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Technomic Report From Visitors to Foodservice Manufacturers' Websites

CHICAGO (Dec. 15, 2009 - Business Wire)—When research consultants at Technomic turned their attention to foodservice manufacturers' sites, and asked their customers about their experience using them, not surprisingly, the feedback included both kudos and areas for improvement.

Manufacturers' web sites are visited regularly by restaurant operators, distributor sales representatives and foodservice brokers, providing excellent opportunities to impact these customers' impressions of doing business with a particular supplier. A food manufacturer's site, if done well, was shown to positively influence decisions on integrating specific products into restaurant menus.

On the flip side, top complaints among manufacturers' customers often centered on issues of inadequate or hard-to-find information. Among the pet peeves frequently mentioned:

  • Inadequate product information. "Suppliers can make life difficult if they don't provide complete nutritional information, ingredients, cooking instructions and other important product details."
  • Hard to find. "It can be extremely frustrating to know that a manufacturer carries a product that can't be found on their site, either due to poor navigation or search capabilities."
  • Lack of assistance. "Suppliers should make it easier to connect quickly with a sales associate or a customer service representative by providing complete contact information."

"Some suppliers really stood out as having intuitive, user-friendly sites, but respondents noted that others are really missing the mark. The bottom line is that people are pressed for time and want a manufacturer's website to make their job easier – and if it doesn’t, they are less likely to visit again," said Melissa Wilson, Technomic Principal. "Given the cost associated with building a site, it's essential that suppliers really understand how they can meet their customers' needs to get the best return on their website investment."

The findings are part of a comprehensive research project on Optimizing Your Website ROI, a study offered exclusively to foodservice suppliers. The research includes feedback gathered from restaurant operators, brokers and DSRs through online focus groups, usage tracking diaries, in-depth interviews, and more. To learn more about the study, contact Melissa Wilson at 561-283-3502 or mwilson@technomic.com

About Technomic

Technomic provides clients with the facts, insights and consulting support they need to enhance their business strategies, decisions and results. Its services include numerous publications and digital products, as well as proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.

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