Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Own website vs. food catalogue

It's important for food businesses which offer takeaway and delivery service to meet customers' expectations and take orders online. Custom build e-commerce website does not come cheap, can cost thousands of pounds and take time to develop. That's why many food businesses, to be able to take online orders, have signed up with food catalogues.
Now, with cloud computing, it is possible to create a fully automated website builder system which can accommodate many websites on a single platform. That significantly reduces costs of website development and speeds up the process of creating it.

Thanks to Ordys the e-commerce solution have became affordable, so you might ask what is better? Or, why should I create my own website when I am listed in a food catalogue?

The good thing about food catalogues it that they link you and your potential customer. Your menu is visible online to catalogue's clients who might place an order with you. But you are one of many on the long list of businesses and cannot easily make your business name stand out, so there is no guarantee on getting an order. On top of that customers, encouraged by catalogue design, might look around the other listings and choose to order someone else's food.
On the catalogue not all of your business details are visible - your phone number is hidden. Why? Because the catalogue earns money on online orders only, so they don't give your customer another option.
Some of the companies offer a website design service, but even then they make their own business name well visible in many places on so called “custom website”. This means that they promote themselves, and what is more, online ordering and reviews pages are directing your customer straight to catalogue's own website.
Yet another thing. We had a request from a business owner who wanted to implement his own online ordering, but there was one obsticle - an issue with his domain name ownership.
You might think that these companies are doing you a favour by buying you a domain name, so you don't have the hassle of sorting it out. But in fact, it means that you are not the owner of this domain, and if in the future you want to change their service to something else or create new website you will not be able to use that domain, domain which has been related to your business and is known to your customers. Buying a domain name may sound complicated, but in fact is very easy. In Ordys admin panel you will find step by step instructions how to do it.

Commission based companies have two different customers - you, a place which provides food for another customer - a person who orders. They take money for linking you two, so they act as a middleman. They market to you both, and even use your business to market themselves to the other customer (big stickers with their website address on your shop window). People see and easily remember what is placed at their eye level. So, you sadly advertise someone else’s business.
What is more they have all your clients details and can use it for marketing purposes!

When you think about it, commission based companies don't care if the customer places order with you or your competitor, they earn commission anyway on all online orders made.

What about having own website?

The story looks completely different. To place an order the customer needs to register with you. That way you build a list of own clients and use it for marketing.
Additionally, you have control over website's content. You can change, update your menu, create promotions whenever you like and the great thing about it is that your customers have access to it instantly. You know your business best, so you can attract customers to dine with you when you want them.
Your details are well visible, and you promote your business name only. Some people feel reluctant about online processes, so as your phone number is placed on each page they can call you if they prefer that way of communication.
Ordys helps to gain new business not only through your own website but via Facebook application as well. As opposed to the commission based catalogues, we want you to have more business no matter which door it comes in. That is why we don't even encourage you to resign from catalogues. Just make sure that when you get an order via catalogue you put a leaflet with your website address in customer's bag. Next time they will order directly from you, especially if you give them a discount on their online purchase.

Own fully manageable e-commerce website with great features costs only £8.75 a week. Food directories charge average of 10% commission on every order, so I let you do your maths here.

Having your very own online ordering takeaway website allows your clients place orders directly with you, so you can cut the middleman and save on their commission. At the same time you are in more control over your business and promote your own business name!

Monday, May 14, 2012

At Ordys - Monday news! 14 May 2012

Whoops... it's been definitely longer than two weeks. So here is a quick update:

* New admin panel has been tested and we are working on some changes. At first stage we want to keep it as simple as possible and later make improvements based on your feedback. It's all about what works for you.

* As our fax provider made some changes to their system, we carried out checks on our fax notification mechanisms to make sure that it all works nicely.

* Images grab attention. We created "order online" icons for all our customers. They can be used in promotional activities either online, like on Facebook; or offline, on menu leaflets for example.

* We published a new blog post about Facebook cover image rules with some great examples of food businesses cover images.

* Last Wednesday we got a great news! We have been chosen to present Ordys to a panel of entrepreneurs in a Dragons Den style event called Midas Touch at the Business Startup show! It is going to be really exciting.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Facebook cover photo rules

It's been over a month now since the switch to the new timeline Facebook profiles.
At the beginning, I was not very keen on the new layout, I thought that it's confusing, but with time I've started to warm up to it a little bit more. And now, I have to admit, I like some of the new features like milestone and post pinning.
After creating Ordys' cover photo I was curious how other businesses had gone about it, so I did a little research.
Firstly, I noticed that not everyone plays by the rules. I am not saying that they do it consciously, as simply they might not be aware of Facebook cover image policy. Other cover photos were definitely not carefully prepared - they were really blurred and did not look appetizing which is a big factor for a food business! But my main discovery was that many businesses did not have one.
Of course, I am not talking about the big names that have graphic designers, but small and medium businesses.
So, I decided to write a post about cover photo rules and share with you some good examples.
Yes, after persistent search I found those as well!


Your cover image is public, like your profile photo, and anyone visiting your page will be able to see the image you prepared. It should represents your business, be unique and instantly tell visitors what your business is about.

And here is the list of things that you are not allowed to include:
- price or purchase information, such as '40% off' or 'Download it at our website'
- contact information, such as website address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page's 'About' section
- references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
- calls to action, such as 'Get it now' or 'Tell your friends'

Remember, that your image should be 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. If you upload smaller image ( must be at least 399 pixels wide ) it will get stretched to this larger size.

The great thing about cover photos is that you can play with it and change whenever you want. Create one to share your businesses news, make a Xmas card image and tag your best clients in it, or prepare one to celebrate important times or events. Get creative!

1. Fun and business news

2. Business name

3. Less is more - simple and elegant

4. Obviously, food images

5. Premises and interior

6. Seasonal and celebrations

Do you know any great examples or maybe want to share your own? You are welcome to post the link in comments!