Industry snapshot: great navigation, above average frustration
While the restaurant industry looks a bit different in 2020, the global food service market brought in $3.4 trillion in 2018, and is projected to hit $4.2 trillion by 2024. Whether you’re a small local restaurant, a global chain, or a food delivery service, ordering online has become the go-to avenue for foodies worldwide, bringing new expectations regarding the digital experiences provided through sites and apps.
Restaurants’ biggest user frustrations
As the food service industry shifts to a digital experience-first mindset, restaurants should understand the value of optimized online experiences. With 70% of customers abandoning purchases because of bad user experience (UX), you simply can’t afford to disappoint users on your website or app – or they’ll look elsewhere for their meals.
With 7.4% of page views containing instances of user frustration, the restaurants sector performs poorly against the 6.5% average of other industries. It has a relatively low occurrence of both bird’s nest behavior, which refers to when a user rapidly shakes their mouse in confusion, and rapid scrolling, which in certain contexts signals user frustration. However, it has a high incidence of unresponsive multiclicks, which typically occur on broken links or buttons, as well as repeated device rotation, the result of content not fitting the screen.
3 ways to reduce frustration in restaurants
Prioritize mobile orders
Between high demand for delivery and take out, consumers are constantly ordering on the go. To deliver frustration-free online mobile food service, you must focus on simplistic designs, effortless navigation, and responsive page elements.
Streamline checkout pages
The checkout process can make or break whether a user places an order or seeks a different restaurant out of frustration. Make sure your checkout uses minimal stages, is technically sound for form filling, and allows for easy order-placing adjustments.
Speed up ordering processes
Hungry users demand speed when it comes to delivery but also during the ordering process. Ensure your website, mobile site, or app delivers with rapid loading times for order adjusting elements, multimedia menu content, and order prep status updates.
The restaurants sector has really done well in providing smooth user journeys, with barely any looping behavior detected in how users navigate. However, with a relatively high rate of user frustration across the industry, there’s a big opportunity for restaurants to differentiate their offering by investing in digital experience optimization.
Restaurants’ biggest user engagements
As more consumers turn to digital food services, engagements have become a major tell-tale sign of success. Companies with the strongest engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for those with poor engagements. But what exactly drives strong and consistent engagement on restaurant sites and apps?
With sessions having an average Engagement Score of 5.3/10, the restaurants sector performs better than the 4.5 average of other industries. However, in terms of overt signals, it has significantly fewer incidences of reading behavior, which refers to users following content with their mouse, responsive multiclicks, which refers to users clicking through responsive elements like image carousels, and also low instances of select and copy behavior.
3 ways to drive more engagement in restaurants
Personalize ordering options
To keep users interested and engaged with your restaurant, you’ve got to show them offers that appeal to their tastes. Use previous orders or items viewed to suggest new and related menu items and drive quicker purchases.
Simplify account setup
Returning users bring higher expectations regarding ordering processes, which means user accounts should be near perfect. Make sure accounts suggest recent or popular orders, promote new offers, and streamline login steps.
Revamp content and designs
The copy, designs, and especially images on your website or menu can completely determine whether a user orders from your restaurant. Use content and designs that engage hungry users with appetizing food shots, detailed copy, and well-branded designs.
Restaurants’ user journey trends
User journeys will often vary across your website or app, but optimizing the most common journeys carries the highest priority. Tracking customer journeys in real time is key to delivering on customer expectations, yet 2/3 of organizations lack this capability.
With an average Navigation Score of 9.61/10, the restaurants sector performs well against the 9.3 average of other industries. Per page view, the on-page refresh rate is just 5.7%, and the revisit rate of pages is a tiny 0.5% against the 32.1% average of other industries – suggesting users are almost always finding what they need on each page, without having to look twice or cover old ground.
EXPERIENCE & CONVERSION
Restaurants’ correlation between digital experience and conversion
Seamless digital experiences may just be the secret to boosting conversions. In fact, visit-to-lead conversions can be 400% higher on sites with optimal user experiences. But the restaurant and food service industry is a unique digital environment, so to really turn new users into loyal customers it takes a keen understanding of the relationship between digital restaurant experiences and conversions.
Generally, the goal conversion rate for restaurants is lower than in other industries, as is its correlation to DXS®, which could mean tolerance for mediocre experiences is higher for restaurants than elsewhere – though the quality of the overall experience remains vitally important.
3 restaurant digital experience trends and tips to look out for in 2021
Big opportunity for experience leaders
With above average frustration across the industry, there’s a big opportunity for experience-minded restaurants to make their mark through their websites and apps.
Competition will increase
With restaurants old and new investing in digital experiences across the board, expect a big rise in competition for customer eyeballs and loyalty.
Optimization will be crucial
With customer expectations irrevocably shifted, investing in digital experience optimization has never been more crucial for restaurants looking to stay ahead of the competition.