Site Review: Tesco

Tesco is universally known as Britain’s leading food retail group. Building on its position as one the largest and most profitable grocers globally, its online site shopping service has grown to become one of the most success dotcom stories of the century. Unfortunately the chain has taken a bit of a hit of late, with the recent news that share prices have fallen sharply after a drop in sales over Christmas.

Senior marketers at the supermarket say mistakes in their festive advertising campaigns could be to blame for this setback. Is that all there is to it – or could their eCommerce website do any better? We thought we would head down to the site and check it out for ourselves.

Drawn-out and complicated sign-up

Like a lot of eCommerce sites, Tesco asks you to register an account before ordering. The process is rather drawn-out and complicated, something that is heightened when attempting to order from their mobile site. Are two phone numbers really necessary for me to order a bottle of Pinot?

By simplifying and streamlining the ordering process Tesco could also minimise the number of problems users might experience along the way.

It would also appear that the login for the Tesco site will not work on their clothing site, meaning you have to register with them again. This is an instance where best practice would surely be to encourage customers to shop across your range – not impede them!

Multi-channel is the new black

It was encouraging to see that Tesco’s website contained a store locator tool that allows users to either search by town or postcode to generate a list of nearest stores. It’s important to remember that not everyone is comfortable with buying online, so it’s important your website accommodates all of your shoppers. The store locator also contained some useful information on opening times and directions, as well as available facilities and product ranges.

The website is easy to scan and navigate, although they do have a tendency to cram a lot of information into one page. There are so many elements to the page that it makes it hard to focus on one particular feature.

Don’t Distract

If the site it too cluttered it can be hard for your visitors to separate the information they’re looking for from the visual content. This is something new customers to Tesco could find quite intimidating and deter them from purchasing.

The checkout pages also require too much scrolling, and there are plenty of visual distractions for shoppers. This means that online visitors have plenty of opportunities to exit the process when they should be concentrating on entering address and payment details.

Enclosing the checkout process by removing search functionality and primary navigation could help funnel Tesco’s customers in the right direction. It’s a good idea to only contain links to the help, returns and policy pages in a new window. With the removal of other distractions, information giving your customer’s confidence in their purchase is made more prominent. By stripping down the checkout page customers are funnelled in one direction, towards the payment and order confirmation page. Have a look at ASOS who have got this spot on.

Disappearing Act

Another point I noticed was when I clicked the back button, my whole weeks’ worth of shopping was lost. Nothing frustrates me in quite the same way as having to re-input information that I have already taken the time and effort to enter. And this goes for anything else too, such as form filling on sign-up.

I was impressed with Tesco’s sign-out functionality. Tesco give the option of remembering your details for the next time you log in. In general, users are more likely to usually forget their password than their username, so having something to remember this for you is a great way to encourage visitors to return.

In general, the Tesco website is well-designed and offers good usability; however, there are a few improvements the supermarket chain could make to further boost their conversion rates.

One area I would be keen to focus on is streamlining the checkout process, removing navigational links to other parts of their website. Remember, you only want your customers to head in one direction, so it’s imperative that you remove any unnecessary distractions. Here are seven more ways to simplify sign-up.

  • I am doing an MBA project on the success of’s online platforms. If you are able to, please help me with my research and fill out this brief questionnaire. Many thanks. David