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Consumption Goes Digital

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In every industry customers are turning to online options. From restaurants to distributors, the pressure is on to adapt to the online market and go digital.

In 2021, the number of digital buyers increased to 2.14 billion —  a one-year increase of 900 million people. Today, one out of every four people identify as an online shopper. Businesses that lack strong digital presences shorten their lifespans every day.

Industries That Adapt

Olo is an online ordering provider that helps restaurants go digital. Olo handles delivering, ordering, and, now, paying. Recently, Olo announced its new payment tool, Olo Pay, which creates a payment network between restaurants using Olo and allows customers to pay in one click with an account. “Borderless payment” is designed to make the customer’s life as easy as possible while encouraging them to stay within the network. Currently, 500 brands and 79,000 restaurants use Olo providing customers with a plethora of options.

Olo Pay doesn’t just serve customers. The tool streamlines payment for restaurants and works to detect suspicious transactions. The result is less friction and fraud. The need for a platform like Olo Pay demonstrates the digital world’s growing dominance among consumers.

Delivery Goes Digital

Going to the grocery store used to be a standard operation, but now delivery services like Instacart have disrupted this tradition. Through apps, you can have groceries delivered to your door from your preferred store. Just like Olo Pay, customers create an account which allows them to seamlessly switch between stores within the Instacart network.

Drizly saw a similar opportunity for alcohol delivery. Customers can order from different liquor stores within the Drizly app and expect speedy deliveries. These delivery apps are changing the way customers fundamentally view shopping.

Unseen Consequences

If online ordering does become the new standard, some issues will have to be addressed. Restaurants operate on low profit margins already. And third-party delivery apps (like DoorDash and GrubHub) take cuts up to 27%. Some restaurants like Chili’s offer proprietary online ordering service and curbside pick-up to combat these problems. The restaurant industry has historically struggled with this new digital world. But the future is clear: food services is ironing out the digital kinks and finding more success every day.

Online Presence Becomes Priceless

Distributors can take a page out of the restaurant industry’s (cook) book and adapt to the digital world. Internal business processes and external customer relations should all be digitally optimized. A website with updated inventories can bring in new business as customers browse online before ordering, and a seamless online order form makes it even easier for customers to buy and return again. As the distribution industry goes digital, businesses that embrace smart technology will be rewarded with a longer life.