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June 2020
13 Min read

Internet Supermarket Research, or How Not to Lose a Customer Online

Irina Yaroshenko

International Sales Manager +4314120126

5/5 - (4 votes)

Quarantine and self-isolation led to a sharp increase in demand for online orders of goods, including products. Although stationary grocery stores were opened during quarantine, consumer traffic has decreased significantly there.

Some Statistics

According to the forecasts of the German statistical online portal Statista, by 2021 the global e-commerce market will reach $4.9 trillion per year. As reported by Digital Commerce 360 analysis, the volume of online sales in the world in 2016-2019 grew by an average of 20% per year. At the same time, retail offline sales increased by 3.5% per year. If this trend continues, then the global e-commerce market will exceed traditional retail volumes by 2036.

The whole world is moving confidently towards the penetration of e-commerce in all spheres of life. According to the Center for Retail Research, Italy and Spain have some of the lowest e-commerce penetration rates in Europe — 4% and 5% of total retail revenue, respectively. France goes next, where online sales account for about 10% of sales. In the UK, it reaches 20% and 36% in China.

Analysts say this varies depending on the product, as European consumers are more likely to buy clothes, electronics, or books online than fresh products. Many other factors also influence access to credit cards, reliability of delivery infrastructure, and areal cultural differences.

Online Supermarkets

Before telling you about our customer experience research agency Scheduling study, we would like to familiarize you with the general data that affect consumer loyalty when selecting an online supermarket.

  • A 1-second delay in website operation time leads to a 7% reduction in conversion rates.
  • Due to the competitive pricing analysis, 60% of customers choose the online supermarkets because of their wide range of products.
  • 95% tell at least one person about a bad experience with a company.
  • 59% will no longer buy from a retailer if the order is not delivered on time.

And now let’s get closer to the point)

Our professional marketing specialists have conducted a customer experience study of a famous European online supermarket. The goal of such monitoring was customer journey optimisation of the 3rd largest supermarket by its market share. At the stage of designing a retail customer journey map, we found out some interesting facts.

The most common reasons for the complaints are:

Website performance

  • Only 26% of clients are satisfied with the company’s website.

Products and goods information

  • 38% of customers complain about incorrect information about product availability.

Quality of service

  • Only 41% of customers are satisfied with the service provided.


  • 1 out of 3 consumers faced delivery problems with the company (service-related issues or did not receive the order at all).

Website Usability

The development of e-commerce today faces an increase in mobile traffic. More and more purchases are being made from mobile devices. This changes the approach to trading, organizing, and developing websites: we need mobile versions or applications. Those who successfully cope with the task are entering a new stage of development.

What difficulties in the work of the supermarket we studied were noted by users?

  • Difficulties with order editing
  • Website access issues
  • Virtual queue

How do you like that? You select an online store to save time and avoid standing in line (and we remember what queues were in the first weeks of quarantine), but you got stuck in an online queue. That’s bad. ((

Today, it is not enough for a company to just launch a website. You need to be present on social networks, in messengers, on advertisement boards, and in various catalogs in order to reach as many customers as possible. You also need to use remarketing and retargeting to build a relationship with those who did not complete the purchase or did not proceed to the transaction for some reason but was already interested in your product. Another important and necessary point is to monitor and constantly research site usability. Only in this case, you can become a representative of e-commerce. Otherwise, you are a retailer who just has a website and does not have a clue what is going on there.

Products Representation

Optimizers of e-commerce projects face a number of specific problems, primarily typical for online stores. A visitor opens a site searching for a specific product. He chooses the needed category, sets the filter, and sorts out the results. Among the list of matching products, he finds the one that perfectly meets his expectations, judging by the price and a thumbnail of the photo. He switches to the product card to place an order but stumbles upon a notification that the item is out of stock. Returning to the search results, a customer tries to find an alternative, and the described scenario is repeated again.

What will this lead to? A frustrated and upset visitor will get tired of looking for a needed item in stock among the presented goods in search results and will leave for another website.  This is what online supermarket should expect if there are gross mistakes in the presentation of goods.

Here is what its visitors complained about:

  • Outdated information about the item availability
  • No alternative is offered
  • Replacement and double debiting without customer notice

The latter puzzled everyone. Not only doesn’t a person receive his goods, but he also has to pay for both an ordered item out of stock and for its replacement. It is unlikely that someone will be eager to order goods from a supermarket where you are charged for non-available items.

Payment System

The payment form is a final stage when purchasing online, and nothing should prevent a buyer from making this step. The payment page is of critical importance. It is a “terminal station” for the customers shopping on your website. This is the place where a user enters his bank card details and makes the final decision to spend his hard-earned money. Here, a site visitor becomes a client, bringing money to the company. Do you think the clients who left such feedback will bring profit to the supermarket under review?

  • Insufficient information about additional charge for products
  • Double payment due to technical problems
  • No opportunity to edit or cancel an order immediately after its completion

We are sure that such customers will not return. And this confidence was proved after we have made a number of projects on research and improvement of various banking systems and online payments.

Customer Support

Support is associated with the help in getting more information about the product and solving various client’s problems, usually of a technical nature. These functions are the basis of the support teamwork, although there are many hidden perks that Support can provide to the business, if its potential is exploited to the fullest extent. However, what additional benefits can we talk about, when the elementary standards of support service workers are not met?

  • They promise to call back, but they don’t, as our mystery callers admit
  • Robotic answers when there is a need to consult a live adviser
  • No replacement is offered for non-available items
  • Charged replacement without customer notice

Before you can establish additional sales performed by the support team, you have to deal with the main problems first. If you do not know why your support advisers do not perform their direct duties, then it is necessary to explore this particular area of work.

Delivery Service

The home delivery option is an important part of business growth strategy. It allows for increasing revenue by at least 10%. The home food delivery service accounts for 30% of well-known network enterprises’ total revenue, and it is a promising direction of growth for non-chain companies. However, the approach to arranging delivery should be as serious and organized as possible. Otherwise, the sites of feedback and reviews will be full of the following comments from disappointed customers:

  • No information about delays in delivery.
  • It is complicated to arrange another time if the delivery time was changed through no fault of the customer.
  • The fastest delivery is not provided if the order did not arrive on time due to the driver’s fault.
  • Payment is charged even if a driver did not find the right address.
  • Damaged, crushed products, poorly packaged. Sometimes even expired!

How do you like this service? Would you order food from a supermarket like this?

Online Supermarket

The given company positions itself as not having a chain of stores and carries out all home deliveries from its warehouses. Nevertheless, this does not negate the fact that it has to take care of its customers. And the company makes attempts to do so. Let’s say, it supplies its goods in bags that will be collected and recycled. This environmental initiative is supported by local activists and tree huggers. But at the same time, the company is going to place one of its production facilities near the school, which the local residents are concerned about, and they consider the corporation hypocritical.

In order to solve global problems, it is necessary to deal with local ones first. And before initiating a good cause, you must carefully study the problem areas. We left our recommendations on how to achieve this in every paragraph. Follow the active links to find out how global companies have coped with similar situations, and what solutions we suggest.

As a mystery shopping company, we support initiatives to improve the quality of our lives, and we are working to improve service worldwide. Later we will talk about the initiatives supported by Scheduling. Keep an ear to the ground and stay healthy!

5/5 - (4 votes)
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