Along with the rest of the world, across cities in Indonesia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, as people opt to stay in rather than going out for meals. In difficult times, business players must be able to cover a new ground and confront some unique challenges triggered by the pandemic. While the path forward depends on many variables, digital strategies could be one tangible solution to support their customers in this unprecedented moment.

Digital strategies can open a lot of new opportunities. Business players could use the digital platform to make some reviews, get to know their customers and their needs, simplify their business processes, identify the products that are easy to sell, digitalize products into an easy-to-share catalog, add goods stocks, and give incentives to well-performing employees.

In an effort to maintain positive cash flow, businesses can focus on promotion for takeout deliveries, use a database of customers to communicate promotions through email, text messages, and promote the use of the digital payment, the report suggests.

A focus on takeout deliveries has become one of the key strategies because data shows that there has been a change in consumer behavior with more people opting for takeout delivery. Ordering food becomes so much easier because people can order food from anywhere, including their house.

Therefore, e-commerce website and digital media could be an effective way if you want to find ways to increase sales, reduce business operating costs, and increase profit margins for your business. Here are the benefits that e-commerce and digital media offer for food and beverages businesses:

  1. Better targeting and more personalization
    Digital marketing using e-commerce and other digital media may allow you to gather, analyze, and use customer information and data easily. You can track their buying habits which offer greater opportunities to personalize your promotions and other offerings in a more accurate way.
  1. Content Marketing Strategy
    An online presence allows you to provide more information about your products and services to your customers. A branded site especially gives sellers a place to provide key content to customers. Key product content includes in-depth product descriptions, product comparisons, in-store inventory availability, and pricing. This information helps a customer make their purchasing decision both in-store or online.
  1. Flexibility
    Online ordering allows customers to order anytime, anywhere using their mobiles, tablets, or other handheld devices, so that the food ordering process becomes so much easier.
  1. Larger order
    When customers can browse the menu without feeling rushed by lines, they tend to spend more time deciding what to order. The math is simple: the more time they have to look over, the more they are likely to order. You can highlight specific items on menus and run promotions to influence their purchases.
  1. Greater reach
    With online ordering, you can reach thousands of people at a time without having to make any additional investment in staff or infrastructure while your actual restaurant seating capacity may only be 100-200 at a time.

So, do we still need our own web store when we already market our products at the e-commerce? Well, when you choose to be in e-commerce, thousands of similar brands to yours will be displayed and featured, even if you are selling a unique product. Your products may be lost in a sea of competitors and you will find it challenging to make it pop and stand out.

With your own web store, you can focus 100% on your brand and your niche. People that arrive at your store are there because they want to know more about your product, not because they’re searching for a general topic and happened upon your products. You can also develop and execute your brand strategy and campaigns as you wish, making it as unique as possible while reaching thousands (even millions) of prospective customers. However, making a personal web store could cost more money than running an online store in e-commerce. Therefore, it is major for business owners to consider their goals and resources first. 

Author: Maritza Syavira (System Analyst)