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eCommerce vs. Catering Software: What’s Right for Your Grocery Catering Business?

eCommerce vs. Catering Software: What’s Right for Your Grocery Catering Business?

Grocery stores and supermarkets can expand their offerings outside the center aisle and capture more customers and revenue by offering catering services and prepared meals. Owners and managers may find themselves wondering where to start and how best to have a digital presence so customers can find them easily online and have an enjoyable online ordering experience. There are many platforms available from eCommerce to specialized grocery catering software to choose from, but which one is right for your grocery catering business? Let’s find out.

What is eCommerce?

eCommerce (or e-commerce) is a business model that lets firms and individuals buy and sell things over the internet. It operates in all major market segments, including: business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-business.

eCommerce can be conducted over any type of device, including computers, tablets and even smartphones. With limitless possibilities of what can be sold and bought via ecommerce, it is considered a very disruptive technology to the retail industry.

What features do eCommerce platforms have for grocery caterers?

The ease of access, basic features and simple, autonomous setup can make eCommerce platforms an attractive avenue for those just starting their catering business or offering. The following eCommerce features are some that caterers could find beneficial:

1) Templated online website designs

example of Shopify catering website template

(source: Shopify)

2) Do-it-yourself website building

example of Shopify backend eCommerce site in edit mode

(source: Shopify)

3) Integrations with other software

example of integrations for Shopify

(source: Shopify)

When are eCommerce platforms not enough?

eCommerce platforms are built for a digital retail experience, meaning they are focused on the end customer and their ability to see the products/services your company offers and then purchase them. This is a 3-step process of the end customer visiting your website, making their purchase and then you delivering their goods or services.

For caterers, not only is that digital retail experience important, but there are multiple additional steps to fulfil catering orders. Caterers need a backend to manage orders, create production logs, send specialized quotes and proposals, manage delivery logistics, and have payment processing options to name a few.

And even more importantly for grocery and supermarket caterers, the ability to allocate catering orders to specific store locations and departments, such as Bakery or Deli, is paramount. Here is an example of what a traditional eCommerce order process is versus FoodStorm’s Grocery Catering Software order process:

graphic showing traditional ecommerce versus FoodStorm grocery catering software features

What is catering software?

Catering software is specifically made software for caterers that includes an end customer facing website and an internal portal for catering company’s team to manage orders.

How can catering software help my grocery business?

Catering software can help automate your administrative processes while improving accuracy and free up your time to focus more on catering and growing your business. This niche software can improve your team’s communication, capture more market share with an online ordering platform and provide Customer Relationship Management tools to better understand your buyers and generate more sales. Here are some catering software features grocery caterers would find beneficial:

1) Multiple customer ordering options with branded eCommerce website

FoodStorm Catering Software can support multiple ways to take you customers’ orders, ensuring you don’t miss out on any catering opportunities.

graphic depicting customer ordering options within FoodStorm

2) Order management and production capabilities

If your grocery or supermarket business has multiple locations, you can manage orders for all stores from one centralized software. And breaking up your catering orders to your various departments in specific production logs allows for seamless collaboration and smooth fulfillment.

graphic depicting order management and production features in FoodStorm

3) Payment and fulfilment features

FoodStorm integrates with your Point-of-Sale system to track inventory, as well as maintaining PCI compliance to securely store your customers’ payment information for billing. You can also generate pickup and delivery logs for full end-to-end order management.

graphic depicting payment and fulfilment features in FoodStorm

4) Customer relationship management tools

Something unique to FoodStorm is the CRM tools built into the software. This allows you to be proactive in generating more and repeat sales for your catering business through features such as Abandoned Carts, Promotions, Email Marketing and Customer Feedback.

graphic depicting customer relationship management (crm) features in FoodStorm

5) Loads of leading software integrations

If your business uses multiple software platforms, worry not, as FoodStorm integrates with over 25 leading software companies, from accounting to staff management to marketing.

logos of the integrations available with FoodStorm

6) Cloud-hosted software available on any device, anywhere

FoodStorm is available on all smart devices connected to the internet through any internet browser, or if you prefer an app experience, you can download FoodStorm from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

stylized graphic showing the FoodStorm app on computer, tablet and phone

Lets take your catering business to the next level

If your grocery store, supermarket, artisan market or fresh food co-op is ready to grow your revenue outside the center aisle and into new income streams, catering and prepared meals could be a viable option. Traditional eCommerce websites can be quick and easy to set up, but they are not built for the nuances caterers experience when managing and delivering customer orders. Specialized catering software, such as FoodStorm, was built by caterers for caterers with over 15 years of research and development.

Contact us today to speak to our Software Specialists to find out how FoodStorm Catering Software can help automate your processes & grow your sales.

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