Why Ordering Lunch from Chipotle is a Lesson in Ecommerce

Our office loves Chipotle. Don’t get us started on which burrito bowl set-up is better because we’ve got the flavor combos down to a science. But besides the cilantro corn salsa and savory braised carnitas, there is something else we love about the Mexican grill – it has a super convenient online ordering system. It’s a great example of how a business can benefit from its popularity instead of falling into the same traps its competitor’s do. So here we present the three ways Chipotle makes group ordering a more pleasant shopping experience.

1. You don’t have to talk to ANYONE.

As much as we all love talking to our coworkers (at least most of them), no one actually wants to go around and ask everyone if they want lunch. It’s exhausting. Chipotle has an easy system of group ordering where you enter emails of the people in the group and they have the option to order – or not. No badgering people or trying to hunt down George (who’s always in the bathroom) or interrupt meetings so people don’t feel left out. All office manners are taken care of.

Ecommerce angle: Chipotle recognized that groups ordering from offices constituted a large part of their lunchtime sales. So why not organize it for efficiency? Allowing people to order more easily makes the experience enjoyable.

2. Each person orders individually.

Creating massive spreadsheets of toppings and sides is a thing of the past. If you’ve sent the email to a coworker, he/she can select exactly what he/she wants and send it back to be processed with the group. No missed details over the phone or forgotten orders.

Ecommerce angle: Customers and clients love tailored solutions. Given enough options, everyone finds a way to personalize their selection. Plus, being in control of your order puts the power in the customer’s hand.

3. Pickup and distribution is organized.

Once you pickup the order (skipping that god-awful line that starts building around noon), and bring the food back to the office, distribute the food by names on each order. No more awkwardly unraveling burgers to see if this is the one with tomatoes on it.

Ecommerce angle: Can group ordering apply to other industries besides food? Ordering school supplies, family clothes, or business uniforms? This could be a very successful methods for other goods/services can be tailored individually and ordered for a collective, especially if it takes the hassle out of collecting information and distributing goods.

This system effectively eliminates everything that is terrible about group ordering for lunch. Our only suggestion to modify this almost-perfect structure would be an individual pay button below each order before returning it to the group. Collecting cash always leaves someone out a few bucks even in the fairest of offices.

What is the worst thing about ordering your products/services? Get creative and your ecommerce site will stand out from your competitors.

Ripen Services:

From single-page checkout processes to intuitive up-sells Ripen’s custom ecommerce solutions has a variety of user-friendly ways to improve your customer’s shopping experience. See how our engineering team has improved other mobile sites and check-out systems at ripen.com


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