If you live in Dubai and recently drove down the Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR), you probably noticed a big blinding (especially at night!) digital screen hung on the pedestrian tunnel that crosses the SZR near the Mall of the Emirates, now I’m not adding this post to bash the big colorful screen I think its a neat new addition but they could tone down the brightness at night because it could be a major safety hazard. No I’m adding this post because I saw an advertisement for Carrefour who were promoting a new website called www.ic4uae.com, now I didn’t think much of it I thought they were trying to push users to the website for some reason but after reading an article on The National I realized that this is a new initiative that Carrefour is rolling out, they’re entering the ecommerce field, and users/consumers can now purchase over 3,000 non-food goods online. No doubt the step had to be taken sooner or later, Carrefour is the second biggest retailer in the world and in order to keep growing, initiatives such as these have to be made on a regular basis.
All was well until I checked the website and I was thrown back by how outdated the site looked. I instantly got a feeling to dislike the site, don’t ask me why but I couldn’t get myself to browse the site. The homepage looked cluttered with inconsistent elements (rounded and squared edges) and the different colors for the banners and side callouts was just to much for me to handle. Now I’m not sure who was responsible for this, but surely a company as big as Carrefour deserves a better looking website, neater layout with clearer calls to action, if I hadn’t read the article on The National I never would’ve guessed that I could buy items online. Its as if Carrefour doesn’t want users to know what do when they land on the Homepage.
I personally believe that Carrefour should go back to the drawing table and re-think the whole website from a user experience prespective, doing something such as this for the sake of doing it will just be a waste of money however if it is done well, they could be the leading ecommerce website in the UAE.