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.