Food Retailers See Basket Lift With First-Party Ordering Platforms

Online ordering represented more than a quarter of c-store and restaurant orders last year.
Angela Hanson
A customer ordering food on a mobile app

NEWTON, Mass. — Convenience stores and other foodservice outlets have more reason to consider rolling out their own ordering platforms. According to the 2024 Paytronix Online Ordering Report, customers who transact directly with a brand order 35% more items per check than those who order via third-party marketplaces.

The growing online ordering space makes it even more important for operators to get a piece of the pie, as online ordering represented 27% of all orders for restaurants and convenience stores in 2023. Operators in the top quarter of online ordering volume saw online orders jump to 62% of all their orders last year.

[Read more: Can C-stores Deliver the Goods?]

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"The biggest takeaway is that while third party marketplaces have their uses, a first-party online ordering platform is key to a brand's online ordering success," said Tim Ridgely, vice president of online ordering at Paytronix. "Moreover, those brands that build a robust digital guest engagement platform that includes loyalty and a mobile app are better equipped to leverage modern AI (artificial intelligence) tools, get closer to their guests, and deliver a powerful omnichannel guest experience."

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Guests who order both in-store and online have the highest order frequency, the best retention and 35% more lifetime value than customers who only order in-store.
  • First-party ordering platforms are the preferred method for consumers during lunch and dinner, and they also spend 30% more per transaction. However, orders that take place any time after 8 p.m. are nearly one third more likely to be done using third-party marketplace apps.
  • Mobile apps generate 34% of digital orders, and mobile app users have a 45% higher customer lifetime value than web users.
  • Quick-service restaurant loyalty members place 38.4% of their orders online, while their full-service restaurant counterparts order online 30.2% of the time.
  • Loyalty program members visit their favorite establishments over 40% more often than nonmembers.

The 2024 Paytronix Online Ordering Report also outlines how operators can optimize all of the systems and operations integral to a fully integrated guest engagement platform, with steps on how to convert guests from third-party marketplaces to a first-party online ordering system; consolidate technology for efficiency and better guest engagement; use artificial intelligence to increase guest engagement; and leverage customer data for a personalized experience.

Newton-based Paytronix provides customer engagement solutions and loyalty programs for restaurants, retail chains and convenience stores.

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