Even though online shoppers rarely buy groceries directly from a brand site, food brands have begun to incorporate onto their sites customer service elements like live chat and links to third-party e-tailers. The majority of these services focus on directing consumers to other sellers; 76% of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Food have some sort of store locator on their site and 45% display retailers that carry the product on a map. Just 1% of brand sites can check retailers’ inventory to ensure product availability.
One of the most inconsistent (in quality) features on food brand sites is live chat. L2 researchers were unable to connect with more than half on the first attempt (demonstrating unreliability), and representative response times ranged from 19 to 164 seconds.