The only thing more critical than having an app is having an excellent website. We know all businesses have websites in 2018. The crucial question we ask is: Is the website great or just okay? Having a mediocre website is not enough. Having a great website can highly increase sales, customer connectedness and brand awareness. Online orders are growing in popularity – 57% of customers order their food from a website and online ordering improves marketing/CRM by over 30%.

A good business should know their marketing goals when building an effective website. What is being done on the site? What is inefficient on the site? What is the best way to increase sales on the site? “Everything we do from the technology standpoint starts with the customer – both the feedback they provide and the experiences we observe,” says Mark Weinstein, Senior VP and Global Head of Loyalty and Partnerships at Hilton. Listening to what consumers have to say is crucial because usability for consumers is the biggest factor in making money or not. 88% of consumers will switch to a different app or website when one isn’t meeting their needs.

Saggezza was recently tasked with developing  P.F. Chang’s website into a highly functional, user-friendly experience. Knowing that digital ordering is growing 300% faster than dine-in traffic, the main goal was to generate more business via online ordering. Aside from the visually appealing videos and easily identified promotions, menu items are conveniently customizable, previous orders are displayed to make checkout easy, and finishing touches like chopsticks or soy sauce are easily quantified by the guest before checking out online. The results of these website changes include about 30% increase in users, a 20% increase in new sessions and 60% increase in average time on page.

The other factor to consider when building a new website is building a mobile interface for it, as 95% of mobile users conduct hospitality searches on their mobile device. Again, the key is being user friendly; if the mobile site is hard to navigate users will switch to another restaurant site. P.F. Chang’s now has an incredibly navigable mobile interface that has allowed 35% more mobile traffic.

Credit: BentoBox

Businesses, especially hospitality where consumers want to know all the details about a restaurant or hotel before choosing to go there, must have user-friendly websites. Listening to the consumer is a great advantage and keeping the website updated is necessary. Define your website marketing goals and make the changes necessary to stay competitive. Otherwise, consumers will just go to a better site and give their business to the other guys.