Amazon recently partnered with third-party recipe site Yummly to feature its cookware. For example, a recipe for baked macaroni and cheese on Yummly app links to the relevant skillet on Amazon. Yummly receives a percentage of every transaction.

Retailers already recognize the power of recipes. Many grocery chains publish them on their sites, especially in the U.K., where the three largest supermarkets dedicate considerable investments to recipe content. Yet with third-party sites like Allrecipes and Yummly dominating the search landscape, those retailers are all but guaranteed to lose the battle for visibility. The average European grocery store appears on just 2% of grocery terms, according to L2’s Retail Europe report.

Partnering with – or even acquiring – a third-party recipe site could solve this problem. As the cliché goes: if you can’t beat them, join them.

In the U.S., the move could come from a cash-loaded giant like Walmart, which is aggressively trying to build up its e-commerce business. In Europe, one likely candidate might be Sainsbury’s or Asda, which are on equal footing with rival Tesco when it comes to brick-and-mortar but lack Tesco’s impressive presence in search. Tesco even bests Amazon on organic visibility for grocery search terms, and its “Real Food” database also achieves higher visibility than popular content repository Allrecipes by constantly churning out recipes labeled by ingredient type and seasonality.

Retailer visibility on search terms

This strategy would not only help retailers turn a profit. It would also establish them as central players in e-commerce – something that will become increasingly crucial as Amazon makes inroads in the retail landscape.

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