Waitrose – Our Eye Tracking Review

May 23, 2011 12:40 pm

Waitrose – Our Eye Tracking Review



Our team conducted an eye tracking review of Waitrose for the May edition of Internet Retailing Magazine. The full article can be read here: Waitrose Website Eye Tracking Article.

We invited users to participate in sessions to explore the new Waitrose.com website. These were people who shopped online and had different levels of experience regarding using grocery websites. By using eye tracking technology we were able to observe users shopping naturally for basic items that they would regularly need.

Users struggled to find the most basic of items. The simplified initial drop down menu for ‘Groceries’ was limited.In order to find bread, users had to learn to click on ‘Cupboard’>’Food’>’Bakery’ and then choose an additional category such as ‘Sliced bread’.

This was felt to be a long route to individual items. It was not obvious how these sections were ordered within the navigation area displayed at the top of the page,with some users commenting that they expected to see the most common sections first.

Users were unable to narrow their results any further by brand,which caused issues when looking for particular items.

Users misinterpreted the ‘Featured products’ on pages for all the main products that they could browse through for that section. This caused confusion, and was only noticed by one user when she tried to re-find a product and it had been replaced with a newly featured product.

This accumulation of issues led to some users resorting to the search facility. A simple search for ‘Milk’ became difficult because the search results listed multiple products with small images and inconsistent product titles. This made it difficult to scan and choose.

We observed that it was difficult for users to move around within the main categories of the website. If a user chose to get started by clicking on the main ‘Groceries’ tab or from the ‘Shop now’ drop down menu item, a page is presented with a navigation area at the top with four columns. The ‘Drinks’ category was not available within this navigation area due to the limitation of the four columns so users needed to revert to the drop down menu for ‘Groceries’ for these additional sections.

Users were also asked to find some ideas for a family gathering. When accessing the ‘Delia & Heston’s’ section, one user became confused when clicking on a photo to access ‘Heston’s cherry and chocolate pudding’ and being shown a recipe for rocket and parmesan salad. There was also an inconsistency within this section regarding which photos could be clicked on as well as the titles.Within a recipe page, users were looking around to find their next steps which were grouped together easily on the left hand side of the page. Functionality to add items from these recipes to their shopping bag would have been welcomed.


SimpleUsability have been providing expert eye tracking advice for the readers of  Internet Retailing Magazine since 2009.