Online age check for a parcel shop

As a user experience designer at Rewe Digital, my focus is primarily on analytical and continuous development. This means that I always aim to combine user needs with the business needs of the company. Short-term successes are worthwhile, but long-term successes should be the goal.

This case study shows that we have found a way to meet a challenging legal requirement through several iterations that don’t interrupt the user’s journey.

Rewe Digital is a subsidiary of Rewe, one of the largest retail companies in Europe (turnover in 2020: around 75 billion.) Rewe Digital’s task is to develop digital services and products within e-commerce, fulfillment, and the digitalization of stationary markets. As User Experience Team, we work within an agile environment in different Tribes (eCom, Content/stationary, and fulfillment).

Germany has stringent rules on selling alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

We were faced with the challenge that alcohol and tobacco products are only allowed to people of appropriate age in Germany. In Germany, beer and wine can only be sold to people over 16 and tobacco only to people over 18. However, it is relatively difficult to determine who is actually using the device. The supplier could check the age of the person when delivering the order. This can be reliably assumed for our own delivery drivers but not for other service providers such as DHL or DPD. That is why there was a legal requirement that the age of the buying person has to be checked online.

Checking the age during the checkout process

Various providers who were able to meet the requirements were validated for checking the age. An extremely high level of legal certainty was an important goal, which is why user data should be checked reasonably carefully. At the same time, we wanted it not to disrupt the purchasing process too much, which is why a quick check is essential. A time delay in the test would cause too many users to cancel. Now our main challenge was that we have to collect the data from the user at the right moment. It was also crucial that the user was transparently informed about handling his data and that the process was self-explanatory. If an age check turns out negative, users should still buy part of the purchase.

First drafts and hallway test

At first, we were very skeptical ourselves, and in many discussions, we questioned precisely how necessary this initiative is and how we can keep it as lean as possible. Because one thing is obvious: This feature will not contribute to more people shopping, but the most significant challenge is to have as few cancellations as possible and that we still have a transparent flow that remains comprehensible overall.

In our first drafts & tests, we quickly realized that the association with a third-party age check would be the biggest problem. The process itself, and the additional input of data, are simple. We have ensured that people only have to do this check once before changing basic account information.

The data required for the test (date of birth) are entered after entering the address. The address is also one of the data relevant for the test. The test cannot be carried out without the address. That’s why we decided to place this check in the checkout context as well.

Usability Test

We started a test with a relatively early version. We interviewed eight people and got pretty clear feedback which helped us a lot. Before the test, we created a guide that put our test probands in an exact situation, making them have to buy alcohol and tobacco and first enter an address that did not match their own data. As a result, we were also able to evaluate the scenario of a negative test and received insights into the solution options we proposed. Our insights:

  • Excessive naming of the third party leads to a lack of understanding
  • The exam itself is understandable for many and is generally rated positively.
  • The density of information is too high and is not perceived
  • The offered solution options are partly used, but more intuitive solutions are also found.

Offer content and solutions in the proper context.

Building on the usability test, we developed further iterations and decided to prepare the information more visually and divide it up differently. The context is explained more clearly with the help of an illustration. The texts are shorter and more concise. The third-party provider is still mentioned, but much more cautiously. If the check is negative, the user is now offered more suitable solutions. When entering the date of birth, it is clearly indicated again whose date of birth must be entered.

Conclusion

The age check in the checkout is rolled out slowly, and the effects are carefully checked. In the next major UX test, we will take another look at the feature to collect further insights.

Switch from delivery to pick-up

As a user experience designer at Rewe Digital, my focus is primarily on analytical and continuous development. This means that I always aim to combine user needs with the business needs of the company. Short-term successes are worthwhile, but long-term successes should be the goal.

This case study is an exciting example of how we improve business KPIs by enhancing the user experience.

Rewe Digital is a subsidiary of Rewe, one of the largest retail companies in Europe (turnover in 2020: around 75 billion.) Rewe Digital’s task is to develop digital services and products within e-commerce, fulfillment, and the digitalization of stationary markets. As User Experience Team we work within an agile environment in different Tribes (eCom, Content/stationary, and fulfillment).

