We take a look at the features that help to create the best possible customer experience for online grocery websites.
The online grocery market was worth £11.1bn in the UK in 2017, up from £9.9bn in 2016.
While the vast majority of people still do much of their grocery shopping offline, the online market is growing fast.
There are a number of factors at play when people decide which online supermarket to use, such as brand loyalty and familiarity, as well as price and availability.
The user experience matters too. People are generally buying lots of different items, and it can take time to select them, so the process has to work well.
In this post I’ll look at some good example of UX from online grocery websites.
Saved Shopping Lists
Once customers have made their first online grocery shop, sites can make it as easy as possible to return and buy again.
Remembering customer’s previous orders allows them to quickly add all the products to their shopping cart and edit from there, saving time.
Basket Contents Reminder
A persistent reminder of basket contents helps customers to check as they shop, to see how much they’re about to spend, or to check they haven’t forgotten something.
This example from Waitrose can be expanded, and contains useful visual reminders which are easier to scan than text.
Reminding Customers About Offers
Asda has a useful feature which prompts customers to check for missed offers, so they can review these before checking out and take advantage of any available discounts.
For customers putting a week’s shopping list together, there may be a lot of searching to do, so the site search function needs to work well.
Accuracy is important of course, but little details like suggesting products as users type, as well as showing images to help speed up recognition, can improve the user experience.
Some sites (Waitrose and Sainsbury’s) have a multi-search option which allows people to search for lots of items at the same time.
Results and options for all items searched are then returned, so users can select each item in turn.
For mobile users, shortcuts like this mobile barcode scanner can save time adding items to the shopping basket.
Booking Delivery Slots
Most sites make it relatively easy to book delivery slots, but Sainsbury’s is a good example.
It shows the available time slots clearly, along with the costs, so customers can see availability and make the decision based on cost and convenience.
One reason why some customers may be reluctant to switch from their regular online supermarket is that they have saved shopping history with a site, which saves them time on repeat purchases.
To overcome this, Sainsbury’s allows customers to import their favourites list from other online supermarkets, so they don’t need to create a new shopping list.
Uploading Products From Receipts
Asda has a feature which allows users to upload their shopping list from a recent store receipt. Handy for quickly populating the shopping basket.
Ocado allows shoppers to select regulars which will be added to their trolley every week to save time.
By understanding which products go together, grocery sites can make the shop easier for customers, and help to increase order values.
Here’s an example from Ocado, which suggests brioche buns and cheese slices to go with the beef burgers.
Intelligent Product Suggestions
As you head to checkout on Tesco, it reminds you of items it thinks you might have forgotten to add.
These are based on items previously purchased and are useful and relevant suggestions.
Consumer reviews may not be helpful for every grocery product, but can be useful for unfamiliar products.
With help from reviews, I might save myself the £5 I might have spent on this £5 ‘no fish’ pie.
Add to Cart Shortcuts
Allowing quick add-to-cart options can help to speed up the shopping process for users.
Prominent add to cart buttons on category and search results pages help, as does the option of doing this straight from search results.
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Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.