Web Design London
23 / 10 / 2021

App vs QR code – Which ordering system does your business need?

Mobile ordering and payments have become popular solutions for restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, venues, and live events. The pandemic ushered in their increased use but these contactless methods are so convenient, most businesses still use them. 

If you’re considering a mobile ordering solution for your business, you should know that there are two types of platforms to choose from: Downloadable apps or QR-code-powered web applications. Each has its pros and cons, and one might be better for your business than the other. 

Let’s look at how mobile ordering works, and specifically what you can expect with either an app or QR code solution. 

Mobile ordering: apps vs QR codes

When you want to implement mobile ordering in your business, your two main options are to present customers with a downloadable app or a QR code that links them to a “web application”.

With a downloadable app, you ask customers to download a specific app that requires a quick registration process.

With a web application, customers scan a QR code which goes to an online store for your business where they can place orders.

To be very clear, with you have the option of scanning a QR code with both solutions. If the customer downloads an app, they can still scan a QR code which opens up their menu in the app, rather than openeing their menu on a hosted webpage.

Both are good options and both have slightly different benefits. But which one is the right choice for your business?

Next up, we’ll take a look at both options in more detail.

Apps: pros and cons

With a native app, you can either develop one yourself or register your business for an existing platform. Developing your own app can costs hundreds of thousands in build and upkeep costs so it’s not a viable option for most businesses.

That’s why businesses normally opt to sign up with a mobile app like us at NOQ to handle this side for them.

The only slight downside of an app is that customers have to go through the effort of downloading it. But nowadays with fast connections all over the country, this is hardly a real “downside”.

After overcoming this tiny hurdle, the app has lots of upsides including:

  • Being able to communicate with the customer after their order has been placed. For example, letting them know how long their order is going to take or if it’s delayed for whatever reason.
  • Benefits of upsells and promotions
  • Push notifications
  • Live and detailed analytics
  • Can make instant changes to your menu with a single tap of a screen.

QR codes: pros and cons

One of the biggest advantages of using a QR-code-enabled web app is that it removes that small barrier to entry of downloading an app which takes out a step in the ordering process. Additionally, it’s a “white-label” solution meaning that your branding is all that’s seen when a QR code is scanned.

With that said, it’s important to appreciate that you’ll still have your own logo and restaurant name on an app as well.

Using a service that provides you a web app can be more expensive than a downloadable app, however. While using a QR code and web app eliminates some hassle for customers, it also limits functionality for your business. You can’t easily send customers updates on their orders or tack on promotions at check-out.  

Choosing the best mobile ordering solution for your business

Which mobile ordering solution should your business use? It will depend on your customers and your business model. Do you cater to demographics who tend to be more tech-savvy, and willing to go through a few more hoops to download an app to order? Or do they prefer a more straightforward solution? Which model works better with your existing order system, and which one can your staff learn more quickly? Is a white-label solution with your own branding more important, or do you value add-ons like promotions and upselling? 

Consider these factors before committing to a mobile ordering solution. Try to test out apps and platforms if you can, to see which would suit your business better. 

Most mobile ordering solutions only offer one option, either the downloadable app or the white-label web app. Others, like NOQ, offers both and let you choose one. With NOQ, you get all the benefits that come with mobile ordering – increased sales, better on-site hygiene, improved customer experience, and order insights and analytics – but you get to choose your ordering method. 

Conclusion – Apps vs QR code

If you’re still unsure which option is best for you, one thing is certain: Mobile ordering apps are here to stay. The sooner you adopt one for your business, the sooner you can provide a better overall experience for your customers. When it comes down to it, both are viable options. As long as you keep your customers’ best interests in mind, you won’t make a wrong decision.

Whichever option you decide, at NOQ we offer both solutions so you’re covered whatever your business needs are!

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