Restaurants are perhaps one of the earliest industries to benefit from eCommerce innovation and going digital. Interestingly, the hotel industry is another one that has adapted quickly to eCommerce. The trend of eCommerce in food delivery has been on a steady trajectory for years. Many observers would say that with effects of the pandemic this relationship has well and truly matured. eCommerce kept most restaurants afloat in many cities around the world amid lockdown restrictions.
Firstly, the restaurants industry is one of slim margins. This is usually because of cost fluctuation and rent increases amongst others. The COVID 19 pandemic has made this much worse across the entire industry around the world. It has exposed the incredible innovation of the B2B model but it has also exposed a potentially even more lucrative B2B2C in the restaurant industry. Regardless, eCommerce is a high-margin method to maximize profits outside the physical confines of a restaurant.
eCommerce benefit for restaurants
The likes of UberEats, Skipthedishes and JustEast have benefited immensely since the pandemic. Many restaurants have been able to leverage the digital infrastructure of these eCommerce platforms. These platforms allow restaurants to expand their client base without expanding a great deal of cost to increase revenue. It is a win-win for the business and the likes of SkipTheDishes. Today it is easier and cheaper for businesses to take online payment safely and quickly.
eCommerce sites should be designed to facilitate the relationship between customers and search engines to understand. UX designers must create clear pages such as Shops which makes it easy to locate eCommerce offerings online. In this industry, cross promotion across marketing channels is also important when designing a digital infrastructure. eCommerce gives B2C restaurants an opportunity to build brand loyalty and increase sales. For some businesses, brands loyalty can be built easier without the constraint and customer service pressures of a restaurant environment.
Arguably, the most interesting eCommerce innovation with restaurants is coming from a B2B2C standpoint. The effect of the pandemic has also hastened the innovation of the B2B2C model. Due to the pandemic many businesses can not stock goods the way they used to pre-pandemic. Due to the fluctuating demand this can be a problem for businesses planning and increasing storage cost. Restaurants have it even worse in some ways as they deal with perishable goods. Moreover in many jurisdictions there are strict food standards with regards to storage and refrigeration. This means many of the stored food ends up just going to waste. For many restaurants, this was a big problem.
There are B2B2C companies that use an innovative business model that can address these concerns. They allow restaurants to order a specific quantity of food items when and where they need it. As opposed to regular bulk ordering, the attraction of this model is the just in time delivery. This ensures that restaurants have enough of the food they need, but not too much that it goes into waste. Restaurants can order products according to demand.
In conclusion, this shows the flexibility of eCommerce and how it is being adapted to different business models. This kind of adaptation is not possible with the standard out of the box eCommerce solution. A project like this requires a more complex integration which likely includes some customization and 3rd party integration. This sort of systems integration is the specialty of digital agencies like DigiCommerce.