UK Market reports are indicating that the food delivery business grew by around £3.7bn to £11.4bn annually in 2020 alone. With Royal Mail noting that usage of Food Subscription services has grown by around 26% after the first three quarters of 2021 have passed.
As an industry it would look safe to assume that there is going to be an incredibly large number of UK startups operating in the home food delivery sector as the market begins to ride the crest of a wave in the coming years.
Whilst only a prediction, it is one based on evidence – and for a business model heavily reliant on its website generating high volumes of sales in order to be profitable – what should budding entrepreneurs take into account when it comes to the design, usability and functionality of the website that will make or break the new business?
Well, there are certainly a large number of factors that need to be considered. After all, for these kinds of organisations, their website is their store and the only way of making sales. Therefore, we’re going to need to take a deep dive into areas such as design and branding, user experience and sales processes, in order to completely understand the level of sophistication required on a web design for this sector.
Firstly, Design & Branding
There are products which the general public will be incredibly dainty with and others which they will take a more laissez-faire type attitude towards. Food based products are certainly categorised among the former, and thus representation of any food products that a business is going to retail, must be presented in a manner that is not only attractive to the consumer but that dissuades them from using a competitor.
There are many identifiers of successful food branding. There should be the aim of creating a subconscious emotional connection between product and memory for the consumer. This means that whilst layout and text may not be retained in memory, the feelings associated with the product (i.e. comfort, pleasure and happiness) as a way to drive customer retention and brand loyalty over a competitor.
Leading on from this is the need for branding to make you distinguishable in an already saturated, and soon to be further overcrowded, market. Branding has to encompass common colours associated with food (often there are colours such as; red, yellow and green) examples would be the way in which McDonald’s, Pizza Hut & Burger King all share similar colour schemes. But – the branding and design must distinguish you well enough. Therefore ensure that your branding uses different shapes, fonts and styles to that which is already present in your sector.
Now, once a branding concept has been developed and you’re happy that it matches with all of the points listed above, it’s essential to reflect this onto the website itself. Whilst this may sound simple enough, it’s not as easy as using the same colour scheme and ensuring that the logo is implemented in key locations throughout the site – though these are good places to start. Consider the first point about creating subconscious emotional responses from consumers. A simple yet effective way of practicing this in website design is to use more inviting shapes on the pages you create. For example, research has shown that soft edges and curved shapes are much more friendly and inviting to the eye subconsciously than straight or diagonal ones – and therefore employing this tactic will certainly benefit a new business in a sector where cognitive emotional response to imagery is heavily focused upon.
Content Layout, User Experience (UX) & Sales Processes
Whether your aim is to offer food delivery models such as UberEats or Deliveroo, or perhaps you’re looking to build a business that provides a food subscription service to fulfill postal shopping orders regionally or nationally – the website will most certainly need to be an ecommerce site.
So assuming you’ve laid the initial foundations of the website, and you’re happy with implementing your new attractive branding throughout it – then what are the next steps? Well, you’re going to need a well structured content plan in regard to the different required pages and their content. This should cover things such as individual landing pages that those clicking from PPC ads can land on and have a higher chance of converting, as well as plans over what the best layout of product pages will be and where you will address your customers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
You can then move to the design model in which you’ll action the steps laid out in your structured content plan. It will be essential for you to layout page templates/designs with Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) in mind to help provide the best possible user experience (UX) to customers that arrive on the website. There should be adequate trust signals (i.e. product reviews) on key product pages, alongside strong yet inviting calls to action encouraging users to commit and purchase once their attention has been grabbed by your attractive branding and smooth user journey.
Finally, the sales journey of the site from ‘add to cart’ to ‘conversion’ needs to be as refined and as simple as possible. A key indicator which you should address is to think of this in the terms that every click-through to another page is one more opportunity for the user to back out of the sale. Whilst things such as order reviewing and confirmations are required – there needs to be focus on eliminating as many non-essential aspects to the sales process on the website in order to really drive conversions.
Some Great UK Based Examples Of Food Delivery & Subscription Websites
HelloFresh is a global food subscription service and their site design and sales follow many of the best practices we have outlined above. With clear and attractive branding using commonly associated colours alongside having an easy to navigate site and a sales journey that is streamlined with conversions in mind
A similar service to that of JustEat, Zomato was actually launched at around the same time. However, they offer the ability for you to discover and order only from the best rated restaurants near to your location and pride themselves on offering finer dining than the typical fast food delivery associated with other delivery based websites.
FoodHub is a food delivery service operating in ways similar to JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats in allowing users to order directly through their app at many of their favorite restaurants and takeaways. The branding again is consistent in regard to colour and layout, with a simple and user-friendly website and app which effectively drive sales for the business.