13 August, 2019

Recipes reward UK-food shoppers and online grocery retailers alike

Erik Wallin
CEO at Northfork

Whichever way you look at it, online recipes are big business. According to Google’s Consumer Insights, Millennials are using their mobile devices at every stage of the cooking process, from finding recipes to learning new techniques to use in the kitchen. Some 59% of 25–34-year-olds now cook with their smartphone or tablet beside them.

Meanwhile, the latest ‘State of the Dinner Plate’ survey by Nielsen shows that 34% of people prefer to find their recipes on social media, rather than in cookbooks, which were preferred by just 17%. Online recipes are the future.

However, for Millennials at least, the cooking process isn’t entirely smooth sailing. 31% of those aged 25–34 report that deciding what to cook is the least enjoyable part of the cooking process.

This creates an interesting opportunity for online grocery retailers. Eager chefs are in need of inspiration and would clearly welcome a more pleasurable way to find it using their mobile devices.

Online retailers are ideally placed to provide that inspiration as part of their user journey and doing so can deliver a number of benefits. Making recipes available as part of the shopping process can enhance the user experience — particularly if retailers opt for a system such as that fromNorthfork. Northfork sits on the retailer’s site and allows shoppers to put everything they need in their cart automatically, even combining products that are shared between recipes. Shoppers can prioritize the type of goods they prefer, doing everything from selecting the lowest price to specifying organic produce or minimising food waste.

As well as engaging shoppers and making their food purchasing process more enjoyable, integrated recipe services also benefit retailers. They can increase cart value by making it easy for the customer to add a whole host of items at once. They can also improve conversion rates by enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Experience is the key word here. Millennials have ignited the experience economy, stepping back from owning things and instead focusing on experiences. The kitchen is a superb place to put this into action and Google Consumer Insights reports that the process of cooking is just as important to this demographic as the finished meal. Nielsen’s 2018 survey, meanwhile, reveals that Millennials are more likely to plan their weekly dinner menus and to try more new recipes than other age groups — hence them being so important to online retailers.

Of course, the online shopping experience isn’t aimed solely at Millennials. Integrated recipe services can enhance the user journey for shoppers of all ages by adding a unique blend of inspiration and convenience to the process.

The age of the shopper is significant, as it impacts how likely they are to buy food online. Looking at the UK as an example, online grocery shopping is most popular among those aged 35–44, 48% of whom shopped online for food in 2018. That group was followed by 25–34-year-olds (38% of whom bought their groceries online), 45–54-year-olds (at 30%) and then 16–24-year-olds (25%). Women shopped online for food more than men, at 31% and 25% respectively.

Enhancing the online shopping experience through recipe integration can therefore be seen to have broad appeal. Those retailers who offer such a service will be able to deliver a more engaging user journey than those who don’t.

This also creates opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing, with customers mentioning their pleasurable shopping experience to friends. Some 22% of American home cooks post photos of their meals on social media, according to Nielsen. Among Millennials, that figure rises to 44%. That’s a lot of scope for social media contacts to ask about where a recipe came from and be directed towards the retailer in question by the original poster. With word of mouth marketing said to drive $6 trillion of annual consumer spending, it’s not an opportunity that retailers should be passing up lightly.

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Using a service such as Northfork also opens up a further means of directing shoppers into the retailer’s marketing funnel. Customers browsing the thousands of recipes on the retailer’s website are able to click to add groceries into their basket for delivery from their preferred store. Whether they want to cook a budget mid-week meal or experiment with something more challenging for a special occasion, the user enjoys the convenience of shopping from recipes with just a couple of clicks, while the retailer enjoys enhanced referral and conversion rates. It’s a win-win situation that delivers, simply and effectively, a new way of finding well tasting meals and shopping for groceries online.

For information, get connected on northfork.ai

About the author

Erik Wallin
CEO at Northfork

Erik is co-founder of Northfork, he has a long experience of the grocery industry within marketing and sales. Before Northfork, Erik founded BagHitch a P2P transportation service.
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