Retail review: Aldi Wine, Amy McInnes, web effectiveness score - (IRM57)
Enjoy quality wine at low prices, but don’t have an Aldi near you? Fear not as the supermarket giant is now beginning its online domination with its foray into wine ecommerce. Has spending £35m on this new site created the smooth and velvety user experience we long for, or does it leave users with a sharp and bitter aftertaste?
The user is greeted by a muddy brown colour palette and an overly large, quickly revolving carousel that cannot be paused. The carousel images give little detail or inspiration around products to guide users deeper into the site.
(Alt tag: Aldi wine homepage with red line marking screen cut off just below carousel image)
On a 1600 x 900 screen, the carousel image fills the entire view and sadly acts as a page scroll stopper, failing to hint at further content below. As such users are likely to miss the ‘what makes our wines different’ content: the USP of the site. Aldi need to make the homepage work harder for new users.
(Alt tag: Aldi wine carousel views provide no information to users)
The carousel itself, although correctly indicating the number of slides and providing navigational options, does little to inspire the user. Aldi should provide more inspirational content with descriptive calls to action and supportive copy.
The homepage does nothing to convey to new users that wine is only sold by the crate. However it does clearly highlight the ‘Wine Launch Offer’ prominently across the site below the secondary navigation.
Navigation and search
Users must either use the search option or browse by wine colour via the in-page colour chart or the primary navigation ‘browse by colour’.
Search tries to provide users with predictive results; however the products suggested don’t always match the suggestion very well until the word is fully typed.
Alt tag: Aldi wine quick search predictive results include ‘stuffed mushrooms’ and ‘British stuffed whole chicken’ for ‘sauv’)
Additionally, despite searching for wine, the user is taken away from the brown site palette to the blue palette of the rest of the site, which is confusing. If the results are only wine related, the user is then returned to the brown site where the displayed options are presented with clear sort and filter possibilities.
Results show a clear visual of the 6 bottles, perhaps the first hint that you must buy by the crate, with clear prices in red (also duplicated below), the name, and a very short description:
(Alt tag: Aldi wine category page results)
Aldi have highlighted the wines’ various awards at this stage to help persuade customers. It would be nice for return users to easily ‘add to basket’ from here.
The product page continues the persuasive tactics by repeating the award logos, providing social proof by placing customer reviews at the top of the page and denoting scarcity by re-highlighting the ‘special launch offer’ (indicating limited time):
(Alt tag: Aldi wine product page results)
The price loses its red aesthetic previously seen, which may confuse users, however highlights the ‘by bottle’ cost followed by a description of the wine. This description is however repeated word for word in the ‘full description’ below, which is bad for SEO purposes and provides users with no new content. Delivery options are clearly outlined below.
Adding my selected red to the basket is easy enough through the bold call to action and the user is reassured of their action by the clear repetition in the drop down basket image:
(Alt tag: Aldi wine add to basket popup)
The purchase process is relatively simple and effectively walks the user through step by step. More could be done to indicate how many steps are in the process through a progress bar. Despite this, all the now expected aspects of a checkout, such as address look up, security reminders and clear information around delivery options, are clearly placed upfront and throughout the process:
(Alt tag: Aldi wine example checkout pages)
It would be nice to see PayPal among the payment options listed.
There does seem to be consideration towards making the site accessible for visually impaired users with a skeleton of text and jump to links and clear page landmarks denoted. There are numerous instances of missing alt tags to describe image content which is vital for accessible use.
(Alt tag: Aldi wine homepage WAVE issues)
Ratings (out of 5)
Navigation and IA 3/5
Persuasion and Trust 3/5
Product Page &Merchandising 3/5
Amy focuses on E-commerce and understanding buyer behaviour. With a background in sales, Amy joined User Vision from one of Europe’s leading digital agencies where she was a key player in the development of the usability department, introducing Conversion Rate Optimisation, and ensuring the continual integration of usability across all the digital media offerings. Amy graduated from the University of Stirling with a BSc in Business and Psychology.