During the pandemic, many brands turned to third-party ordering services as a lifeline to maintain their business and enable delivery services. However, as we move into a post-pandemic reality, brands are realising the significant advantages of having a first-party ordering channel alongside third-party platforms. In this blog post, we will explore why first-party ordering is becoming increasingly important, the unique traits of first-party customers, and how brands can enhance the ordering experience to maximise customer loyalty and revenue.
Before delving into the benefits of first-party ordering, it’s essential to acknowledge the ongoing value of third-party platforms. Even as brands strive to convert third-party customers into first-party patrons, third-party services will remain an integral part of customer acquisition strategies. Restaurants and convenience stores can tap into a larger customer base and expand their reach through these platforms.
Paytronix, in their recent online ordering report, reveals that first-party ordering customers exhibit several distinct characteristics compared to their third-party counterparts. These advantages make a compelling case for brands to prioritise their first-party ordering channels:
Increased Order Value: First-party customers tend to order higher-value items more frequently than those using third-party platforms. This higher average order value translates into increased revenue for businesses.
Generous Tipping: First-party customers are more likely to tip larger amounts. Their appreciation for the convenience and quality provided by the brand’s direct ordering system often reflects in their willingness to reward the service with a generous tip.
Brand Loyalty: First-party customers are more likely to be part of a brand’s loyalty program. This loyalty not only enhances their affinity for the brand but also leads to more frequent visits and increased customer retention.
Optimising the First-Party Ordering Experience
Recognising the unique traits of first-party customers, it becomes crucial for brands to prioritise and enhance the first-party ordering experience. Here are a few key considerations:
Streamline Ordering Process: Ensure that your first-party ordering system is user-friendly, intuitive, and mobile-responsive. Simplify the steps involved in placing an order and provide clear options for customisation, special instructions, and dietary preferences.
Efficient Order Fulfilment: Timely and accurate order fulfillment is vital to customer satisfaction. Invest in robust order management systems, optimise kitchen operations, and maintain clear communication channels with customers to provide real-time updates on order status.
Personalisation and Customisation: Leverage customer data to personalise the ordering experience. Recommend favourite items based on past orders, offer personalised promotions, and provide tailored recommendations to create a sense of individualised attention and care.
Seamless Integration with Loyalty Programs: Integrate your first-party ordering system with your loyalty program to provide incentives and rewards for customer engagement. Offer exclusive discounts, rewards, and early access to new menu items to encourage repeat orders and strengthen loyalty.
Proactive Customer Support: Establish channels for prompt and effective customer support. Offer multiple contact options, such as live chat, email, and phone, to address any concerns or inquiries promptly. Resolving issues efficiently can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, fostering customer loyalty.
While third-party ordering services continue to be an important part of the customer acquisition strategy, brands must recognise the unique advantages offered by their first-party ordering channels. First-party customers tend to order higher-value items, tip generously, and demonstrate stronger brand loyalty. By prioritising and enhancing the first-party ordering experience, brands can cultivate a base of loyal customers who not only contribute to increased revenue but also serve as ambassadors for the brand. Investing in the infrastructure and processes necessary to provide a seamless and exceptional first-party ordering experience is an investment that will pay off in the long run, strengthening customer relationships and driving sustained growth.