Online channels are no longer the sole purview of entertainment, clothing, or electronics. The Food and Beverage industry is steadily making a move towards the online market.
The popularity of food delivery has been increasing over the years. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this market has grown tremendously. Taking your food and beverage business online proves to be a smarter alternative for restaurants. With several restaurants closing business, entrepreneurs and owners are moving to the online domain.
Why You Should Move Your Food And Beverage Business Online?
Transitioning your Food and Beverage business online comes with its advantages. The main being that people want to be fed, pandemic or no pandemic. To begin with, the COVID-19 lockdown forces people to stay home and maintain social distancing giving you a wider market to sell your business. Additionally, with people avoiding traveling around these days, having your business online allows you to cater to audiences living in different corners of your city- audiences that ordinarily wouldn’t visit due to proximity concerns. The fundamental reason why digital does well in most industries is that shopping online is simple, convenient, and saves time and money for businesses and consumers alike.
Remember To Define Your Objectives
To run and grow your business online it is crucial to set your goals. To do this, first, identify core objectives like making sure that profits remain more than the costs of doing the business. Here, managing costs of both production and operations while keeping a check on the profit margin of products sold is an important factor. Another important objective is to make sure to build recognition for your Food and Beverage business online. People need to know your brand and its products to be loyal to you. Another factor that holds equal importance as the other three is customer service; good customer service is key as it helps you retain clients and generate repeat revenue.
Where to Host Your Business?
The next step in this transition is getting your brand on a known and trusted e-commerce site. Platforms like Shopify are common and greatly used by customers. Shopify is well-liked because of its low start-up cost and easy-to-use interface. These platforms allow you to curate your menus the way you and your customers like and offer curbside pickup or local deliveries. What’s more, platforms like Shopify also have experts to help you create your online store.
Aligning your Supply Chain
While you set shop online, your supply chain must be bought up to date with your goals for your online business. It is of extreme importance that restaurants manage the supply chain network to keep a tab on food, beverages, and other supplies to ensure efficient operations. Changes must be done in real-time to respond to customer demands in a systematic and timely manner. In addition, restaurants and supply chain networks need to be in alignment on the delivery of products to the Kitchen and customers.
Ensuring Users Can Find You
Another essential part of this offline to online transition is a brand’s digital presence. These days, people reach out to the internet with questions like ‘’Where can I go for dinner’’ or ‘’Dining in Pittsburgh’, they then take a pick from the various suggestions that appear, read reviews and order their meals. Here comes the Pay-Per-Click model. What it does is it brings up your restaurant as a top result when people ask search engines for dining suggestions. This model allows businesses to place ads on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, while only paying when a user clicks on the ad. To make the most of the PPC model, you need to choose keywords like specific food items or beverages and place a bid on each of them. As and when a user searches your keyword, the ad platform determines the highest bidder, then serves their ad above the regular search engine results.
The PPC model comes in handy for food businesses as it gives smaller businesses a chance to beat the larger ones that have better rankings in search engines. For instance, a small burger joint may not be able to rank higher than a large chain in organic searches, but, by bidding on the right keywords, the smaller burger joint can still find a top spot. Lastly, including location-based keywords is particularly fitting for local online businesses, as people searching for restaurants usually look for something in their area. Including the name of your town, region, and city in your keywords is always a good idea.
Adding to this, we also recommend On-site SEO. On-site SEO is nothing but optimizing elements on your website to rank higher than competitors and receive more relevant traffic from search engines. To make the most of this technique, ensure your keywords are in your URL and are also included throughout your page. This will help your new online business to consistently get higher rankings.
Investing In Social Media
The next step in transitioning your Food and Beverage business online is to give it the limelight it deserves- Social Media Marketing. Social Media Marketing gives your business a wide reach further helping you raise awareness of your business. It is also a great way to stay connected with your customers, to learn about their experience with your business and their feedback on the same. Having social media accounts is also a great way to keep your customers updated about any offers, contests, deals, or events. What also adds to the word of mouth and the social following is the quality of content being posted; the look and feel of the content being posted need to resemble your objectives and goals, while also being attractive and discussion-worthy. Content on social media must be easy to understand, crisp, up-to-date, and accessible. Lastly, consistency is the key to a successful social media journey.
Having A Content Strategy In Place
Subsequently, you also need to build a content strategy for your online business as it ensures the content you share is easily found, useful and well-structured. Having a content strategy in place helps you plan, create and deliver content appropriate to your audience. This also helps businesses create content that is relatable and relevant to their customers.
Streaming from the content strategy is the practice of email marketing. This is essentially a system of sending messages to customers who have agreed to hear more about your business. Every email marketing campaign starts with a sign-up form or an email address. This is another way to keep customers updated with the latest product offers, updates, coupons, or offers. These emailers are easy to create, share, are affordable, and can be easily tested and optimized for best results.
Marketing your Food and Beverage company is more than just creating a buzz or getting customer inputs on products and services. It involves an understanding of consumer buying trends, being updated on competition offerings, being able to anticipate other operational needs, and developing partnerships that help your business progress and increase its market share.
Reach out to us for a smooth transition of your offline business to online channels. Our team has the experience and holistic knowledge of the web, its users, and competition around guaranteeing you a seamless yet exciting move.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.