Ravenous for online sales

Ravenous for online sales

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Today’s business pages report the £1.6 billion valuation of Just Eat, the online takeaway ordering service. In its first day of trading, shares rose from 260p to 283p, with just short of 85 million shares changing hands.

Its remarkable valuation equated to 113 times last year’s earnings – and the company puts its success down to the simple fact it is based online. According to Just Eat, the average value of a takeaway order placed online is 30 per cent higher than orders made over the phone.

It’s a strong statistic, and one that explains both Just Eat’s phenomenal success and takeaway restaurants’ willingness to sign up to the service.

But what about the customers using Just Eat? A straw poll in the office shows that their 30 per cent statistic is about right. Last time my sister and I had a night in with a Chinese and a bottle of wine, we over-ordered by so much that we barely made a dent in the food delivered!

Just what is it about online ordering that makes us so ready to get our credit cards out? It’s the same across multiple platforms – online retailers have thrived in an economy where high street stores have fallen by the wayside. Of course, rates and rents have had an impact on this sector, but I can’t help wondering how the average shopping basket compares on and offline.

Whatever the reason, it’s a strong argument for brands to examine their e-commerce presence and ensure that they’re making the most of the horde of virtual shoppers ready to bang their doors down.