Why I Emptied My Cart on Bigbasket.com

Notes from my personal experience ordering from BigBasket.com

When I reviewed all the items in the cart for one last time, I was excited to experience Big Basket’s service. I’ve never bought perishables like vegetables and fruits through online shopping and I was thrilled when I browsed through the well-designed product catalog of Big Basket.

But, when I clicked on the Checkout button, I was totally taken aback by what I saw on the next screen. It was clumsy, confusing, and inconsistent with the rest of the product.

So, similar to what I did with Zomato and Cure.fit, I spent some time on the app to see what hinders the user experience of a customer who is about to check out an order in BigBasket.com

The Unicorn that is about to Breakeven

Before talking about the user experience, let's take a look at the rise of Big Basket.

Big Basket is an eight-year-old online grocery superstore that is currently valued at $2.2 billion. One of the investors in Big Basket is Chinese giant Alibaba from whom the company has learned a lot about driving growth, optimizing logistics and retaining customers.

Big Basket is one of the first companies to bring online grocery shopping to the country and it still stands to be a well-known brand among its competitors like Grofers, Amazon, and Flipkart.

According to Business Standard, the company grew by 60% in the last fiscal year by making sales for Rs 3200 crore. Hari Menon, the CEO said that they will clock in a revenue of Rs 5300 crore and breakeven across 10 Tier-1 cities by the end of the current fiscal year. That is definitely a good sign for the company.

But, with over 12 million customers, Big Basket should also focus on tweaking the experience of their checkout page that could hinder the shopping experience of customers.

There are two reasons as to why they should do it:

More customers mean more revenue - They should acquire more customers to keep growing and be profitable. And, each customer, if satisfied with the experience is going to come back every month. It means growth, loyalty, and recurring revenue.

Competitive Advantage - They should maintain an edge over their competitors like Amazon, Flipkart and Grofers, and Dunzo (who deliver groceries from local supermarkets and grocery stores). What if the competitor wins over a potential customer by offering a better user experience than Big Basket.

Now, let’s take a look at all the user experience issues in the payment page of BigBasket.com

The Confusing Payment Options

The first thing that put me down when I clicked the Checkout button was the payment options.

The first thing that is visible is a section titled “Payment Options With Offers”. And, what you see here is wallet payments like PayTm, MobiKwik, Simpl, Airtel Money, and Freecharge.

payments option in big basket

I was surprised by the fact that there was no option to pay via Credit Card, Debit card, Netbanking, or UPI. Then I realized that there was a second section titled “Other Payment Options” and when I clicked on it, I found three options:

  • Cash / Sodexo coupons & meal card / Ticket Restaurant vouchers on delivery

  • Credit Card / Debit Card / Net Banking

  • Ola Money

The Credit card/Debit card/Net Banking option was hidden under the Other Payment Options section.

other payment options in big basket

I have a couple of problems here

Credit/Debit card offers were not listed under the “Payment Options With Offers” section. Only online/mobile wallets were listed. I think Big Basket wants to promote wallet-based payments in the first place. That’s fine. But, why name the section “Payment Options With Offers”. It is really confusing.

When it comes to displaying offers, BookmyShow does an amazing job. You can get a complete list of all the credit cards, debit cards, wallets, and UPI offers while checking out. And, the best part is they won’t be kept in a prominent place in the app. The logic is, throwing too many offers and promo codes might confuse the customer. Also, when customers want to save some money, they would definitely find their way to the right offer.

bookmyshow payments page

The Payments page of BookmyShow

Another thing that I found missing in the page was the UPI option. How come they missed to include one of the most popular payment options in recent times. UPI option means shorter checkout times. This will actually be beneficial for the customers as well as Big Basket.

And, Ola Money which is a mobile wallet (and also offering a cashback of Rs.100 for orders higher than Rs 1000) is listed under Other Payment Options and not under Payment Options With Offers. Why?!

The screen becomes even more confusing when you choose one of the options as your Default Payment Option. Now, you have three expand/collapse sections (accordion): Default Payment option; Payment Options With Offers; Other Payment Options. Oh my!

payment options with default option

bbwallet - But, why?

The most puzzling thing in the entire payment page is the bbwallet.

bbwallet is not listed under any of the payment options. Any company that has its own wallet will offer more cashback and discounts for those who frequently load cash and pay using their wallet. But, I saw no offers about bbwallet. It is just sitting as a checkbox under Order Summary.

bbwallet during checkout

Also, there is no easy way to find your bbwallet on the website. It is hidden somewhere under the Accounts section. What is the purpose of a wallet if it isn’t easily accessible?

Vouchers, with a Twist

When I was about to checkout, I saw a link under Order Summary that said 8 offers were available for my order. When I clicked on it, I realized that none of the vouchers were applicable. Instead, it was asking me to add more items to my cart for the offers to be applicable.

big basket offer page

I would’ve had a better experience if I had been presented with relevant offers and not something that is not of use to me.

Online retail websites like Amazon and Flipkart does an excellent job in showing contextual vouchers and coupon codes while checking out. I bet Big Basket could also do the same.

The Confusing BOGO offers

There was a section in the homepage carousel that said BOGO (Buy One Get One) offers on selected snacks. So, I clicked on a pack of biscuits priced at Rs.99 that had the offer and added it to the cart.

When I viewed the cart I was confused with the way the summary was shown. It had two lines: the first showing the quantity as 2, followed by a second line that said Free! and quantity as 1.

big basket bogo checkout option

Instead, the summary could’ve been a single line that could’ve said Rs.198 and quantity as 2 and another line that said Discount where Rs.99 is deducted.

I took the liberty to redesign this screen (using Inspect Element) to make it look simple and understandable.

revamped bogo screen in big basket

The future lies in simplicity

The biggest learning during my time as a Technical Writer for two multi-billion dollar SaaS companies is that user experience is the biggest strength for a product. Every product should offer a consistent user experience throughout the product - right from the homepage to the payments page/subscription page. A good user experience attracts and retains your customers.

But, sometimes, Product managers and UX designers fail to understand the power of user experience and instead focus on building a fancy page that looks aesthetically pleasing but hinders the user experience.

I was at a bookstore the other day and I had a chance to flip through the first few pages of “Saying No to Jugaad: The Making of Big Basket”. The foreword of the book was written by Sanjeev Agarwal, co-founder of Helion Ventures. The first line of the Foreword had a quote by Abraham Lincoln that said

“Important principles may, and must, be inflexible”.

I believe that the principles of good user experience is also inflexible.

Big Basket will grow big. There are no doubts about that. But, along the way, they should also focus on providing users with great customer experience.