The digital era was always inevitable, but the coronavirus phase accelerated the digital era by literally ten or more years. The businesses that were planning to go online for years down the line are already online now. Only the businesses that had the option to provide services via an online medium are the businesses that could survive the coronavirus onslaught and the new businesses that are starting now are already planning or already have their services online now.

Food delivery businesses were no different. In most of the countries food businesses were not allowed to service their customers on premise and even today we cannot provide services to the customers to a full house, most of the businesses are operating at 50% of on-site capability, so the only way we can keep food delivery business profitable was by providing online food ordering and delivery and this is the way to the future for food businesses. For food ordering and delivery businesses a mobile app has become the main source or platfrom for online ordering. It is easy for the customers to place an order online using mobile apps and also easy for restaurants to accept or manage their orders and deliveries via the phone apps. As per a research done recently the online food ordering and delivery market of B2C i.e business to customers delivery is expected to hit $23,000 million in the year 2023.

If you’re planning to build an online food ordering and delivery app, It would be a good idea to understand the features and specially the most important features that your food ordering and delivery systems should have now in the year 2021-2022.

  1. Push Notification 
    The first thing here is what are push notifications? For a layman push notifications are simple clickable pop-up messages that you can send to the users who are using your App or have given you permission on web browser. As per a recent survey push notifications have the most open rate as compared to emails and other communication methods.
    With the popularity of food ordering and delivery businesses growing in the past few years it is very normal for a customer to have at least 2 to 4 food ordering apps on their phone. To remain relevant to the user and to create their own branding and visibility push notifications is the best way. It is the way cheaper than an SMS message and a more simple. Push notifications help you remain visible to your customers you can send push notifications containing discount offer coupons etc.
  2. GPS tracking and geo-location 
    Just a few years back GPS and geolocation were considered futuristic technologies deployed by only top notch enterprises but with Google maps and so many other map providers like OpenMaps and mapbox GPS and Geolocation have come to become integral part of any mobile phone app and users expect these as a basic feature in your app. The primary usage of GPS and Geolocation is first to allow users to simply check the businesses around them using the current location. This is become very relevant now because with only one single tab the users can find related businesses around them. Without Geolocation users had to at the least click or tap 4 to 5 times to input their location or use different types of filters to find relevant businesses around them. Then user can also see the route from the current location to the business that they’re interested in and then after ordering they can simply track the delivery boy live in the app.
  3. Social Media Integration 
    The hottest technology progress of this decade has been social media social media has connected rebody and make the world a much much much smaller place before it was important for a business to get proper word to mouth publicity and now in this century this world to mouth publicity has transformed to social media publicity. Not just free publicity social media is also the fastest form of publicity if your post goes viral we have seen businesses struggling to survive but millions in profit overnight for the basics for social media what do you need to offer its first the age to get connected that is social media logins like Facebook login Google login and the ability to share on social media basically you can allow your order or your product to be shared on social media plus you can keep your users updated about discount offers the new changes different updates on social media and keep them engaged
  4. Offers, Discounts, Loyalty points in your Food Delivery Software
    This is sales and marketing technique that has been technology agnostic(independent) for time immemorial. Maybe this technique has been used since the time human beings started trading i.e. is giving discounts and offers to your customers. Everybody loves discount. Offer discount coupons and loyalty programs to your customer so that they keep coming back for more. It is important that your food ordering and delivery system offers a discount and additional incentive for using your system again and again something like loyalty points program, you can’t go wrong with this.
  5. Feedback, Ratings, Reviews and Filters
    One of the biggest advantages of online ordering is the user doesn’t have to depend ona known person‘s recommendation to buy goods. They can search and explore their phone itself about the food items or products that would meet their tastes and preferences by simply going to different users feedbacks, reviews and ratings. By reading the other user feedback we can decide the pros and cons of the food item and finalize if that food item is something that they would like to order. Also filters are an important part of the system because that helps the user to shortlist their food item based on the specific tastes and preferences.
  6. Trusted Payment Provider and Easy Way To Pay like Wallets/mobile UPI payments
    One of the biggest barrier in users using online ordering is – online payments.  A lot of users either do not have ability to pay online or they are afraid to use online payments for fear of being hacked or cheated. You have to provide your user trusted payment provider from your locality. A payment provider that is brand-new and unknown will make your buyers jittery. A local brand will help you gain the users trust. For example paypal may be charging very high fees but because they have created a huge brand name for themselves they inspire trust from consumers. Same would apply for your local payment gateway. User would be happy to see a local name knowing that in case something happens or something goes wrong they can contact them for remedy. Also apart from just being a trusted payment provider you need to make it easy for the users to do the payment as quickly or simply as possible. A local net banking payment requires a user to go through a whole lot of clicks and tabs this we cannot change because of security reason but we can definitely use the newer modes of payment gateways like Apple Pay, google pay which happens in one tap, UPI payment, mobile phone payments has seen huge adoptability in the past few years and they have they have made it very easy for users to do payment. Also it would make sense to have a Wallet on your system because then that would allow a user to do payment once and then buy from you again and again from the amount in the wallet and the payment would be more easy.
  7. One Click Ordering, Very Easy Ordering
    Another one of the entry barriers for online ordering by users is the difficulty that the users face in placing an order, For tech savvy users it is very simple to create accounts, select products, update address and do the payments online but for a regular Joe it is a daunting task to place an order online. So focus of the system provider should be that their buyers can place the orders as easily as possible. The navigation should be simple, the design should do not have any major complications. The user should not need to search for any option. We should be able to locate easily what we are looking for and we can place the order as easily as possible. This does not mean some mind blowing design. This means that the design should be simple and the user should be able to place the order in less number of clicks. Also the site should be fast loading. Some simplification that technology offers today is updating the address on map instead of text address, get the users current location using geolocation, Guest checkout instead of creating account, social media logins to create accounts makes logins as simple as possible etc.

Conclusion
So by going through the above features you can see that now technology offers so many new platforms that can make it easy for users to use your system. So irrespective of whether you are restaurant owner planning to go online or a business entrepreneur building the next big food ordering and delivery system, it is mandatory for you to have the above features in your app to make sure that you build your user base and improve user experience. By the way if I’m missing any of the must have features in the above list please do share them in the comments section below and if you are looking to build a food delivery software then check out ours.

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