UK Food Delivery Services - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q3 2023

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The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK food delivery services has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK food delivery services perform across the digital space.

The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK food delivery services has just been published.  It covers the largest 11 national food delivery services, including The FoodHak, Abel & Cole, Riverford Organic Farmers, Gousto, Detox Kitchen, SimplyCook, HelloFresh, Mindful Chef, Pasta Evangelists, Fresh Fitness Food, and Oddbox.

Food Delivery Logos

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other food delivery services to win brand exposure, drive online views, and generate subscription sign-ups. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Digital Benchmark Report - Food Delivery - Q3 2023 - Cover

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Food delivery services will want to take particular care to ensure that key conversion pages such as plan pricing information and menu examples are clearly sign posted, and not blocked by dead ends and 404s.

In our last report, we noted that Pasta Evangelists were seeing the highest levels of errors, with 368 4xx error codes. In Q3, Pasta Evangelists have reduced this to just 36. The food delivery service now seeing the highest level of errors is Abel & Cole, who returned 613 in our crawls.

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. In a competitive market, food delivery services will want to ensure their site visitors have a positive experience with their brand from the very first click, and a speedy website is an ideal way to keep users on-site and funnelled towards converting.

In our last report, mobile page speed ranged from 7 to 77. Mobile page speed scores now sit between 5 and 43. Brands at the top end of this scale, such as Oddbox and Simply Cook, might feel concern about their falls in performance, but we're seeing drops in mobile page speed scores across all sectors we specialise in, suggesting tighter measures from Google themselves.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Food delivery services can look to work with a digital PR specialist, who can identify opportunities within the food, lifestyle, and national press to gain brand coverage and backlinks.

Similarly to our last report, DA scores for food delivery services range from 27 to 72, with The Foodhak remaining at the end of this scale - twenty points behind their next closest competitor. 

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. We'd expect general interest to be falling across the food delivery services sector, as consumers are cutting back on treats and non-essentials due to the cost of living crisis.

In our last report, we noted that five food delivery services had secured year-on-year growth in organic traffic. In Q3, only Oddbox and Food Hak saw any improvement on their year-on-year traffic, with all other brands losing visitors year on year. Despite an overall drop in interest to the sector, brands must ensure they're defending their traffic as much as possible, and not losing more ground than necessary to competitors.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. 'Reviews' are a strong option for food delivery services to consider, as they can help them stand out from their competitors directly on the SERP.

As in our last report, we found that 'reviews' is still the most-used Universal Search feature among food delivery services. Gousto remain in top position, now having secured 41,300 reviews for their brand. Food delivery services who are still appearing for very few Universal Search results must ensure they're making the most of this opportunity to boost visibility in eye-catching ways.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. For food delivery services, they might include recipe terms in their longtail keyword strategy, identifying recipes and food types that most typically bring converting customers to their site.

Though Hello Fresh are ranking for the most longtail keywords overall, their next closest competitors, Riverford Organic Farmers, are outranking them when it comes to top three appearances. With more rankings in the top 4-10 positions too, Riverford are clearly maximising their longtail keyword potential, performing strongly for a comparatively large chunk of their longtail keyword portfolio. 

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.

Below, we've included examples of The Detox Kitchen's Facebook ads. The vertical videos included in two of the creatives tie into a mobile-first strategy that maximises engagement of social media browsers.

The Detox Kitchen Facebook Ads July 2023

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Recipe content and nutrition facts are a simple way that food delivery services can create shareable, engaging content.

We've noted that Pinterest is a largely underused platform for food delivery services, with only Pasta Evangelists making a strong appearance on the platform. With Pinterest's more affluent audience, who are readily engaged in looking for product and service inspiration, this is a smart place for non-essential brands, such as food delivery services, to gain visibility.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Though food delivery services may be more tempted to put emphasis on the visual elements of their brands, making food and recipes look as appealing as possible, they must not neglect to set their pages up well for those with vision deficiencies. 

In our last report, we noted that Abel & Cole were seeing the highest levels of accessibility barriers on their site, with 2,378 alerts. Abel & Cole have now reduced this figure to just 15 - a huge improvement, making them one of the top three food delivery service sites for accessibility. Pasta Evangelists are now the poorest-performing site for accessibility, returning 80 contrast errors and 84 alerts.  


For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 food delivery services on, check out our quick-look table below; FoodDelivery W&L July23


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

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