Carrefour

User Research

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Over 200% improvement on the findability of e-commerce products.

Background

Carrefour UAE is a leading retailer, selling in a wide range of products, from produce to technology. Today, Majid Al Futtaim operates over 320 Carrefour stores in 16 countries, serving more than 750,000 customers daily and employing over 37,000 people. Carrefour Marketplace provides businesses across the UAE with an e-commerce channel to reach their customers and currently lists more than 250,000 products.

Business need

Carrefour recognised that there was a problem with the findability of their products, which was due to their categorisation on their digital channels. They wanted to really understand their customers and ensure their taxonomy matched the expectations, languages and mental models of their users.

Through this process, Carrefour wanted to:

  • Understand the diversity of their customer base
  • Understand whether their categories aligned with their user’s expected product locations
  • Re-structure the website and product locations to increase usability, findability and customer experience.

Approach

We set a baseline by evaluating the taxonomy of Carrefour’s website in its current state before modifying and improving it so we could compare the results at the end of the project.

We asked shoppers in the UAE to find specific products on the website, only 31% of the shoppers successfully found the products.

If users can’t find the products they need, they simply will not buy anything. Drop-off rates are typically high in situations like these.

Carrefour UAE’s customer base is broad, their customers come from all over the world, including India, Pakistan, the Middle East and Europe, with 60% female users and a 40% male users. This is important to note because the final output must include all the various cultural nuances of Carrefour’s customers.

We set out to improve the findability of products on Carrefour UAE’s website by designing a user-centric taxonomy that matched users’ mental models and expectations.

We used a bunch of different research methods in order to understand the ‘whys’ and learn more about the users’ expectation when navigating the website.

Some of the research methods we conducted included:

  • Competitor benchmark
  • Usability evaluation
  • Card sorting
  • Physical store analysis
  • Tree testing

Over 3 months we tested over 1500+ categories on the Carrefour website, conducted 10 different studies with over 300+ participants using 5 different research methods.


Outcome

We saw a 257% improvement in the baseline test.

To measure the success of the study, we repeated the baseline test using the same products with the new taxonomy. The success rate jumped from 31% to 83%.

while 100% success rate is ideal, there were some unavoidable nuances during the research. For example, when searching for lemons some people looked under Vegetables, whilst others looked in Fruits. Such human behaviour cannot be controlled and therefore it's important to keep it in mind and cater for the scenarios in different locations.

A proper taxonomy structure you can greatly impact the success of a retailer, both online and offline. Investing time and resources to understand how consumers navigate stores, both online and offline, will likely increase sales and positively impact a customer’s overall experience.

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