How to Choose an Online Ordering System for Small Businesses

November 23, 2023 — Cloudwaitress

Improve your profit margins more than you thought possible by learning how to choose an online ordering system for small businesses. Any online ordering system is like a digital storefront, and it can’t be missing from any modern business.

You should consider cost, ease of customization, and ease of use, along with the available payment options, when choosing an online ordering system.

Also, look out for the mobile compatibility of the platform, its scalability, and customer support reliability. All these factors are necessary for getting the best experience from an online ordering system.

In this article, you’ll discover all you need to know regarding how to choose an online ordering system for a small business. You’ll also discover the benefits of creating a digital storefront for your business.

What is an Online Ordering System?

This is a digital storefront or online platform that allows businesses to process and manage customer orders online. An online ordering system usually appears as a mobile app or a website where customers can place orders for a product.

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Benefits of an Online Ordering System

An online ordering system gives a small business that much-needed edge, and some of these benefits are shown below:

Lower Cost of Labour

With an online ordering system, business owners could save on employee-hiring costs. That’s because this system can handle order-taking, accounting, and many other tasks, leaving little to do for employees.

Increased Sales

Canadian businesses can attract more customers by incorporating online ordering systems like Cloudwaitress. That’s because these online ordering systems offer increased efficiency, allowing the company to fulfill customer orders much faster.

Fewer Errors

Businesses lose lots of money every year from employees making mistakes with customer orders. However, the online ordering system reduces the chances of this occurring, as the customers will enter the orders themselves.


The design of online ordering systems has come a long way, so they’re now easy to use for any business. The setup procedures for these platforms are straightforward and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

How to Choose an Online Ordering System for a Small Business

In this section, you’ll discover a simple guide on how to choose an online ordering system for a small business. This will show you everything you need to watch out for to select the best online ordering system for your business.

Ease of Use

Unless you’re a quick study or a tech-savvy business owner, easy-to-operate products are always the best. With such products, a business owner won’t have to spend much time understanding how to use them. They can just purchase the product and put it to work in no time.

Ease of Customization

The ordering system of every business has to reflect its values and views to stand out. Hence, Canadian business owners must select a customizable online ordering system. This way, they can change the color template, logo, product catalog, and platform design to suit their business.

Data Security

Online safety is necessary for any online business, especially when sensitive business is being shared. Hence, your chosen online ordering system should offer secure payment processing, SSL encryption, and reliable data security.

Reliable Customer Support

Regardless of how good an online ordering system might be, there’s a chance of running into issues at some point. At this point, you’ll need robust customer support that’ll provide speedy solutions to your problems.

Inventory Management

This feature is vital to businesses that keep a physical stock of items. It allows them to serve customers online and restock when necessary without worrying about overstocking.

Mobile Compatibility

Most Canadians make their orders from their smartphones rather than their computers. So, when choosing your online ordering system, ensure its services are easily accessible from a smartphone.

Payment Options

Online transactions in Canada are usually conducted using popular payment methods like debit/credit cards, digital wallets, and cash on delivery. Hence, your chosen online ordering system must make these payment options available.

Cost Effectiveness

Pricing is another important point to consider to ensure that you’re making a profit when you decide on an online ordering system. Whether paying for a subscription or a one-time payment, ensure the benefits outweigh the costs.


If you have plans to expand your business along the way, it’s best to look for an online ordering system that can grow. Such platforms come with features that fit both small, medium, and large businesses. This way, you don’t have to buy new software or change your platform in the future.

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The Best Online Ordering Systems for Small Businesses

Although the criteria above show you how to choose an online ordering system for a small business, one platform already fulfills these requirements.


This is an online ordering platform that’s based in Australia but can still offer its services to small businesses all over the world. The services of Cloudwaitress are highly suited to restaurants, bakeries, and food delivery businesses.

This platform supports multiple currencies and languages to make payment more manageable and allows companies to apply taxes to their products.

Cloudwaitress offers essential features like a landing page, an ordering page, inventory control, an admin dashboard, and multiple online payment options. Business owners who want their own unique mobile experience can get a custom-made mobile app for a fee.

How do you set up an Online Ordering System for Small Business?

The next step after learning how to choose an online ordering system for a small business is to get yours. Setting up your online ordering system with Cloudwaitress isn’t complex, and the simple guide below shows you all that you need to know.

  1. Begin by navigating to the Cloudwaitress website and registering for a new account.
  2. After logging in, you’ll be on the admin dashboard. Here, click on “Create New Restaurant.”
  3. Input your restaurant’s information and establish your restaurant profile.
  4. Once your restaurant is set up, click on its name to access the specific dashboard for your restaurant.
  5. In the dashboard’s left-side menu, find and select “Menus.”
  6. Start by making a new menu, adding a category to it, and then include a standard dish within this category.
  7. To check the order management tools, return to the left-side menu and select “Orders.”
  8. Activate your online store by choosing “Visit Store” from the left-side menu, which opens your store in a new browser tab.
  9. Go ahead and place a test order through your own website.
  10. Watch as this order appears automatically on your order management page. Experiment by altering the order status or adjusting the waiting period. Conclude your test by selecting the order and using the “Actions” option to delete it.
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Final Thoughts on Online Ordering System for Small Business

The Canadian business landscape is changing, and now, small businesses need an edge to survive. This edge can come from knowing how to choose an online ordering system for a small business that is easy to create and use.

The benefits of these systems are also incomparable to whatever costs businesses have to pay for them.

Hence, all small businesses in Canada need an online ordering system. To get yours, you just need to follow the steps on how to choose an online ordering system for a small business.

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Can I create an online ordering system account for free?

Yes, you can create your own online ordering system for free. That's because many of these online ordering systems offer free accounts for their products. Unfortunately, these accounts only provide a few features and might only be available for a short trial period.

Can an online ordering system only be used to order food?

No, online ordering systems can be used for various purposes, like ordering groceries. However, the food industry is the biggest user of online ordering systems, which is why platforms like Cloudwaitress are so well known. Nonetheless, if a different retail business wishes to use it, they can still customize these platforms to their needs.

Is location important in the procedures for how to choose an online ordering system for a small business?

No, the location of the business or the online ordering platform isn't essential when making a choice. This is because these online ordering systems offer their services online. So they don't need to be in the vicinity for their services to be effective.