Restaurants Failing To Deliver On Mobile Search's Promise Of Online Ordering

Some 69% of consumers have ordered food from a mobile device and nearly 90% of all mobile restaurant searches ultimately lead to conversions, but a study released Thursday reveals that restaurant sites are slow to load and half lack online ordering options.

The Search Agency released findings from The Mobile Experience Scorecard – Restaurants & Catering that found 32% of the sites analyzed use Responsive Web Design, but all had an average load time of more than one minute. Using data from Experian Hitwise, The Search Agency extracted the 50 top restaurant and catering Web sites when served on a mobile device by the number of visits in August 2014 for user experience and search engine optimization (SEO) ranking criteria.

Consumers choose mobile search compared with desktop because of the convenience and speed, but too many companies ignore the opportunity to connect with customers through a mobile device -- specifically the smartphone. Only 40% of the top 50 Web sites have a click-to-order or click-to reserve button, which brings down mobile conversion rates. 

Delia Perez, SVP account delivery and strategy at The Search Agency, sees a trend that shows many brands are attempting to integrate responsive design, but the implementation of these sites proves difficult.

In terms of user experience from a mobile device, Papa John's received the highest score with 3.815. Panda Express with 3.715, Domino's with 3.38, Wendy's at 3.305, and Jimmy John's at 3.25 rounded out the top five. Dave and Buster's with 1.53, Chipotle with 1.465, and Golden Corral at 1.075 ranked as the bottom three. 

The study's second scorecard focused on SEO ranking factors such as a page to large to render on the screen, metadata not optimized, and click-depth warnings. Each can negatively impact visibility in the search engine results pages and user experience on the Web site. To gather the data to analyze how the sites may rank in the engines, The Search Agency's technology crawled the Web to identify interesting patterns. Some 64% showed some form of click-depth warning, 23% signaled a large page warning, and 9% sufferance from missing title tags.

For instance, the average score for crawlable sites was 4.04 out of 5. Of the 47 crawlable sites, 87% were missing meta descriptions. Missing metadata may not directly affect organic search engine site rankings, but it does undermine user experience and click-through rates, per the study. 

1 comment about "Restaurants Failing To Deliver On Mobile Search's Promise Of Online Ordering".
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  1. Brian Nakamoto from Tightrope Interactive, Inc., September 25, 2014 at 8:14 p.m.

    Chipotle's iOS app is useless in San Francisco because the wait time for ordering ahead is always longer than going there and waiting in line.

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