Many foodservice manufacturers invest lots of time and money into their websites only to see a pitiful number of visits from operators.
The reason for slow traffic is simple. Operators have no immediate business reason to visit your website. Basically, all that helpful content is in the wrong place for most operators (although it should be on your site, too!).
The natural place operators congregate is on the local distributor site where they place orders each week. But it’s often no picnic getting content on a distributor’s site. Many distributors continue to embrace the idea that their websites are another way to pad their sheltered income by charging sky-high fees for posting privileges.
Someday, a large innovative distributor will figure out what consumer sites like Amazon and EBay discovered long ago. Make the entry fee extremely low on the frontend so even the smallest suppliers happily provide content. As content grows and helps generate sales, then distributors can apply a second (but measurable!) charge based on results.
Consumers go to Amazon because it has the best product information — although not necessarily the best price (many retailers have become more aggressive with their own online pricing to compete). But people still buy at Amazon because they value the convenience of learning about and buying a product all in one spot.
The foodservice industry could radically change one day should a major distributor understand that combining the best content with fair pricing is the winning combination in a web-transaction world. And the only way to get the best content is to lower the hurdle for manufacturers to contribute.