After Google announced in April that site pages not designed for viewing on smaller screens would be penalized in its mobile search results, Food brands stepped up their mobile investments. Only 57% of food brands in L2’s 2014 Index had websites optimized for smartphones. This year, 81% of those brands boast mobile-optimized sites, according to L2’s Insight Report. However, many of those sites lack key features available on their desktop counterparts.

In the process of ramping up mobile optimization, a number of Food brands created responsive design sites. Investments in responsive design rose from 33% to 55%, making Food brand sites easier to browse on all devices, from desktop to mobile and tablet. In total, one-third of all Index brands now have responsive design sites.

Year-Over-Year Adoption of Mobile Sites

However, Food brands still have room for improvement when it comes to mobile optimization. Even though 46% of branded Food searches take place on smartphones, more than one-quarter of mobile sites fail to meet Google’s qualifications for being “mobile-friendly”.

Share of Brand Sites Qualifying as Mobile- Optimized vs. “Mobile-Friendly”

Many mobile sites lack the functionality of their desktop counterparts. Only 36% of Index brand mobile-optimized sites offer the same set of integral features as desktop equivalents, according to the L2 study. One of the biggest discrepancies is product video. Just 22% of mobile sites feature product videos, compared with 65% of desktop sites. Store locators are another key area where mobile sites fall short. Only 54% of mobile sites feature store locators, in contrast to 76% of desktop versions.

Supported Features & Funstionality on Mobile vs. Desktop Sites

As mobile devices play an increasingly significant role in grocery shopping, brands will need to fill in these critical gaps. Otherwise, they risk becoming increasingly disconnected from consumers.

L2's Daily Insights in Your Inbox.