I found these staggering statistics recently. Do you know that poor diet on the job is costing countries around the world up to 20% in lost productivity, either due to malnutrition that plagues some one billion people in developing countries or the excess weight and obesity afflicting an equal number mostly in industrialized economies? (Stats from International Labour Organization Official Website). This shows how important the online food business space is to the corporate world. So I thought to share tips for growing any food business online.
Some of us, due to obesophobia or excess workload no longer take the time to plan our daily meals, forgetting that our body is a tool that needs to be fueled by eating the right food. This mistake has led some down the path of inconsistent feeding and its resulting health issues. This is why the online food business is so important in today’s world especially in the corporate space. Thank God for businesses like Uber Eats and small delivery businesses that have made it easy for people to order food online and get it in record time. This has also made food logistics more efficient and accessible to everyday Foodpreneurs.
If you are a passionate Foodpreneur particularly if your menu is cataloged with meals popularly called “healthy meals”. Then you stand a good chance of winning in the online business space because there is a huge need for your products and services. What you need is some knowledge of online marketing or get a proficient person to help you with that. If you will like to get some marketing fuel in your business, I will suggest you check out this course that was put together by a friend specifically designed for growing food businesses, you can learn to do it yourself or you can pay them to do it for you.
Tip 1: TAKE YOUR FOOD BUSINESS ONLINE
This is not as difficult as it may sound, it basically means positioning your business to take online orders. This strategy will require 3 important elements for it to work which I explained below.
ORDER TOUCHPOINT: this can be done as simply as taking orders through your Whatsapp Business, Telegram, Facebook, or Instagram page. However, if you want a more robust option, you can have a web developer build a food ordering website for you. I actually did this some time ago by partnering with a friend who is a Foodpreneur and I got my team to build her a website (wellfedng.com). We worked out the modalities and it worked out fine, so far, it’s been a successful partnership. Another touchpoint platform you can definitely get your food business on is Jumia Food if they are in your country.
PAYMENT OPTION: then you need to be able to take payment e.g. bank transfer, paystack, flutterwave, PayPal. There are a ton of ways you can take payments virtually, however, when you are choosing payment options to run your business on, make sure it’s the option popular among your target audience.
DELIVERY PLAN: finally you need a medium to deliver the food e.g. Uber Eats, Jumia Food, and local independent delivery companies. You will need to do some research to understand what will work best in your locality. Maybe you want to get people coming to your restaurant, that is also cool however your reach will be limited to your restaurant space.
Tip 2: RUN PAID ADS TO YOUR ORDER TOUCHPOINTS
To run ads successfully, you need to have a clear strategy, objective, target audience, and ROI. You can run ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads, however, there are some technicalities involved, so if you don’t really understand this, you may want to get someone to do this for you. Again, I think this course may be of benefit to you in this context, check it out here.
Tip 3: USE OTHER PEOPLE’S VOICE TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY AND CREDIBILITY
Do you know 80% of first-time food orders check customer reviews on sites like Google review and yelp before taking the step to order the food online? This means that you need to take your customer testimonial and review very seriously and this is directly linked to your customer service. Another powerful strategy is taking advantage of influencer marketing which has gained a lot of popularity in recent times. Influencers are social media personalities that have a large social media following e.g. food bloggers, food journalists, etc. You can actually reach out to these people and then work out a plan that will benefit your business and benefit them too. When researching SMI, make sure their followers fit into your target market demographic. For example, if your food menu includes meat, it may not be a good idea to work with an SMI in the vegan space. Also, check out Shoutcart to get any social media influencer in any country, niche, or gender at amazing prices.
Tip 4: FOCUS ON BUILDING A COMMUNITY RATHER THAN SELLING A COMMODITY
This should be one of your medium to long-term plans with present-continuous implementation. Generally, for you to stand out in the highly competitive food industry and get attention in a content-saturated social media space, you need a loyal fan base, not just customers, and that requires you to be positioned as a brand which then helps you to build a community. This is better than you just selling commodities. If selling commodities is all you do, your business will only be rated based on price which is not good enough because there will always be something cheaper out there. This is the strength that companies like McDonald’s, Apple, Starbucks have over their competitors. However, to build a brand, you need to care more for you customer and be value-driven. Establish communication through email or other communication channels and share valuable information with them regularly like sharing with them healthy eating tips! Just give them more value than just selling to them and your business will attract more fans than just customers which then make building a community easier.
Tip 5: USE PSYCHOLOGICAL HACKS
A few years ago, McDonald’s’ added $28M to their revenue just by asking their customers a simple question “would you like fries with that”. McDonald’s has successfully implemented multiple marketing hacks into their business across the world over the years that brings them huge rewards. They have been able to reap these rewards because they understand that their customers are people and people are driven by psychological habits. If we understand these hacks, we can use them to our business advantage and serve our customers better, by the way, these hacks can be used in any country. Below are some of the marketing hacks that drive McDonald’s’ sales.
MILLERS LAW: In 1956, George Miller asserted that the span of immediate memory and absolute judgment were both limited to around 7 pieces of information. So applying this law to their food menus, Mcdonald’s collapsed their food menu into a maximum of 7 prime options to make decision-making easy for their customers and save them from analysis paralysis. How many meal options do you present to your customers when trying to sell to them? If your menu options create decision fatigue for your customers because there are too many options, then you probably should reduce it to a maximum of 7 prime options.
NOVELTY EFFECT: The novelty effect, in this context, is the tendency for people to show more interest in your offering when you present it as a new menu or meal. This works so well for Mcdonald’s that they regularly will reinvent their menu options. People generally respond with interest to something new and fresh. This hack may lead you to reinvent your menus from time to time so as to create the novelty effect in the mind of your customers and lead to more sales.
CROSS SELLING AND UPSELLING: Cross-selling is the action or practice of selling an additional product or service to an existing customer. Upselling though is a sales technique where a seller invites the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades, or other add-ons. These two techniques have been masterfully used by McDonald’s. So you too can use these two techniques to help your customer get more value from your food products.
LEFT DIGIT EFFECT: The left-digit effect was well used by McDonald’s which refers to the perception of people when we use a nine ending versus a zero ending, for example, $2.99 versus $3.00, changes the leftmost digit. So just by dropping a cent from a price, it is perceived cheaper and the buyer feels he/she got a good bargain which we all feel good about. You can apply this to your pricing model and you will be amazed at how it will affect your sales.
I hope you got some value from this post, If you want me to share more marketing hacks chat me up on whatsapp at the bottom right, thanks for reading to the end. If you need any help with some of the tips I listed above, feel free to chat me up on my Whatsapp Business at the bottom right of this page and give me a like below. My team and will like to assist you in your online journey. Wishing you a most restful weekend, Chao!