Every little helps, except when it comes to online user experience

by Jon White on 3 September 2009

Everybody keeps telling us that online shopping is constantly growing, and I’ve bought many things online (books, CDs, DVDs), but I had never attempted a food shop online until recently and to be honest, the experience has sent me straight back to the checkouts.

Using the website of a certain major UK supermarket, I spent a good hour and a half loading up my online basket, selecting a delivery time and heading to the checkout.  This was no problem, and I’m reliably informed that when you’ve bought once, the system remembers the items you buy to make it easier (although I’ll now never be a repeat customer), so I was perfectly happy.

It was at the checkout that it all went wrong though. Firstly, I needed to amend my address details (as I had previously registered at my old address, although I had never used it), but the automatic address finder was giving me incorrect address details and wouldn’t let me input the full correct details – Somehow I wasn’t confident that the delivery driver would find Flat 11, London (my postcode was there as well, but it’s still pretty vague).

But, the worst was yet to come.  I returned to my basket frustrated, only to find that all the items I had spent a lot of time selecting had been removed as a result of me attempting to change my address during an order, without even so much as an error message! The lack of continuity in this user journey suggests that it needs much better planning.

The result is a customer who will probably never do food shopping online again because of this poor user experience, and because my nearest supermarket is a store of a different company, the brand in question has lost a lot of repeat business from me.

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