Online Ordering... worth the expence?

For those of you WITH online ordering… how much of an increase in sales have you seen since you started? What kind of town are you in and what is the population?

My POS partners with Bighollar as their online ordering partner which will come out to be $70 a month with unlimited orders…
We are in a small rural area with about a 7k population, no Colleges around… we have already had our website up and running for over 1.5 years now but only average about 5 hits a day if we are lucky… so I wonder if the $70 will pay for itself or should we wait until the area becomes more populated with computer literate people?
Thanks for the opinion!

I’m in a college town and am the only of our three stores currently pushing a website and offering online ordering. My website averages 4000+ hits per month and online ordering accounts for a little over 5% of sales. Does it represent an increase in sales? I’m sure to some degree it is an increase but I’m not sure I could really measure it. Online orders do average more than phone orders and I’m sure a couple of the people that order online would order from elsewhere if I didn’t offer it. My online ordering costs $100 per month and I see it being well worth it, especially because I believe that online ordering will more than double in the next 12 to 24 months.

It takes quite a bit of time, and persistent work to get online sales. I get somewhere in the region of 40% of my sales online with at least 25% paid online (rather than cash at the door) each week. I’ve been running online for nearly 5 years now and its built steadily over the years. We have mention of online ordering on almost everything we do.

I cant tell you what type of increase in biz we have had since offering online ordering,. But I can tell you that we started it 5 months ago and it is about 5% of total sales. It is increasing steadily and people that try ordering online continue to order online after that. I see it continuing to grow steady in the future.

Hope that helps.

Wizzle, your payment options brings up a good point… seeing as though ANYONE can order online, do you require a credit card on file when ordering… even if they want to pay in cash so you do not get scammed by some shmuck looking to screw around with your business?

And if not… how do you rectify order mishaps with “cash” customers that did not actually order?

Our online ordering partner wants $80 per month, so we are in an interem position. we are using for the online orders. we had to spend about 10 labor hours loading the menu ourselves, and the orders come to us via fax and email. Then we re-enter the order into the pos…but not each item…we enter the pretax total as a “online order” amount. I of course, lose the sales tracking of each item.
However, for $15 per month, instead of $80, its worth the effort to “get the ball rolling”. still only doing about $150 per week in online orders after 6 weeks, but thats good ROI on $15!
At some point when the volume has built up and the POS reentry is cumbersome, we will switch over to a POS direct vendor.

IMO Its no different than ANYONE can order over the phone - no different really. If someone wants to scam you then they will.

We don’t require a card on file for ordering in fact we don’t even require someone to register - its all about making it easy to order.

We get bad orders online and over the phone maybe one a week in total per shop, however we do keep an eye on all the transactions and you can usually spot a prank online order very easily as they tend to order loads - and I mean loads, 5 or 6 pies, ice cream, pop, one of every side. Very few prank orders are for just one pie. Also we make sure drivers call back every new customer before they leave - that weeds out a lot.

As I said in another recent posts I’m all about trying to make it as easy as possible for people to do business with me. If a customer has to go through an elaborate security process just to order a pie online then they won’t so why have the online system. Sure I may get scammed once in a while but in the bigger scheme of things its not an issue.

Re the last comment about rectifying order mishaps - not sure I understand your question? I’ll try and answer if you can clarify.

My online sales are roughly 10% and growing. I went with a high end system and its costing me roughly $140 a month to run OLO. It is integrated with my POS, and order comes directly in as a phone order would. I have not had any issues with bad orders either.

If you can get it integrated with your POS, it works really well that way.
To have to wait for a fax and re-enter it or rewrite it, kinda defeats the purpose.

With everything on the internet now, i would consider it a cost of doing business.

If you can grab something for $50 a month for unlimited, i would jump on it.

I am in the process of re-vamping the operations of a small chain in Singapore, and they are getting creamed by the competition in that department. Online ordering is not going away, and at this point, it sure isn’t like the kindle (when early adapters get penalized). I know I sound like a 70’s plastics commercial, but this is the wave of the future. More and more people will order online and from cell phones, so it is probably better to get in the game as early as you can, and train/evaluate and update as you go