Up until a couple of years ago, travel was traditionally the product that many people booked online. Nowadays it seems like anything goes, and you should have no trouble booking a table at a restaurant, making an appointment at the hairdressers or order foodstuffs online. For many small businesses, being able to offer these extra services to their customers brings them a great range of advantages.
Customers can decide to book or order something at any time of the day or night. Like sending their Sunday order of baguettes or pistolets on Saturday evening. Or remembering somewhere in the afternoon they still need to book a table at their favorite restaurant for that evening. Even your favourite telecom provider offers the possibility to book appointments with Bizz Experts via an online tool.
Because, after all, your customers are also struggling to make the best use of their time. So any help you could give them, like having them order or book online 24/7, will be greatly appreciated.
If you’re running a restaurant or baker’s shop, the best thing that can happen to you at the end of the day is a full restaurant or empty shelves. But if sales or reservations are down a bit, it’s relatively easy to launch a quick promo or discount via your reservation site or app. Better still, when you use a reservation system or online shop, you keep track of your customers’ details so it’s very easy to select the right customers for every promo you want to launch.
Most online systems also give customers the opportunity to pay online. So when they do come by in you shop, payment has been settled and they only need to pick up their order. Time saved for you and your customers! And, at the end of the working day, less physical cash in your cash register!
Taking orders online is an excellent way to get a view on your customers’ behaviour and preferences and, next step, to finetune your products and services based on those insights. Which products are your bestsellers? When do most reservations come in? What are the most popular extras that people order? How do your customers prefer to pay? This type of data can provide great insights that’ll help your business improve and grow.
A final good reason, and a short one at that: customers these days expect to be able to contact you and get their order or reservation fulfilled online. And if you don’t provide these extra services, your competitors most probably will…
There are a lot of online reservation systems and online shops available these days. Picking the right one for your company will take some time and research. And you have to prepare to welcome a lot of new customers, hopefully. Can your business handle the extra business? Perhaps you’ll have to hire new staff, change the way you store and manage your inventory, …? In any case: make sure you plan and prepare before you get started. It will only help your business!
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