UK Food Delivery Services - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q4 2023

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The Q4 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 Q4 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.

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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 Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Food Delivery - COVER


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; Food Delivery W&L Nov23

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's best and poorest-performing UK food delivery services or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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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.

Last quarter, Pasta Evangelists saw a decrease in 4xx errors. This quarter, this food delivery service has seen an increase in 4xx errors, raising its score to 385. However, its nearly halved its total of 3xx errors. Pasta Evangelists should assess its website to check for any broken pages.

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.

Last quarter, mobile speed scores sat between 5 and 43. This quarter, there’s been a positive development in mobile speed scores, ranging from 8 to 69. Fresh Fitness Food, which has the lowest score, will need to optimize its images and videos to improve the consumer experience. 

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.

The last quarter saw a DA rating ranging from 27 to 72, which has remained the same this quarter. The Food Hak has the lowest score, which is below what’s considered ‘good’. Making improvements to its errors (which has the highest score) can improve this rating. 

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 this quarter, The Food Hak saw the biggest YoY organic desktop traffic increase (193%). Only three of our food delivery services increased their traffic, while Abel & Cole continues to have the lowest score with a decrease of 35%.

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.

Similar to our last report, ‘Reviews’ is the top-performing sector for SERP features. Gousto continues to secure the top position for the most appearances for universal searches (63,372). The other food delivery services will need to make the most of the SERP features to increase their rankings.

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.

HelloFresh has the highest ranking for the most longtail keywords, but Riverford Organic Farmers continues to outrank HelloFresh regarding the top three appearances. HelloFresh will need to evaluate its strategy for longtail keywords to increase its appearances in the top three online search positions.

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. For UK food delivery services, Facebook ads are an opportunity to ensure customers see product options and deals. SimplyCook has a strategy of using customer reviews along with videos. These videos are vertical, showing that this food delivery service takes mobile users into consideration.


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.

This quarter shows that Pasta Evangelists has switched from Pinterest being its preferred social media platform to Facebook. HelloFresh has the most Facebook Likes (2,400,000) and Instagram followers (255,000). However, Gousto has the highest engagement rate (593,549), suggesting that HelloFresh should examine its social media strategy to encourage communication.

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 Pasta Evangelists had the highest number of contrast errors and alerts. This quarter, its reduced its contrast errors and alerts to 36 for both. The Food Hak has the most alerts (39), which it’ll need to assess before the next quarter. 


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 Spencer Davis on Unsplash

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