Starting an Online Food Ordering and Delivery Business: Benefits and Challenges

Starting an Online Food Ordering and Delivery Business: Benefits and Challenges

Table of Contents

Consumers around the world are realizing the value of time. With on-demand deliveries taking centrestage in the world of quick commerce, it is demanding businesses to become quicker than ever and save customers' time that could otherwise get wasted waiting for their products to reach them. Infact, it’s now becoming increasingly important for businesses to go online and go quick. In order to thrive in the modern economy, the choice between going online or not is becoming less of a choice by every passing day. Businesses that are equipped to go online, and can reach out to customers in quick time, certainly have higher chances of thriving.

1. Leveraging Technology

It is worth mentioning that businesses that leverage the latest technologies methods and practices, do so across the board, without reserving any hierarchical and procedural exceptions. And that is where their strength and success lie. One such business is Amazon which impressively uses technology to invoke needs in their clients, communicate the merits of merchandise and deliver seamlessly, something to which the entire world community is a witness.

Ever wondered, that of the many reasons, which one particularly keeps certain businesses alive and thriving, but others failing and grieving? It is the use of cutting-edge technology viz AI-powered processes, virtual chatbots, NLMs, intuitive apps, Augmented reality, Drone deliveries, etc. As they say- “Tough times don’t last but tough businesses certainly do”, businesses of today must learn the tricks of the trade to stay afloat in today's competitive era.

1.1. Technology Evolves Businesses

It goes without saying that technology has certainly driven the evolution of businesses in the entire world. Continuously adapting to such evolutionary standards and effectively adopting new technologies is essential for businesses of all sizes and nature, especially the food industry which has witnessed a blitzkrieg competition in recent years.

With everything considered, the central idea for businesses is to find ways to continually evolve. “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit over there”, opined Will Rogers. So how do we save ourselves from getting run over? Or how do we continually evolve as a business? Of course, with technology and its aspects at the fulcrum, a right approach, subtle business tactics and a proper and well-executed plan, we can help our businesses sail through smoothly.

2. Food Business & Technology: Joined at hip

Starting a business is hard in the sense it is technologically demanding, but the benefits outweigh the challenges convincingly. In fact, it is at the intersection of technology and ecommerce, that businesses have thrived. The correct business-technology blend is guaranteed to provide higher visibility, better engagement, opportunities for better branding, among other things. All these factors lead to higher conversions which are rather difficult to achieve in a traditional brick and mortar business.

Far-sighted businesses adopt the incorporation of automation into their processes early on. That is an example of a good strategy. On the other hand, myopic businesses discard such steps as unnecessary.

Following are a few compelling reasons as to why businesses in general, and food businesses in particular, should employ the usage of software automation and go online.

  • Streamlined Business Processes: It simplifies recurring business activities by allowing machines and software to do the heavy lifting for you. Since food businesses demand tackling higher engagement with customers, it requires an increased degree of automation.
  • Cost-effective: Outsourcing redundant business activities to automation and upgraded IT processes reduces the need to have too much labour, minimizes paperwork expenses, overhauling and maintenance costs.
  • Increased Efficiency: Automated processes owing to their inherent sequential nature, streamline a lot of activities, thereby, enhancing the workflow and making it more efficient. Was there no automation, food businesses would not have been able to become so swift in their online food deliveries and other related processes.
  • Fewer Errors: The introduction of technology and automation into the business process largely minimizes the chances of making errors, thereby making your business become more accurate.
  • Increased Visibility: Going online increases the visibility of the business. It certainly makes your presence count by yielding good economic returns.
  • Competitive Edge: By going online, you are saved from the threat of getting overshadowed by rival businesses, which otherwise could have been done easily.

3. Is your business really leveraging the available technology proved to give exponential growth?

Groundbreaking changes and innovations in technology have increased the stakes not just for solidly established businesses but for start-ups too.

So, does your business have the requisite technology to be the market leader?

Or, can your food business utilize technology to its advantage?

Or, is your business prudent and ready enough to partner with a robust food delivery solution provider that has got just the right elements of technology?

Technology, if used rightly by businesses leads to obvious progress. Businesses incorporating technology must learn about the use of the following and their merits to understand how they foster a business’s capabilities.

