As consumers move away from an entirely in-store experience and shift towards a more digital one, retailers are having fewer brand touchpoints along the way. With an increasing number of consumers beginning their food journey online, digital-first retailers and search platforms serve as the new digital gatekeepers to the online experience. Companies like Amazon and Google are now the primary point of entry for online shopping and discovery. In order to differentiate, retailers and brands need to create their own content so they can connect with shoppers earlier in a more branded and meaningful way. Although some retailers don’t see the benefit of implementing a recipe platform and may be reluctant to invest in a new solution, the data doesn’t lie, especially when it comes to search optimization. For the popular search terms around cheap and easy recipes, Tesco.com receives 4.4% of search traffic to its recipe site, Real Food. In an effort to uncover the untapped potential of discovery in the world of grocery, we’re exploring the benefits that retailers may reap from implementing smart recipe platforms that further enhance their online grocery experiences and drive traffic in the process.
Increase Traffic with Optimized Recipe Content
As more grocery retailers focus on building out their online grocery experience, the competition is heating up, with retail giants like Walmart and Amazon leading the way. In order for grocers to compete on this scale, they need to find new ways of differentiating themselves, and recipe content may just be the answer. By incorporating recipe discovery into their online experience, retailers can attract and capture more consumers earlier on in their food journey—before they step foot inside the store or add items to their online cart. Recipe content that is properly structured is more likely to appear in search results and acts as a more organic entry point into a retailer’s site. Structured recipe content involves marking up text using a standardized format. By doing so, search engines like Google are able to better understand and present content to search users in a variety of ways.
Although most grocers have some sort of recipes page on their website, many of them are not being fully optimized for search engines, and so, retailers are missing out on the opportunity to reach new audiences. Whisk’s technology makes it easy for grocers to structure recipe content so that it is easily discoverable by search engines and ranks higher in search results. Organic growth from optimized content may also have the secondary benefit of ad spend savings. With more organic traffic to their websites, retailers can decrease their spend on alternative traffic-drivers like paid digital ads. For retailers who don’t have content to start from, Whisk helps retailers build up a library of content by licensing recipes from our partners, effectively lowering the barrier to entry and making it quicker and easier for retailers to reap the benefits of a robust recipe platform without having to build it from the ground up.
Strengthen Customer Relationships Through Guided Food Experiences
Once you have consumers browsing your site, how do you keep them there? One way to do so is through a more guided food experience that helps to increase engagement and strengthen the relationship between grocer and consumer. Recipe platforms can aid retailers in providing consumers with more holistic online experiences. By enhancing recipe platforms with meal planning tools and nutritional information, retailers make it easier for visitors to continue their food journey on their site. This enriched consumer experience builds loyalty among customers and ensures they stay longer and keep coming back.
Ascensia Diabetes Care’s recipe platform does this exceptionally well, providing visitors with detailed nutritional data, meal planning tools, and smart shopping lists. Whisk enables grocers to offer these plug-and-play solutions to consumers through the implementation of a smart recipe platform. For consumers striving to make more health-conscious decisions, Whisk’s health score shows a breakdown of nutritional information based on USDA and NHS recommendations. Once consumers determine which recipes are best for them, Whisk’s technology allows them to begin adding recipes to their meal plan or use the platform to guide them through the cooking process. Solutions like these build upon the recipe platform’s foundation as a tool for discovery and position it as a consumer resource to aid in meal planning and preparation—further strengthening the consumer-retailer relationship.
Build a More Personalized Experience by Leveraging Recipe Data Insights
One of the key benefits of implementing a recipe platform is the data that can be extracted from consumer interactions with the platform. This data can help grocers make more informed decisions on how they can best reach and engage with customers. As consumers view, save, and shop recipes on the platform, retailers can learn more about an individual consumer’s personal preferences and cooking habits. Knowing this leads to a better understanding of the consumer’s path to purchase and allows retailers to shape a better experience throughout the entire journey. With 63% of consumers desiring personalization, grocers shouldn’t overlook the opportunity to deliver a more personalized shopping experience.
Recipe platforms enable grocers to capture invaluable data to help them further enrich the consumer’s experience. With Whisk, grocers get access to detailed analysis identifying trends in ingredients, techniques, and dish types, which can then be used to better cater to customer needs. Powered by machine learning, Whisk automatically applies recipe tags to new content, allowing for smarter search and recommendations for consumers. By enhancing recipes with tags such as cuisine, cooking technique, and even relevant holidays, retailers can make it easier for consumers to discover recipes that fit their preferences. As consumers interact more with the platform, data captured can further inform the overall preferences and behaviors of consumers—tracking how many times a recipe was viewed and shopped, as well as the revenue it generated.
Drive Revenue Growth with Shoppable Recipes
As we’ve seen, recipe platforms are more than just a discovery tool for consumers, they’re a way for retailers to streamline the path to purchase across multiple platforms. Smart recipe platforms take discovery a few steps further, making it easy for consumers to continue their food journey directly on the retailer’s website. With one click, visitors can easily add ingredients straight to their shopping list without ever leaving the grocer’s website—seamlessly transitioning the consumer from discovery to purchase. And because consumers spend more when they shop for groceries online, the increase in basket size is a direct revenue opportunity that grocers shouldn’t miss out on. That said, some consumers prefer an in-store shopping experience. With Whisk, consumers can also bring lists in store through sharable, printable and mobile shopping lists.
Powered by Whisk’s technology, grocers like UK’s Tesco have already begun to tap into this opportunity by allowing visitors to browse their website for recipe inspiration, add ingredients to shopping lists, and begin the purchase experience directly through their platform. By making recipes shoppable with Whisk, not only are they able to provide a better and more seamless experience for shoppers, but they’re also able to grow revenue through direct online purchases. With the added capability of adding digital circular promotions that are directly tied to recipes, grocers can further influence the consumer’s path to purchase and increase sales among consumers who are looking for both inspiration and a great deal.
As more consumers turn to digital solutions to help them discover, shop, and cook, recipe platforms are a way for grocers to attract, engage, and convert consumers at every step of their food journey—and partnering with Whisk makes it easier than ever. Our technology takes your content and transforms it into a full-fledged recipe platform complete with meal planning, personalized recommendations, and smart shopping integrations.
Learn more about how Whisk can help you build your own market-leading recipe platform.