A Guide to Setting up Online Orders for Small Business

Serving customers virtually in a post-COVID world has never been more critical to the survival of small businesses. A lot more customers seek contactless and virtual payment methods, and not adapting to the new standard will hurt prospects for growth.

If you’re the owner of a brick-and-mortar store, this information will help you set up systems to allow new and returning customers to purchase from you virtually without visiting your physical location.

It’s essential to understand what to look for before opening an online ordering system to implement into your online presence.

Online Ordering System needs to be Customizable

Ideally, the online ordering system should merely act as an extension of the company or brand. When the online presence is too detached from the physical location’s tone and sentiment, it can scare potential customers away.

The best online ordering systems provide customizable options. These options include adding business name and logo to the interface and form fill-outs, as well as automated communication to ensure the customer knows the transaction has come through (receipt emails and thank-you notes.)

Online Ordering System needs to be easy to use

The least attractive feature of an online ordering system is a confusing interface. Customers want the same seamless experience online as in real life at the physical location.

An attractive and easy-to-use website with a smooth ordering process amplifies the business. Customers will repeat, increasing the return-on-investment of the order systems. Don’t settle for clunky systems filled with gaps. Find a favorite brand or online store and find out what they use.

Online Ordering System should collect necessary data

The ability to collect customer data can help gain crucial insights into a small business. These insights include the age and other demographics of customers, best-selling products, and more.

These data points will assist in the following:

  • Identify where the focus should be on marketing.
  • Know what products need to be kept in stock and when.
  • Create offers and promotions based upon what customers like and interact with the most.

Data = improved customer experience.

Choosing the right Online Ordering System

Something important to note: setting up these systems is relatively simple because any reputable software will walk through the process in 10 minutes or less. The crucial decision to make is which software and why.

Here are three excellent software services for restaurant owners. These cost-effective & easy-to-use programs will allow restaurant owners to set up online orders for their customers efficiently.


ChowNow allows restaurants to set up order placements from their website, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and can even help create a mobile app for the restaurant. Personalized app = customer-centric experiences, tailored and branded to the restaurant. This customer-centric experience will, in turn, mean repeat customers and a great experience!

Customers are especially likely to use their mobile devices or social media to place their orders. ChowNow is an option to consider. The system will include credit card processing for online orders, menu creation, offer and discount possibilities.

ChowNow is unique because the restaurant will get crucial data about customer’s favorite products, demographics, and more.


Ordering.co is one of the best programs on the market for restaurant ordering systems.

The software offers an automated customer support experience with an ordering website and app that aids customers with automated help in real-time. The business owner can keep on top of customer concerns or complaints without hassle.

Ordering.co’s critical ingredient is the ease of access, use, and customization for small businesses. Taking less than an hour to set up, start a free trial today at https://www.ordering.co/en-us/.

GloriaFood (a free alternative)

GloriaFood is an open-source application (free to use) and was the first of its kind to ensure restaurant owners could create an online ordering system free of charge. Advanced options like credit card processing, and a fully functional POS, are part of the premium plans.

Online Ordering Systems for other Businesses

Shopify is one of the best online ordering systems for businesses with physical products, services, and a brick-and-mortar location.  Shopify allows a fully functional ordering system for any product possible in less than a day, with a very soft learning curve for small business owners.

Shopify allows creating a fully-fledged storefront that will enable customers to submit orders, tracks accounting, and allows customers to leave reviews of products.

Besides all of that, credit card payment processing is incredibly easy for businesses using Shopify payments. Shopify Payments lets users accept card payments without having to integrate third-party software.

Ultimately, Shopify will allow absolute control over the entire small business’s online presence without the hassle of hiring consultants, web designers, or accountants. Products, purchases, and payments all in one place.

Setting up Online Ordering Systems with WordPress

WPForms is one of the best solutions for setting up an online ordering system if a WordPress website exists.

Adding online orders

Once you’ve got your WordPress website set up, it is easy to add an online form so that customers can order products online, particularly food or physical products from physical locations. There are multiple ways to do this with WordPress.

The WPForms plugin needs to be installed and activated to set up orders and allow customers to purchase products through the website. Super easy for small businesses.

So why set up an online ordering system?

Why set up online payments and orders for customers?

Safer and healthier

For a business to reopen after COVID-19, they will need to set up shop to meet their community’s health and safety regulations. Owners must maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and use contactless ordering/payment methods to ensure all customers’ safety.

Shifting to an online ordering system for businesses means customers can order and pay from the safety of their homes. Remember: irrespective of rule changes, not everyone will be comfortable with public appearances for some time.

More data and less margin for error

One of the advantages of online food ordering for customers is that it ensures prices are secure and consistent. There’s less room for error regarding data for the customer, product information, and customer expectations. There’ll be less chance of incorrect charging, and less time wasted sorting out mistakes, and fewer apologies given to customers.

And finally, more customers!

As the new normal gets indeed rolling, online ordering and payments are becoming accepted and expected by customers. If the menu and payment system are hassle-free and easy to use online, regular customers will recommend the business to their friends, share on social media, and let people know about the seamless experience.

Don’t get left behind: online ordering systems are pivotal for the survival of today’s small businesses.

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