  • Better Communication: The use of technology creates new ways to communicate. The more the number of ways to communicate, the easier and greater is the reach of businesses. Since eating is a daily habit, food businesses must focus on communicating with their target market on a daily basis through various modes and channels of technology.
  • Efficiency Tools: Technology provides better customer relationship management (CRM) tools to businesses. Real time notifications and alerts, route optimisation and live tracking features are some of the inbuilt tools that food delivery businesses can take leverage of to become highly efficient.
  • Artificial Intelligence: With AI at its back, food businesses can stay way ahead of their rivals. They can, in fact, utilize AI to grow by implementing AI-powered algorithms for personalized recommendations, optimizing delivery routes for efficient logistics, and employing chatbots for efficient customer support. AI enables businesses to enhance customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and improve decision-making through intelligent data analysis and automation.
  • Better Marketing Opportunities: Technology has made it easier for businesses to showcase their presence and business skills across different social media forums, pages, etc. Since businesses are empowered with increased visibility and categorically defined markets, they are in a better position to make significant gains through agressive marketing campaigns.

It’s no secret that the online presence of businesses guarantees more impressions and increased engagement and conversions. But is their mere presence enough? As customers grow increasingly impatient towards their order delivery time, the need of the hour is to make your business prompt and swift. This raises the question, “Can implementing a hyperlocal delivery solution help food businesses significantly reduce the order waiting time for customers?” A big yes, perhaps!

4. Automation is the future: Acting hyperlocal, reaching global

In fact, if you take a note of how businesses have lately gone online and are selling their products, you shall find a major percentage of them have increased their use of technology, at multiple levels, in their operations resulting in increased levels of automation. Gartner, inc., a financial analyst company, asserted that Chinese businesses that illustrated the most resilience during the pandemic were the ones that partnered with highly reputed digital providers and incorporated automation into their business plans.

Automation certainly helps food businesses act locally by streamlining processes like order management, inventory control, and delivery logistics. By efficiently managing these operations, businesses can provide faster and more reliable services to local customers. Simultaneously, automation enables businesses to scale and expand globally by automating tasks like online ordering, payments, and customer support, allowing them to reach a broader audience and operate across different regions.

5. Businesses of Diverse Sorts And Sizes are Going Online. What's Your Excuse?

Pretty much every business is going online in order to stay competitively upfront. Imagine a company that merely sells through physical stores instead of selling online. Or still better, just think of a scenario where the pandemic has dented your business sales and affected your future prospects badly. What do you do then? You cannot operate physically. You are incapable to undertake technology as a means to spur your business growth. You feel restricted, to say the least. In such circumstances, familiarizing your business with technology and getting automated proves to be crucial.

But the question is how to go about utilising technology? The following suggestive aspects are worth considering for businesses.

  • Leverage the Internet: Increased use of technology and invoking more digital services can help food businesses become easily noticeable and reachable to the masses.
  • Automated Responses: Automated responses help food businesses by providing quick and consistent customer support, handling high volumes of inquiries, and reducing response times. They enable businesses to save time, improve efficiency, and enhance the overall customer experience by promptly addressing common queries, order updates, and other communication needs.
  • User-friendliness: Make your business website look aesthetically pleasing and easy to interact with for increased user engagement. Food businesses can also consider partnering with food delivery solution providers that are responsible for designing and customising the website as per the businesses' needs.
  • Social Media Marketing: Using social media marketing effectively for a greater reach is the key. In today's times, food bsuinesses and culinary entrepreneurs are all over social media. This signifies the power of social media in amplifying a business's offering and image.

Besides these, there are numerous ways of employing technology in your food business.

5.1. Is Incorporating Technology into your Food Business Hard?

For companies on the offensive, certainly not. An on-demand food delivery solution can surely make you more technology-enabled and increasingly responsive to customer queries and grievances, if any.

Specifically writing, food business ideas never go out of vogue as people have a biological craving to eat several times a day. Starting a business that is centred around various delectable food delicacies can be an economically rewarding experience. Online food businesses that are immersed knee-deep into technology have clearly become a fad. Be it business finances, generating merchandise sales, operational flow through, technology has a considerable role to play everywhere. So, why not go online, turn digital, adopt automated processes, act hyperlocal, get “foodtechhed” and reserve your share of pie when you can?

The statistics to follow will surely push thoughtful businesses towards going online.

