New research from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) aims to transform the online shopping platforms of supermarkets across the UK in a bid to boost red meat sales.

The recommendations for retailers include mock-up pages for their websites featuring messages to promote the taste and reputational factors of red meat.

The new graphics, which include a selection of animation and embedded videos, convey important messages around health, animal welfare and sustainability to reassure shoppers of their online purchases and increase red meat sales.

The mock-ups were generated in partnership with industry and incorporate learnings from AHDB’s new report ‘Reinventing online shopping’, which explores ways to overcome the barriers to buying red meat online.

Latest research from AHDB showed that more households in the UK are switching to online shopping, but red meat continues to under-trade both online and in shops.

According to the research, 60% of shoppers claim they find it harder to judge the quality of red meat online so they avoid purchasing it.

AHDB Retail Insight Manager, Grace Randall, said: “It is imperative that web pages contain the right images and product information to reassure shoppers.”

“Messaging on search results pages around meal inspiration, sustainability and vitamin and mineral content produced an uplift in purchase intent as well as improved perceptions of the meat industry.”

“Communication is also key when it comes to attracting shoppers to red meat pages and this should be done with messaging that is beneficial to the shopper personally, such as health through leanness, freshness and award-winning quality,” she said.

The research focuses on the homepage, search results page and product pages. It highlights the need to optimise search terms, the correct positioning of products, the right image, clear product descriptions and use of customer reviews.

Reinventing the red meat aisle

The new research follows on from AHDB’s ‘reinventing the red meat aisle’ report, which looked at ways supermarkets could revitalise their meat aisles to be more creative, innovative and inspiring.

Retailers have already adopted some of the recommendations in both reports, with Asda making changes to its webpages and Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose looking to optimise their in-store meat aisles.

Bradley Holmes, Asda’s online trading coordinator – meat, fish and poultry (MFP), said: “Following on from the reinventing online research conducted by AHDB, we have evaluated the messaging we have online and on our meat microsite regarding red meat.”

“Quality perception is key in MFP for Asda, so we have dialled up quality messaging alongside new health communication regarding essential vitamins and minerals naturally present in red meat.”

AHDB’s senior account manager for market development (retail), Stasha Napior-Kowska, added: “We are delighted that retailers have been so engaged with the insights from the research and that the key health messages are gaining cut-through in their customer messaging.”