Every writer knows that when the well of ideas runs dry, co-opting your own life story is perfectly acceptable.

So, as the new owner of a Nespresso machine, I thought I'd test out the coffee pod subscription ecommerce journey.

Here are some improvements the coffee giant could make.

N.B. I should say that I have previously written positively about Nespresso, and believe it to be a great brand doing great things.

However, with the ecommerce website not changing dramatically since I wrote this piece in early 2014, and with subscription ecommerce maturing, there's a definite need for a slicker experience. 

1. FREE delivery for large orders - missed opportunity on homepage

Look below. The homepage says 'next day delivery or pick up point when you purchase 200 or more capsules'.

Bizarrely it doesn't say 'FREE' delivery, which is indeed the case for these larger orders, saving the customer £3.95.

free delivery

2. FREE delivery for large orders - missed opportunity on product pages

When I delve into the capsule product listings, one or two of them include a nice little banner saying 'FREE STANDARD DELIVERY - With 200 capsules or more'.

As you can see here...

free delivery

But the majority of the product listings do not contain this message (see below).

Nor is the free delivery message stressed when I use a dropdown to select my order size - this would be the perfect place to put a marker, next to the 200 option.

The majority of Nespresso product pages do not carry a free delivery banner

free delivery

3. Distraction issues in the checkout - downselling!

This one baffled me. I had £62 worth of coffee capsules in my basket, I proceeded to checkout and I'm offered a lower price selection of capsules (£47.50) that comes with a free gift.

Now, this offer is for new Nespresso members, of which I am one, so you might argue that this represents good practice - I'm welcomed aboard with the offer of a free gift.

Perhaps this gift and selection of capsules will stand a chance of increasing my lifetime value?

However, in my opinion not only does this cross-sell (or down-sell, however you want to look at it) add another barrier in the checkout process (I have to click the small text link 'I am not interested for now'), but it is reducing average order value, by encouraging me to spend £14.50 less.

free gift 

4. Distraction issues in the checkout - milk frother cross-sell

More cross-selling issues arise when I get to the payment part of the checkout.

I am shown a little ad for milk frothers. Again, I think it's strange to offer me this now, when Nespresso has almost got my money.

Okay, if there was the option to add a milk frother to my bill there and then, it might make sense, but this is inviting me to exit the checkout altogether and start shopping again.

Surely, this is increasing the chance of basket abandonment.

frother cross sell 

5. Postcode field validation is poor

This field doesn't like lower case letters.

It's so boring having to capitalise things when a computer could have done it for me if it was that bothered.

postcode 

6. Sign in? I already have

Once I have ordered my coffee, I am now registered with Nespresso and logged in.

However, the slightly strange prompt to sign in (which is not fixed to the header and scrolls up and down) remains.

account 

7. Poor copywriting: 'You have made your order from Internet'

In 'My account' I can see all my order details. There's a slightly clunky bit of copywriting here - 'You have made your order from Internet'.

Little typos like this often show up an organisation still reliant on waterfall processes. These sorts of tiny errors should be fixed as soon as they are noticed.

And they should be noticed by ongoing testing.

order from internet

8. Pointless-alert alert 

An alert based on your usual order frequency to notify you when your capsules have most likely finished.

This is a strange feature. Firstly, I've only made one order, so Nespresso has no idea what my consumption rate is.

Secondly, even if Nespresso knew more about me, this alert is simply a stab in the dark.

Of course, chivvying me along to buy more capsules isn't a bad thing and it sort of works for both parties, but there's an obvious conclusion to reach here.

Wouldn't it be better to offer me an automatic subscription to a set number of capsules per month or three months, then give me a nominal discount on the order value for doing so?

After all, there are other companies winning business with this subscription model, which is more convenient than even the reorder feature Nespresso offers. 

capsule alert 

9. Recycling bags - add a prompt in the checkout

It's great that Nespresso encourages recycling. You can take a bag of empty capsules to your nearest store, or arrange a free collection alongside your next coffee delivery.

The recycle bags are free and a recommended product when browsing coffee on the website (see the bottom right of this screenshot).

However, I didn't notice this recommendation, then when I tried to get a recycling bag after making a purchase, the Nespresso checkout won't allow me to (see screenshot below).

I think the obvious solution is to add a simple one-click prompt in the checkout (do you want a free recycling bag?).

This would do a lot for uptake of the service, something Nespresso is no doubt keen to see further adoption of to bolster its CSR efforts and make the brand more friendly.

Getting rid of that earlier milk frother ad in favour of a recycling prompt is a no-brainer.

recycling

10-12. Minor address field niggles (but things that I still noticed)

10. Poorly labelled field: 'Delivery Remark'

Better copywriting needed here.

delivery remark 

11. Why is pickup point selected as default?

I have already been asked for my delivery address. So why then make pickup the default?

Pickup points should have been an option before I had to enter a delivery address.

pickup 

12. 'Delivery instructions' field not labelled

If I select to allow my delivery to be left 'in a safe place', I am told to specify this safe place in the 'delivery instructions field above'.

But there is no such field labelled above.

One has to assume the text is referring to the box I have highlighted in the second screenshot below. Again, there is a really simple fix that hasn't been made.

nespresso

Delivery instructions field?

delivery instructions 

13. Mobile app works nicely but no delivery prompt for +200

I haven't included much on the mobile app here. It's an altogether nicer experience than using the desktop site and looks fairly slick.

However, there are still issues. Again, free delivery for larger orders is not highlighted. All I get is a prompt to round my capsules to the nearest 50.

nespresso app  nespresso app

14. Emails are not mobile optimised

I had lots of useful follow-up emails, welcoming me as a member, giving me my order details and telling me of order dispatch.

Unfortunately, none of the three were readable without plenty of zooming on mobile.

email nespresso

In conclusion...

Why did I bother with this exercise you might ask? Well, as I mentioned in the intro, standards continue to rise, particularly in FMCG as subscription models raise the bar for online UX.

Nespresso's ecommerce functionality didn't make me curse and I managed to easily order my coffee.

But, if Nespresso produces a top notch and slick experience on the next development of its platform, alongside a subscription offering, I am more likely to return.

As it is, I may simply head back to my supermarket, and the next best brand.

Ben Davis

Published 29 September, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (1)

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Andy Morris, Talent & Development Consultant at Yell

Like this. It's amazing how similar products can succeed or fail based on a simple online ux. I used to fly from Heathrow to Manchester and, for a while, had a choice between BA and Virgin Little Red: Same route, same plane type, almost identical service and similar timings: (and think how much all that cost) but I tended to go BA because their APP was much easier to use: As soon as I opened it, it brought up my next flights and checking in was a couple of clicks to get a boarding pass in the app; Virgin required me to enter the booking code, surname and then they'd text me a link to the boarding pass to put into the Wallet. And think what that cost compared to the planes, fuel, crew etc. No wonder the Virgin flights were half empty and they've given up the route now.

about 1 year ago

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