5.2. Growing smartphone penetration statistics: Is it time now to make your business go online?

‘It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.'

The world has witnessed an exponential rise in the number of smartphones being bought by customers across the globe. The global market has moved from landline phones in-a-few- homes of a town to having mobile phones with almost every member-of-a-home in the last decade or so. A report on smartphone penetration published in December 2021 cites that the global smartphone penetration rate is estimated to have reached over 78 per cent in 2020. Data in the same report reveals that in North America and Europe, the smartphone adoption rate stands at about 82 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.

These statistics are one compelling reason as to why businesses should go online. Human observations and data reveal that a significant number of food bookings via online platform through the use of mobile phones has been on the rise ever since the increasing penetration of mobile phones around the globe. For far sighted businesses, this data can serve as a strong basis and catalyst to get going.

Moreover, the average screen time (the time a person spends while seeing or using his mobile phone) has also been on the rise ever since. The greater the smartphone penetration and ease of internet access, the greater is the likelihood to remain glued to your mobile screens.

Furthermore, such has been the pace of technology and mobile adoption around the globe that as per a study, it was reported that an average American spends over 3 hours 13 minutes looking at mobile screens each day. Additionally, they spend roughly 4 hours on their computer screens.

Britishers too are not far behind, showing an average of around 6 hours 25 minutes consolidated screen time each day, with mobile screen time nearing around 2 hours 44 minutes. The study found the Philippines to be having the highest mobile screen time nearing around 6 hours each day. Brazilians reported an average mobile screen time of over 5 hours. These facts cum statistics push thinking-to-be-businesses to think of becoming ought-to-be- businesses.

The fact that there is a growing use of the internet and mobile phones and more online presence of consumers worldwide, the time is just opportune to get the ball rolling. If you still spend too much time thinking about starting your online food business, you’ll probably never get it done.

5.3. Going online with your food start up: No more wishing. It is time to make things happen

The use of technology in the food business has become quite mundane. Businesses incapable of effectively using it can be everything, but successful. Given the galloping pace of competition and technological adoptions in the food industry lately, it would be akin to turning a blind eye to our own business prospects if, without embracing technology we continue to engage ourselves in it.

This era of automation and technological amalgamation requires sincere efforts on the part of food businesses. Given the food industry’s growth trends which have chosen technology and automation as their business pivot, the revenues can be big and returns, exceptional. And it is not a big deal if ‘technology-adoption trends by food businesses’ are anything to go by. As per a report published in the year 2020, online on-demand food delivery services are projected to grow by $44.23 billion during the years 2020-2024 in some APAC countries, Europe, North America and South America. The report further mentions the advantage the online food delivery service businesses command owing to their level of market penetration and huge scale of operations.

Moreover, the seamless opportunities that are present in online food business, the challenges that lie ahead and the upcoming trends which may be exploited by prudent and smart business have also been discussed. All this necessitates that the opportunities are plethora in the market for online food businesses, just that the right kind of business initiative, a comprehensive plan keeping in view the products and markets, and its feasible execution can work wonders for established businesses and even for start-ups.

What if I say, using technology in your food business can be economically yielding and technically nurturing and as easy as rolling off a log?

The right use of technology has brought a lot of economic and operational respite for businesses ever since. A food business, like any other business, must check upon the following three parameters which ought to be there prior to starting or while defining a business.

  • Customer group- The target market or those sets of customers who are going to buy your product/service.
  • Customer function- This answers- What need of that target market does your product/service satisfy?
  • Alternative technology- The technology or the way through which the needs and wants of the target market will be met.

It is noteworthy that technology serves as a strong basis for a businesses’ growth. In fact, extensive use of the incumbent technology is a strong catalyst for spurring business growth. Food start-ups in order to get ‘foodtechhed’ must willingly learn to adopt it. So how does a food business wanting to start, goes about finding the convenient and right online food delivery platform? How can it unite with a hyperlocal delivery partner which can help it have a global presence?

6. Wrapping Up

They say- “The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything.”

Holding this adage to be true, we can help your standstill business ideas go online and find the right runway to provide them wings of mettle to fly and soar high. With the ease and convenience our software brings for start-up and established food businesses, the journey would surely be enthralling and benefitting one so much so that the businesses wouldn’t want to deboard from their business class cabins. Join us and come on board to experience the mesmerising journey that awaits us.

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