We often look at online ordering stats for restaurants to see how things are going. It's been bugging us that one client's online ordering sales aren't climbing as fast as would be expected for a store that size.
So we poked around and discovered that their corporate site was opening the link to their online ordering page inside a pop-up window. Pop up windows are a bad idea, because they turn customers away from using your online ordering. Here's how that happens.
Pop-Ups Get Blocked
Popup blockers aren't just something that users install themselves anymore. They come standard in many browsers. Why force a user to click "allow" for the popup? It's unnecessary. Blocked window? Must be more trouble than it's worth, right? Poof, lost order.
Pop-Ups Size/Position is Unreliable
Sometimes the pop-up puts the menu in a floating window that is the wrong size for the content and sometimes it's pushed off the screen. Not good. Customer closes window, poof, lost order.
Pop-Ups Feel Fragile
Because pop-ups are mostly associated with ads or dialog boxes, users interpret the information contained in them as temporary or fragile. (You don't often navigate multiple pages inside a popup, it's not natural). Users generally feel uncomfortable interacting with a window that has no tabs or address bar and is floating outside their main browser window. Yuck. This doesn't feel right. Close window. Lost order.
It's an Easy Fix
We still think your restaurant online ordering page should open in a new window (in fact, it's what we recommend). But just don't open it in a new pop-up window. Please let your new windows open in the traditional way (with target="_blank"). That way, your online menu opens in a new tab like you want and it'll still be grounded inside the main browser like your customers want. Oh, and your Restaurant's main corporate page stays intact, just like before.