Our daily interactions with our digital devices are evolving every year, constantly making it faster and easier to interact with technology, whether it's the ability to unlock your iPhone with your fingerprint, order on Amazon with 1-click or instantly sign up for an app or website using your Facebook account. The evolution of the technology-driven experience is consistent with the simplification of the user experience.
Most grocery retailers understand the importance of "quick and easy" when it comes to their own digital customer experience; however, few get it right. To be fair, few companies outside of grocery retail get it right; ecommerce is rife with terrible user experiences where shoppers are forced to go in circles to find what they're looking for. However, getting it right can be the key to sales and customer loyalty, as consumers will flock to the experiences that align with their expectations.
Looking at the examples listed above -- Facebook-assisted sign-up, fingerprint unlocking, 1-click ordering -- you can see that the user only has to click, swipe or press one time to accomplish the desired behavior. The less the user has to do, the happier they are and the more likely they are to return to that experience. That's exactly why our mantra is to reduce clicks as much as possible in every part of the digital shopping experience, and it should be yours as well -- from sign up, to navigation, to check out. This is extra critical in a digital grocery experience where there are tens of thousands of products available and often many items going into a cart at once. Too many clicks to find the products you're looking for is an alienating experience.
Here is how you can embrace the reduce clicks mantra for your digital grocery experience and improve the customer experience ten-fold:
1 - Ensure your shoppers can get to products in two clicks or less:
There's nothing worse in an ecommerce experience when browsing the catalogue than having to click through a half-dozen categories and sub-categories to finally find products. Instead, present your products as soon as your shoppers reach the second level of your category tree, even if your category tree goes deeper. You can still present those lower level categories to allow the shopper to refine their results, but this will allow the shopper to pick items quickly across multiple sub-categories. More importantly, this ensures your shoppers see products within two clicks.
2 - Ensure your shoppers can get to major features in one click:
Major features such as the catalogue, previous purchases, the shopping cart and coupons should always be accessible at all times through your website header. That way, from the start to the end of shopping journey, the shopper can always get to these features in one click.
3 - Keep your shopper moving forward:
In a physical supermarket shoppers move forward through aisles, rarely needing to go back over their journey to find products. Your online experience should mirror that, meaning that your user experience should avoid, whenever possible, the need for a "back" button. For example, when browsing the product catalogue in most ecommerce experiences, once a shopper has reviewed all of the items in a category, they need to click "back" and then select the next category. Instead, place a link at the bottom of each section, providing 1-click access to the next section. This approach would reduce the number of clicks to browse the full catalogue by 50 percent, not to mention the time it would save! More importantly, it keeps the shopper moving forward, and keeps the experience feeling "light".
The digital retail experience is a difficult one to make simple, given the inherent complexity of the industry, assortment, specials and so on. Even so, that doesn't mean the shopper will be any more forgiving. The digital experiences they are using every day are setting expectations high. By following the reduce clicks mantra you'll be well on your way to providing a "quick and easy" experience they not only expect, but will love.