Daily deals site Groupon launched in 2008 and quickly became the fastest growing company of all time when it reached $2 billion in revenue in less than two years. However the UK market alone spends nearly £300 million on daily deals every six months, and so Amazon recently launched its UK deals site, Amazon Local.
As such, QuBit
has unveiled the results of its study into daily deals websites, pitting Amazon Local against incumbent king of deals, Groupon. It has looked at which of the two sites offers the best user experience and the efforts of each site to maximise its site for mobile. The customer journey has been divided into three stages: ‘Find’, ‘Choose’ and ‘Buy’Round 1: Find
New visitors are met with a request to enter their email and subscribe to deals. In this stage, Amazon Local follows best practice, checking the e-mail for errors in real time and also providing the option to skip the subscribe stage. For returning visitors, the site automatically creates a different landing page, remembering their city and deal preferences. However, with no option to search, choose by category, or filter deals, it is hard to get an overview of the deals being offered. Dropdown menus are in use, but most of these do not appear unless you click on the tab. Groupon starts off with a well-formatted landing page containing clear Calls to Action (CTAs), such as Buy Now! Unlike its competitor, Groupon’s navigation allows the user to view deals by categories such as goods, getaways, all deals or deals by city. The website also provides subcategories for each deal type, making it even easier for the user to find their desired deal. However, the lack of a search facility as well as a hard to locate help centre mean that Groupon fails to achieve a top score in the ‘Find’ section, and scores only 4% more than Amazon Local.
Results: Amazon Local: 61% vs Groupon: 65%
Although there were many similarities between the two daily deals sites, Amazon Local lost this stage of the battle thanks to Groupon’s superior navigation and use of effective CTAsRound 2: Choose
At first glance, Amazon Local’s deal overview page looks good with high quality images that are clickable through the overview page. Today’s Deal is displayed above the fold and shows a full description of the deal without having to click on it. Unfortunately, this layout makes the other deals easy to miss, as the user has to scroll past Today’s Deal to view the other deals. Another issue is the fact that the website doesn’t automatically show all the deals when scrolling down towards the bottom of the page. Instead, the user is required to click “Show more” to view all of the deals. The product description is very comprehensive and a map function clearly displays the location of the service. Amazon Local also provides a smart function to rate deals by preference, so that each user can receive personalized deals specifically tailored to their preferences. Groupon’s product pages provide multiple pictures for all products and describe the service in great detail. Groupon also makes much better use of cross-sells than Amazon Local, where all cross-sells appear below the fold. Groupon’s cross-sells appear in a separate column, which is even visible whilst viewing a deal. For getaway deals, the website also cleverly provides user reviews from Trip Advisor. On the downside, Groupon does not allow users to view deals by postcode like Amazon Local does.
Results: Amazon Local: 55% vs Groupon: 67%
Again Groupon takes the lead. Despite its good product descriptions and high quality images, Amazon Local saw its product pages beaten by Groupon’s extensive descriptions, multiple pictures and more effective cross-sells, which were definitely superior.Round 3: Buy
For customers with an existing Amazon login the checkout process is as quick and effective as Amazon’s main checkout. However, unless you already have an Amazon account, the website does not provide an order summary before the user has entered their credit card information and clicked “Continue”. Although the registration page itself follows best practice, it is really hard for new users to know whether or not the next step will be a confirmation of the purchase or a summary of your order. Groupon’s order summary appears on the same page as the checkout, making it very easy to view what you are about to buy. The user also has the option to change the quantity of the deal if desired. Clearly labelled stages make it obvious which stage the user is on and frees the checkout of any unnecessary information.
Results: Amazon Local: 57% vs Groupon: 69%
Groupon again comes out as a clear winner in this stage, providing an order summary and checkout that is both easy to understand and efficient to use. Amazon Local lost out due to the fact that they did not provide new customers with the same seamless user experience as its existing customers.Round 4: Mobile
All Amazon fonts are enlarged and the size of the site is adjusted to fit mobile displays. The main CTAs are clear and accessible without the need to scroll. In contrast to its webpages, the option to load more deals by clicking “Show more” works well on mobile, as a simplified page with less images increases load speed. All Groupon links and buttons are indicated as clickable and adjusted to fit the size of a thumb, making mobile navigation very easy. All text is displayed in one single column and buttons are given breathing space to avoid the user accidentally clicking the wrong one. Groupon has also transferred the same categories and subcategories from their desktop site to their mobile site, delivering consistently great user experiences across both devices
Results: Amazon Local: 86% vs Groupon: 74%
It is clear that both Amazon Local and Groupon have realized the value of mobile users and made efforts to transfer their sites to mobile. In this section Amazon lived up to its reputation as the mobile industry leader, by scoring an impressive 86%, giving Amazon Local a much-needed boost in the final score.