Samsung evaluates new eCommerce capability in 12 European markets ahead of roll-out
Samsung is a multinational conglomerate, originating in South Korea in 1939. Starting off as a trading company, it now has numerous affiliated businesses under the Samsung brand, operating internationally. The company had been recognised as a global industry leader in technology, and is now ranked as a top 10 global brand. They are continuously expanding and developing their strategic products in their Consumer Electronics division.
Samsung’s .com website is the shop window for the brand worldwide. Localised versions exist in most markets and Europe is no different with local language versions in all major European markets. Some of the European market sites not only contain the brand website content, but also an eCommerce capability.
UX24/7 was commissioned by Samsung to facilitate a moderated usability evaluation of the Samsung.com websites for Bulgaria, Czech Repulblic, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and UK. The main focus was on the product detail pages during the purchase process for Smart TV’s and Smartphones.
- Identify what the complete user online purchase process is
- What kind of insights can we take from user navigation behaviour?
- What kind of insights can we take from competitor websites user navigation and experience?
- Why do potential customers leave the Samsung website and go to a retailer?
The evaluation consisted of 10 one-to-one sessions in each country (15 for UK) , with participants representative of Samsung’s target audience. All participants were smartphone or PC users and were in the market for a Samsung phone, washing machine or smart TV within the next 3 months.
Each session took approximately 1 hour during which the participants attempted to complete the purchase process for a product area. After the last task was completed the participants were asked to rate different aspects of the site and offer overall feedback.
The research was conducted on both smartphone and PC in all markets. A simultaneous translator was in the viewing room translating the sessions live for the watching European team, other than for the UK market. Local stakeholders could listen to the local language using headphones.
- Shop journey usability evaluation across 3 product lines
- 125 participants, 10-15 per market
- Multi-platform testing on Desktop and Smartphone
- 12 European markets all completed with local UX24/7 Researchers
All participants in all markets had a positive view of Samsung as a brand in that it stands for quality, particularly when it comes to TV’s. Despite this, Samsung’s website was not their first choice when looking for Smartphones, TV’s or other devices. The website was not considered to be a retail store because the company is perceived as a manufacturer only.
These are some of the key areas of insight we uncovered for Samsung:
Most users do their product research online using multi brand store websites. The advantage being they offer multiple brands which can be compared in one place. Participants don’t see the need to go to the brand website first since the retailers display all the specifications needed as well as the prices.
The copy used on the Samsung site, such as naming terminology and labels is quite technically orientated. This meant that some of the product names, the ones using letters and numbers in particular, felt unfamiliar and caused confusion with participants.
We found there were two focus points in the purchasing decision lifecycle for the user. Firstly, when they are trying to decide if a certain product will be on their shortlist, at that point the focus is on features. Secondly, when they are making their decision, they want to have all the details about the product and how the features will work. The website needs to support both parts of the decision-making process.
“I worked with UX24/7 across a multitude of markets around Europe for UX projects while working at Samsung. UX24/7 provided deep and meaningful insights which we could work with at a European, HQ & market level work to improve the customer experience online and more importantly improve sales.”
Head of Consumer Experience, Samsung
We advised Samsung to consider the purpose of the website and to pursue a design that supported that exclusively. The existing site, in all markets, was neither a good brand site nor a good eCommerce site.
For example, price is a major decision factor for consumers and yet there isn’t much information about the product prices on the website. Adding these details would be of great benefit to the customer.
Enabling a direct route to the products is also recommended in addition to offering help with the selection process. This can be done by expanding a few basic filter features. Users like to filter products and compare them side by which is mostly done on retailer websites where they can compare across a variety of brands.