do so easily.

So if you own a small business, Mobile Ordering not Online Ordering is probably one of the single biggest focus areas for you.

But why not just make our website work on a mobile?

You can and should do this, but it’s a tidy up act. To get to the bottom of this question we need to understand the customer experience. On a mobile phone customers are tapping with their fingers, they are not typing letters into a keyboard.

The problem with a website is it requires your customers to enter a web address or search for your website in a search engine. Whilst this isn’t to difficult to do it still requires multiple taps. Where as launching your app is a single tap. This is the difference.

The main reason Food Portals such as Just Eat see such high mobile app usage is not because Customers want to order via them, they want to order food from the specific shop, but if that shop does not have it’s own mobile app, but they are on Just Eat, then that is where the order is placed.

Research into customer experience, shows customers will do, and will repeat doing the things that take the fewest taps. So even if you offer a nice Mobile Website, even it it’s 2-3 clicks to get to it, it’s never going to be a single click (simply opening the browser is a click).

Now thing of it in these terms, your main competitor next door to you has a Mobile app and you have a Mobile web site. All things being equal, who do you think the customer will choose to repeat order from. Your website that requires multiple clicks, or your competitors mobile app that requires a single click.

No prizes here for guessing the answer. This is the reason why Mobile Ordering Apps are important. Customers will choose to use them over any other means. If you have a website and your competitor has an app, guess whose getting the order.