Rewe offers different services

REWE offers various digital services which, depending on the region, are either available at the same time or only separately. These services are the delivery service (a delivery driver delivers the order at an agreed time) and the pick-up service (pick-up at a Rewe store). These services serve very similar customer needs, which, however, differ in their characteristics. Both services are used for weekly shopping but have different conditions. The REWE delivery service has a minimum order value of € 50, and there is no minimum order value for the pick-up service.

AB-Testing: Switch services on the basket page

Our goal is to offer our users an easy way of shopping at any given moment in their journey. In the delivery service, we have to offer our customers a relatively high minimum order value. For some users shopping online is interesting, and they start to put together a shopping cart, but we noticed that they cancel their purchase at the basket. Since we have a significant overlap in the service areas and know that we also offer many similar products in the pick-up service as in the deliver serivce, we want to discover whether users would complete their purchase in another service.

Delivery ServicePick-up Service
Minimum Order Value 50 €No Minimum Order Value
Approx. 16.000 Products Approx. 8.000 Products
A delivery driver delivers the order at an agreed time. Customers pick up their already compiled shopping cart at a Rewe store.

AB Test 1: Lean Testing with Optimizely

User Flow – Switch service from Delivery to Pick-up

With the first AB test, the aim was to validate the thesis in a lean test. To do this, we used Optimizely to implement the code and track the results. We knew how we implemented the switch of the services was not perfect since users had to leave the basket page to change the service.

Our thesis for this test: Those interested in Deliver Service who do not reach the minimum order value of 50 € are interested in the pick-up service (click at least X% on a link to the AS in the shopping cart).
Result: In the test, we found a significant intersection of users for whom such a notice is relevant and who use this service change at this point. With this initiative, we were able to increase the number of orders in the pick-up service without reducing the conversion rate in the delivery service.

ControlTreatment
“The minimum order value of 50 € was not reached.”“The minimum order value of 50 €
was not reached.”

“Complete shopping with the
pick-up service without a minimum order value and pick up the goods in the REWE store.”
Test Variant 1) Control and 2) Treatment. Control: No Service Switch possible. Treatment: Service can be switched

Implementation & Next Steps

After the positive result of the AB test, we have further developed the notification in different versions. We could streamline the notification in terms of content and visual appearance. However, the original flow is still not perfect, as users navigate via a separate domain and therefore leave the shopping cart and hence the checkout.

Before users enter the shopping cart, there is the situation that users are asked to select the service from which they would like to orderImplementing this selection in the shopping cart would greatly simplify this flow and therefore offers a good chance that the conversion rate will improve again. Consequently, we had to wait to implement the so-called “Market Chooser” before starting the next test.

Iteration 2Iteration 3 (with Market Chooser)
“The minimum order value of € 50 has not been reached.
Switch to the REWE pick-up service and presume without a minimum order value:
Switch to the pick-up service

” The minimum order value of € 50 has not been reached.
Shopping under 50 € minimum order value:
Switch to the pick-up service
Change from Delivery to Pick-up within the Basket using the “Market Chooser”

Test 2: Button instead of a Text Link

After the Market Chooser was implemented, we were ready to proceed with testing. We already know that changing the service in the shopping cart is a relevant function for the user because of the minimum order value. We now have to find out whether this effect could be used even further by a visually enhanced design. We tested two different styles, and we also found a positive impact here and decided to keep the style of our treatment variant.

ControlTreatment

“Switch to the pick-up service and make purchases with a minimum order value of less than € 50.
Text link: Switch to the pick-up service

“Switch to the pick-up service and make purchases with a minimum order value of less than € 50.
Button: Switch to the pick-up service

Conclusion

Testing different variants against each other are one of the essential characteristics of the continuous development of a website, and it is a process that we use very often. I think this example is exciting because the tested element took a very non-linear development path.
From the user’s perspective, a well-known assumption is valid. If we offer users relevant information and features at appropriate points of their journey, they will acknowledge it, and essential KPIs will find an uplift. This test was also the starting point to further force this effect of switching between the services.