David Moth recently reviewed the new Morrisons grocery shopping site, and found a few UX flaws. 

The checkout process contained a number of issues, while the lack of mobile optimisation seems a massive oversight these days. 

Since the review, Whatusersdo has conducted remote user tests of the site and found a number of issues, of varying priorities. 

So let's see what they are, and how they could be fixed...

The test

The five testers were set the following task(s): 

  1. You've just heard that Morrisons now offer online grocery shopping. Open the website to test and give your first impressions as the page loads.
  2. Pretending that your postcode is B74 3EJ (Morrisons only delivers in certain areas) use the site for up to 10 minutes to shop for your weekly groceries as if you were doing this for real.
  3. Proceed as far as you can remembering that you need to book delivery but stop at the point of payment.
  4. Say which supermarket you currently shop with online and how Morrisons compares.
  5. Assuming they delivered to you, is there anything that might entice you to switch to purchasing groceries online from Morrisons in the future?

The user tests identified a number of problems. High priority issues, of which there was just one, are defined as very likely to cause abandonment.

There were 10 medium priority issues, which users may well overcome, but should be addressed in a competitive market. 

Customers unsure of where to start shopping

All five testers were unsure where to click to begin shopping, and this was labelled a high priority issue, once which may cause abandonment. 

Many ended up in different sections of the site, and the page is confusing, especially as the product offers given prominence on the homepage don't lead to a product page where customers can actually buy them.

There are two links to begin shopping, but neither stand out against the business of the rest of the page.  

Compare this to the clear calls to action on the Waitrose homepage: 

Morrisons needs to use its homepage to promote its ecommerce offer more effectively. 

Customers need to register first

Some testers said they wanted to check whether there was a suitable delivery slot available, or check products and prices, but they needed to register first

Minimum order value not clear enough

Some users were puzzled as to why they couldn't checkout, or find the checkout button. 

There are two issues here. One is that the checkout button isn't as clear or prominent as perhaps it should be. The other is that the minimum order value of £40 isn't communicated clearly enough, which can lead to frustration from customers. 

The 'min order' text is about the least visible element on the page, so why not make this a little easier to spot? 

Where are the #%&@ing biscuits??

The location of the biscuits troubled one tester, and product categorisation in general was a problem.

One, not unreasonably, thought that biscuits would be in 'bakery' but no, they're under 'food cupboard'. 

I can sympathise with online grocery sites here, as designing a taxonomy that appeals to all users clearly isn't an easy task. 

The answer is perhaps an effective and prominent search option, as well as the clear display of popular product categories. 

Allowing users to add unavailable items

This is my observation, but it is something that is likely to annoy users.

Having selected my shopping and headed to checkout, only now do I find out that my item is out of stock. Alternatives are selected here, but it would have been better not to allow me to add the item in the first place. 

Cross-selling during checkout

This is a 'low-priority' issue, but some testers objected to being sold to in checkout. This page occurs after selecting a delivery slot: 

It's not quite GoDaddy for cross-selling, but this does add another step to the process. I wouldn't personally object, but there is a balance to be struck when cross-selling at checkout

In summary

This is the summary of the user tests: 

Users really liked viewing thumbnails of their product when adding to basket and easily viewed the running basket total. Users found it very easy to select a delivery slot and in general reported that the experience of shopping online with Morrisons was positive.

In addition, this experience was comparable to their existing online grocer, usually Asda or Tesco. However there were a number of issues in the real world that may have led to abandonment. 

We have presented some of the possible user experience issues here, and it's not intended to be an overly negative review. There was just one high priority issue (where to start shopping) and some of the other problems are common to other sites. 

I would recommend that Morrisons make the start shopping links and the minimum order much clearer to users, as these will cause frustration and are relatively easy to fix. 

Graham Charlton

Published 26 February, 2014 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (8)

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I think one of the main problems they need to look at is keeping up with their own branding and using it appropiately so it doesn't damage the customer experience.

In terms of how the site looks, having so much of it in the Morrisons Yellow leads it to be confusing for customers. They're using the same yellow for major CTA's as they are for Navigation, amongst plenty of other things. How does a customer know where to look? There isn't any intuitiveness about it.

Its almost like they got a designer to design the site, then someone high up just went 'Make it yellow'.

over 4 years ago


Euan Brown, Head of Digital at Mesh Marketing

It looks like the main shopping experience is a themed version of the Ocado shopping experience - not surprising as Morrisons partnered with Ocado to create their online offering. So aside from the yellow/green colouring and dodgy homepage, it's likely Ocado will be suffering similar UX issues too.

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at SaleCycle

@Euan - you're right, though the homepage issue is Morrisons' alone.

over 4 years ago


Lee Duddell

Looking back at user tests we have run on Ocado (not for Ocado btw but as a competitor UX benchmarking study for another supermarket) many of the UX issues highlighted for Morrissions are a symptom of the (Ocado) platform they have selected.

It will be interesting to see what level of customisation (beyond branding and inventory) Morrissons will require from the platform to tailor the experience for their target market.

And for fun, picking up on the product categorisation challenge, go to any supermarket site and using ONLY menus try to find Batteries.

over 4 years ago


Lee Duddell

It will also be interesting to see if I ever learn to spell Morrisons correctly.

over 4 years ago


Beverage Distributors NYC

Having an impressive page online is a critcal aspect. Online grocery shopping has relieved our lives extensively however, every an appealing website will certainly attract customers effortlessly.

over 4 years ago


Martin Steer

Well impressed with the delivery service all round. Used to do most of on-line shop at asda, but due to numerous issues I'm very quickly falling out with them and looking forward to transferring my shop over to Morrisons.

The biggest problem I am finding with Morrisons on-line is the very limited range compared to in store, but I'm hoping that over the coming months more and more instore items will become available on-line.

over 4 years ago


Jo Francis, Retired at Retired

Hi everyone at Morrisons , I have to say how I love your advert with the Little Boy and his Nan about special foods its so.lovely to see an advert that is just caring about others and warm relationships, congratulatios, its so calming and the little boy and his Nan are so well cast for this, thank you ......

over 1 year ago

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