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Last year, David Moth reviewed Asda's mobile site, and was critical of a few aspects of the site. 

It has since been updated so, in the interests of fairness, I decided to revisit the site to see how well Asda is adapting to the enormous opportunities that mobile provides... 

Problems with the original version of the site

Our previous criticisms were: 

  • A busy homepage and pop ups suggesting you download the app. 
  • Upfront registration before grocery shopping. 
  • The site wasn't upfront about minimum order thresholds. 
  • Forced registration before checkout. 
  • Several barriers to purchase. 

I'll review these issues, as well as taking a look at the Asda mobile app for iPhone. 

Homepage

Here's the old, busy homepage: 

And the new version: 

The new version is an improvement, and allows visitors to instantly see the various sections of the site, as well as a prominent store locator tool for customers on the move. 

Grocery site

Asda still has an upfront registration message for visitors to the grocery site, though this is not the case for the other sections. Also, you can skip and browse grocery products via the search box or promotions displayed further down the page. 

This upfront registration is the convention for grocery sites, and it does make a certain amount of sense. It is good to know that Asda will deliver to your area, and in a suitable timeslot, before you spend time filling up your (virtual) trolley. 

As Asda promises, it is relatively easy. Little things like remembering my postcode from my initial delivery check all help to smooth the process. 

Asda registratiom

Minimum order

While minimum order thresholds are common for grocery sites, perhaps Asda could be clearer about how much customers need to spend, so they don't have to find this out during checkout. 

 

Forced registration before checkout

While the grocery site does require registration, the other areas of the site do not. This makes it easier to attract mobile searchers and convert them into buyers, as it removes a key barrier: 

In this respect, Asda's mobile site compares favourably with many other UK retailers on mobile.

Even some retailers which do not insist on registration on desktop do so on mobile, which is unwise as the last thing mobile shoppers need is further work to do to complete a purchase. 

Checkout is a key barrier to mobile commerce, and retailers need to make checkout as smooth as possible to minimise abandonment rates

In addition, some of the most successful retailers on mobile, such as Amazon and eBay, save customers' payment details to make repeat purchases as easy as possible. 

Barriers to purchase

Asda has clearly dealt with the registration barrier thanks to its guest checkout option. The checkout form keeps data entry requirements to a minimum, making it smoother for shoppers. 

Product pages are detailed, with consumer reviews, and upfront delivery options (though the collect in store option could be more prominent), while filters and sorting options allow users to narrow their product selection. 

There are still areas for improvement though. For example, the 'remove item' link on the shopping basket page is way too small for a touch screen and resulted in me clicking on the image and opening the product page. Little things like this can be very frustrating for mobile users. 

Multichannel features

For this, I've looked at the apps as well as the mobile site. Asda offers a collect in store option, but this could be made clearer on the mobile site.

Also, you have to select items and head into checkout before you can check stock in your local store. Allowing a stock check option on the product page, or as soon as users select checkout could reduce frustration. 

40% of shoppers used reserve and collect over Christmas, and it's now becoming an essential for shoppers, so it's important to get the offering right. 

The app, which is limited to grocery shopping, contains some useful features. For instance, I like the way it lists today's fuel prices:

Conclusion

Asda has doubled its multichannel sales over the past couple of years, and mobile is clearly a big part of that strategy. It is also offering wifi in its stores, which is another smart move. 

The Asda mobile site is much improved since we last reviewed it, and compares favourably with those from other retailers. 

Potential barriers to purchase which we mentioned in the first review have now been removed, and while there are a few possible areas for improvement, the site is easy to use. 

Graham Charlton

Published 14 February, 2013 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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