Recently we have been receiving enquiries from companies keen to escape Just Eat – or other aggregator platforms. Many are tired of being stung by high commission fees and others want access to their withheld customer data.
It might surprise you to know that it’s not only companies that have a negative view of high ‘per-order’ fees; we asked consumers their opinion and found just a tiny number (15%) were complacent about where their money would end up.
For those looking to escape Just Eat (or another aggregator) and switch to their own-branded mobile and online ordering platform, there’s a common concern: How can we convert customers from one platform to another without losing them? Because, not only do some aggregators charge exorbitant fees, many keep customer data to themselves, so should a restaurant choose to leave, they have no way to identify or contact the customers that have been ordering from them.
Thankfully, we’ve worked with a number of restaurants that have taken the step away from the Just Eats of the world and seen customer numbers and profits rise using their own system (we’ve also been working with businesses to set up alternative aggregators with fairer client offerings). Here are some of the steps they’ve taken to achieve that success.
To encourage the switch from aggregator orders to direct orders via your platform, we recommend that you look to build buzz early – think about how mobile phone companies start to tease their new releases before they officially launch.
To do this you can go digital with a social media campaign or use traditional, eye-catching techniques, like sandwich boards with catchy slogans and window posters. Either way, in the week or two before launch make sure to send a teaser announcement to known customers via email, and start to let people that come in-store know about it.
When there are similarities between two technologies, the benefits of one over another may not be immediately obvious to your customers. Make it clear in your marketing what they will get from using your own-brand platform as opposed to an aggregator. For example, through your app they can have access to exclusive offers and discounts, loyalty rewards and they can be the first to receive notification of menu changes and specials. Additionally, they will have a direct line to their favourite restaurant.
If you can, kick-off with a strong offer (though be aware it will be your commitment to customer service that will encourage them to return for a second/third visit). We have seen clients successfully move customers from an aggregator platform in this way – offering 10%, 20%, even 30% off a first order.
Similarly, we’ve seen brands run competitions where the 100th order is rewarded – sometimes with a free meal/ticket, others with products or merchandise. If you use a count-up clock on a social platform, you can get more people playing along; it may encourage followers to place multiple orders in their attempt to win.
Use the data
Preoday’s system allows you to send push notifications to marketing opt-in customers (GDPR means opt-in is now essential).
As soon as a customer joins the platform use this function to send them personalised messages; it’s something customers won’t get from you via Just Eat. You can also use your dashboard data to see who orders what food most, for example, and create offers based specifically on a dish.
Vitally, the dashboard means you can tell when a regular customer hasn’t ordered in a while. In these instances you can send them push notifications and incentivise their return.
Staff training – and visibility
It is very important that your staff know about the new platform. Encourage them to use it so they know how to answer questions and ask them to mention it in conversations, placing it at the front of the customer’s mind.
Look to make your new platform visible in-store as well as on social platforms. Put posters up – or table talkers – and place business cards in with takeaway bags; it’s important that you make promotion of your new service very clear. If you don’t want customers ordering from you via a specific aggregator, remove all references to it from your branding and replace it with your new service.
Consumers have short memories and until their loyalty has been won, they can be fickle. When making a move to escape Just Eat, converting customers from using an aggregator platform to your own branded app or web ordering service, don’t just hit them with a one day marketing launch and expect that to do the trick. Promotion should continue until you are satisfied that the migration has happened and that customers are continuing to come back to you for more.
If you want further advice, and to find out how an own-branded platform can benefit your business, talk to us now. Or, if you want help setting up an aggregator platform with a difference, drop us a line.
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