At-home meal kits. It started with “pizza in the post” during the first lockdown. Since then the process has been refined to the point where replicating it can lead to near-guaranteed success.
The kinks have been worked out in the ordering process, and customers know what to expect – it properly works now. Getting it right means people will tell others, and order more themselves.
The whole process is based on an adapted eCommerce platform. This helps because it’s what the majority of people are familiar with, so ordering a meal-kit isn’t a step too far.
We’ve looked at some popular examples to see what it takes to get it right.
Unlike many things ordered online, the customer chooses their delivery date upfront, instead of just being told when to expect the item. This is where the lines blur with fast-food or instant delivery and perhaps where some of the teething issues came from in the past.
For Dishoom’s bacon naan roll kit, a pop-up box to choose your delivery date appears as soon as you hit the “Order” button, before an “added to cart” confirmation.
Home by Nico has an additional piece of information about the delivery date:
Choose a delivery date one day before you wish to dine”
People are conditioned to an order > delivery > eat-on-the-same day mentality. Any additional detail you can include that differentiates your meal-kits from this will help manage expectations for happier customers.
Think of it this way – the wording should be more akin to ordering a supermarket delivery, than a cooked meal delivery.
Meal-kits are rarely as simple as supermarket food to prepare, however, but that’s part of the fun of them.
You can’t go wrong going into too much detail about the kit and prep instructions. Make a how-to video like Pizza Pilgrims and Dishoom, create an instructions sheet that can be downloaded as PDF, viewed online as a webpage and goes in the box too.
Give people plenty of pictures of “how it should look”. Also, a breakdown of what’s included, what’s constructed, and what needs put together, so they understand the level of effort required before ordering.
Home by Nico’s ordering page has a full scrolling section presenting each course with high-quality pictures and ingredient details. The page also includes reassuring practical details such as “After delivery, pop your box in the fridge to keep fresh. Enjoy for up to 48 hours.”
Getting your customers prepared is the secret to their success. When they succeed, you’ll succeed because they’ll become your advocates. Happy customers will tell others about your excellent meal-kit alongside the “easy to follow instructions” and “clear pictures and video guide” to others. And this will generate more sales.
It’s about the whole experience working – from order, to prep and consumption – that makes meal-kits appealing.
Lean On The Functionality
A final note on using eCommerces systems: make sure to explore all the features your system of choice offers. Dishoom has a tab for “Related items” to try and generate cross sales from their bacon naan roll kit, by advertising the vegan sausage roll kit.
They could equally well include individual jars of the tomato-chilli jam, which features heavily in the bacon roll kit, for those who want more than what’s in the kit.
What else could you advertise as related or similar on the meal kit product page? Think about increased order value and enhanced customers’ experience.
If you’ve gone to all the effort of establishing a robust meal-kit operation, sending regular reminders to your customers is a must.
This is a expected when the menu changes every so often (like Home by Nico). For fixed menu items, keep the emails and social media posts frequent to maintain order volumes. Experiment with different imagery, times of day and subject lines to reach the widest possible audience.
If you need any assistance setting up campaigns for your meal-kits, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.