At MVP Factory it’s part of our daily work to keep a close eye on the success factors of digital products. A flawless user experience is one of them, and—as examples like Airbnb and many others have proven in the past—user experience can have a major impact on the success or failure of new business models. Therefore we regularly do benchmark analyses to identify best practices of the most successful players in the market. The war of instant delivery services provides an excellent example of the relevance of UX for start-ups, so I’d like to share our findings and, at the same time, provide some guidance on how to evaluate the UX of relevant peer models.
I’m a huge fan of Berlin's quick commerce instant grocery delivery services. I use all of them regularly and, as a designer, I was eager to analyse them from a user experience perspective. Here in Berlin we have three services on the market that promise, on their websites, to deliver groceries within minutes:
All of them work quite well and they all did their homework, but we can still find different approaches and these do have an impact on their positioning within the market. So let’s dive in and learn from them.
To have a clear structure, I analysed different categories:
- How efficient is the onboarding of the user?
- How do I navigate through the apps?
- How much inspiration do I find within the app?
- If I am vegan or allergic, do they have products for me and how easily can I spot them?
- How is the checkout experience?
- How does the order tracing work?
- Are there any differences in their offline experiences?
Let’s start with the onboarding. In order to have a fresh start with each app, I logged out of all my accounts, deleted the apps, and reinstalled them. While creating the new accounts I counted the clicks I had to make to be able to see the first products, or some parts of the product assortment.
With Gorillas and getir it took me seven clicks to be on the front page of their store, but this only showed me their main categories. Flink took a different route, which seemed quite convenient to me—it took me three clicks to see their front page, which not only showed some of their categories but also the first products. Another big plus for Flink was that no signup was required, and, from a privacy perspective, the user did not have to enter any private data except their location.
Gorillas and getir picked the same way of navigating the app; they both use a tab bar navigation, with the first screen you see consisting of an advertising/content element and quick access to the categories. Within the categories, the header becomes the navigational element with which you can flick through the main- and subcategories to find products quickly.
There is one big difference between the two apps: Gorillas focuses on the products the user likes, while getir has a strong focus on their discounts. Gorillas offers the possibility of saving products, and you can find the favourites as part of their tab navigation, while getir has a dedicated discounts tab. Both apps hide their tab navigation as soon as you enter the basket, replacing it with a checkout button to streamline the user into the buying process.
Flink’s setup is a little different: their front page features the product categories and your saved products, as well as new products they want to market. Within the categories, there is the same header navigation to navigate the main- and subcategories, and there is quick access to the search from the header. Rather than going with the tab bar, they instead use the bottom of the screen for a big checkout button that displays the price of your basket right away.
In this category, it’s hard to say who does the better job, as all the necessary things required by the user are just one click away. From my very personal perspective, the Gorillas/getir approach feels more natural, but I like that Flink breaks the patterns and gives the user quicker access to their products.
Gorillas has a strong focus on inspiration for the user. On every product page you can find related products which you can add right to your basket, on the search tab they offer search recommendations, and they display frequently bought products. As soon as you have items in the basket, Gorillas offers more products fitting to what’s already been added. Gorillas is invested in content-driven inspiration, and they also use quality content connected with upselling, as well as sponsored collaborations. The content element is very simple, consisting of a header image, a headline, unlimited free text, and products that are connected to the content piece itself, so their content pieces have a huge variety. From a BBQ guide to poached egg recipes, pet food, and even a t-shirt drop in collaboration with Highsnobiety, this sets them apart from the content of the other services. Flink and getir are not invested in content, and only have some inspirational elements in their apps.
I’m vegan or allergic, how easy is it to find suitable products?
In this category of my analysis, getir is the clear winner. All three services have a dedicated category with subcategories. Gorillas and Flink have a clear focus on vegan and vegetarian products in this category and the subcategories make it really easy to navigate through these categories to find the perfect product. getir gets the extra points because their category is called “Freely from…” and the subcategories are based on very common allergens, with options for lactose-free, gluten-free, sugar-free or alcohol-free, and of course, vegan. This makes it not only easy for vegans to find their products, but also for people with allergies and other dietary requirements.
If we go back to the good old click metric and compare the three services, we see that getir and Gorillas both only use 4 clicks from the basket to the order confirmation. Flink goes up to seven clicks, but this has a very thought-through reason. Flink decided to keep the onboarding as short as possible: the user jumps into the app for the first time and sees products, and when the user is already committed and wants to check out, it’s here that they put in their data. This keeps the barrier as low as possible and also doesn’t collect any data from the user before the first order.
If we take a closer look, the Gorillas app offers a lot of smart options: I can ask the driver to call me, tell him to put the groceries in front of my door, and I can also ask him not to ring the doorbell (an option that getir also offers). Besides that, Gorillas is the only service that allows tipping within the app.
All three apps give you information about the order status: confirmed, packed, on its way, and delivered. In the case of Flink you see a map, but you can’t see the driver on the map—it just shows your location and an estimated ETA, which was way beyond 10 minutes for me.
Gorillas and getir show additional information. Here you can see the name of the rider and have the possibility to get in touch with them from within the app. You can also see exactly where the rider is, which just feels better to the user because they can see that something is happening, and have a better idea of when the rider will arrive.
Here the experience was quite similar with all three services. All deliveries came by bike, and used the same amount of packaging. I ordered normal, shelf-stable products as well as ice cream, and realised that Flink and Gorillas took no measures to keep the ice cream cold. getir however had a separate cooling bag on their bike where the ice cream was transported. This didn’t produce any more packaging because, at delivery, they put everything in the same paper bag.
Even though all three services are rather similar, there are fine distinctions in UX that might make a crucial difference for their users.
The past few months have shown that the war of instant delivery services is full-on, and there’s still room for improvement. But the ranks of competitors might soon become thinner. Only the ones who play their cards right, listen to their users carefully, and excel in meeting their users’ needs with an extraordinary UX will have the chance to secure a place in the market.
And this is not only true for the delivery services, but for any digital product. So if you’re about to build a new service or product, make sure to focus on a great UX right from the start by testing your prototypes and ideas with real users and iterating fast. If you need someone to challenge your ideas, we’re happy to hear from you!