Lessons In Ecommerce


So I was on Facebook and there was a targeted advert for sad food bores like myself and I was all like “I bet this will be an interesting ecommerce adventure” So I totally clicked on the link!

Expectations: get to some page where I can see food boxes, maybe the one shown in the picture?

Nope. Some big open space homepage:


UX insight: I’ve lost orientation because I’m somewhere new and a bit lost. The advert promised to go to a food box, but I was thrown into a big empty homepage. I’ve lost orientation.

Solution: make the link as relevant as possible to the advert. In this case, a page describing food boxes, not 3 reasons why I will love your company.

Let’s move on shall we? Upon scrolling down the page I found a handy button!


Now I can find out about what’s in the food boxes as advertised on Facebook 😉

The button directs me to this page:


Well, OK I guess. I suppose this is the most popular box? I would have expected a page with a few options so I can choose a box most relevant to me. Meh, not a biggie. But what’s actually in the box? I know it says fresh meat and veg but nowhere does it tell me what’s actually inside the box! I’m thinking “I don’t know if £6.50 is reasonable for the things I don’t know I’m buying”

UX insight: ecommerce buying decisions swing on a few critical factors and knowing what you are buying is kinda important when you’re trying to evaluate value for money.

Solution: a link to a box contents page ‘natch.

This is making a super interesting case study! Let’s see what happens with the rest of the shopping experience.

First up, the shopping basket page:


Jesus Christ! £39 Fuck me! What’s in this basket? Truffles? Gold? I know I have a promo code reduction, but they can’t seriously have an ongoing price plan like that? That’s £18.10 per meal!!

UX insight: the company is trying to sell a value proposition “look how much you are saving”. This is risky because it advertises potentially higher prices later on.

Solution: don’t have such a massive difference between promotion price and normal price as it just makes your product feel a bit untrustworthy. I would love to hear your comments about this assertion.

Let’s move on. Clicking Continue:


Forced registration!


UX insight: never force users to register during an ecommerce transaction. Case study after case study backs this up. Forced registration is bad for users as:

“they may not plan to return to the site again, making a one-time purchase or a gift purchase. They may dislike registration in general, frustrated with remembering usernames and passwords for all the sites they visit. Some shoppers don’t want a site to save personal information and assume that if they register for the site, the information will be saved. Many users associate registration with getting unwanted email, and for good reason, since many sites offer tiny preselected checkboxes to sign up for email newsletters”

Solution: direct users to a payment and delivery page. Ask for registration details passively, after purchase.

The rest of the checkout process with Hellofresh was actually very nice: single page, nice validation, design etc.

Hellofresh might be an interesting online shop for food snobs like myself. But there are a few things the company desperately need to sort out so that I can:

  • see exactly what I’m buying
  • be assured it offers value for money
  • experience a super-simple checkout

Until these problems are addressed, Hellofresh will have some teething troubles me thinks.

Agree? Disagree? I’m on Twitter.


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