As current events have prevented many customer facing businesses from operating in their usual way, many people have already begun adapting their model of working so that they can take their products to their customers directly. Delivery based businesses such as take away food companies, grocery sellers and D.I.Y furniture manufacturers have been operating in this way for some time, but now restaurants, bars and even record stores are starting to explore this alternative to face to face customer service. Here’s Probella’s guide to digital marketing for delivery-based businesses.
When are your drivers available to make deliveries? Do you charge an extra fee for the service? How do you manage payment or transactions? Are you a local or national service?
These are the kind of questions your customers will be asking if they have clicked through to your social media page or website and if they can’t find answers straight away, they will quickly move on to another business. State opening times, pricing and the areas you can deliver to as clearly and prominently as possible. Ideally, before you start trying to promote anything directly.
Online Menus, Catalogues and Product Lists
With no physical premises to create an ambience or set the tone for your customers, your online presence must be outstanding. Menus should be clear, easy to navigate and 100% free from spelling and grammar errors. Try to include pictures, too. Though text-based descriptions are essential to explain the details of a dish or any other type of product, being able to see what you’re ordering is generally a good thing for most people.
Explain Your Ordering and Delivery Process
Whether you use bespoke software or an out of the box online transaction processing tool like PayPal or Shopify, you need to make sure that your customers understand how the process works. Real time parcel tracking and real time driver tracking are now possible by integrating google maps or similar software into your website. This can be time consuming for those who are not technically adept, but it does provide your customers with added peace of mind and a sense of security as they know that what they’ve ordered will actually turn up.
For businesses such as boutique clothing, physical music mediums such as vinyl, tapes and CDs, part of the joy for many customers was physically browsing through a selection of unseen items and suddenly stumbling across something that takes their interest. With virtual tours of your premises, detailed product descriptions that include snippets of information about what’s on offer, you can add an extra dimension to the online ordering process. Though too much information can be overwhelming, many people appreciate a little more detail than just a catalogue number and list of dimensions or specifications.
Bulk Discounts and Special Offers
This practice is commonplace in the UK and the USA, especially amongst take away food businesses. Ordering a full meal, including sides, drinks and desserts often works out cheaper than buying single items. The same approach can be employed no matter what your delivery business is offering. Things like free delivery on orders over a certain amount or buy two, get one free style offers can help to maximise sales. Giving people the incentive to buy a little more means that you won’t stand to lose all your profits on transport costs.
There are going to be a lot of businesses suddenly offering online alternatives to physical shopping at the moment, so you need to find a way to make yours stand out. As always, content is king. You don’t necessarily have to write a detailed expose of the whole industry or commit to manning a 24/7 ask me anything style livestream, but you’ll need more than just your list of products on your page if you want to make sure you aren’t losing traffic. Learning a little about how SEO works is a good strategy, especially for those competing in saturated marketplaces. Tailor good quality, engaging content to the terms you think your customers will use and there is no reason you can’t enjoy an increase in sales over the next few months.
SEO and Marketing
Even if your business was largely conducted by word of mouth, you will be aware of the importance of search engine optimisation. Make sure that you do plenty of keyword research and do as much as you can to keep your website at the top of the search results in your area. There are no short cuts and creating keyword rich content that has genuine value is hard work, but as any business owner will tell you, with hard work comes big rewards.
Marketing on social media is similarly complex and requires an investment of both time and money. The simplest way to make sure your delivery business is getting maximum exposure on social media is pay for advertising. Even if you only have a small budget, this will guarantee you more exposure than trying to rely on “organic” reach. The algorithms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram use favour paid adverts to posts from free accounts. Even if you don’t have a large advertising budget, spending a little bit will get you a lot further than trying to blanket post on your friends and follower’s timelines.
Complaints and Reviews
Be prepared to tackle unfair complaints and deliberately negative reviews in a professional and competent way. Address any issues as quickly as possible by direct message, email, phone call or any other medium that takes the focus away from your public page. If you provide a good service, the sheer volume of positive feedback will outweigh the negatives over time and the hostile or unusually critical reviews stand out for what they really are. Though most customers are honest, a small minority will try to get something for nothing by threating to damage your reputation on purpose.
Ultimately, any business that is considering delivery as an alternative to physical transactions must ensure their online presence is as professional as possible.