I am interested in local and small farms, and it was while reading up on this topic that I came across the website for Heritage Foods USA. This company is all about raising rare breeds of livestock on small farms, and selling the meat to consumers and restaurants. Many restaurants in New York City buy from Heritage Foods USA, so I decided to check out the ecommerce component of this site. Although I really admire what this company is doing, I do not love the look or the inconsistent imagery of their online store.
When I selected the Purchase tab from the top navigation, I found myself on the main shopping page you see below. There are a few strange things going on here. First, check out all this text on the right. Although I like that they give their contact phone number and email, it’s a bit redundant to have it here 3 times. And although I like that there is information about shipping prices, much of this would be better placed on a separate page for shipping that provides all these details. Additionally, the Enter Coupon and Redeem Gift Card buttons could be relocated elsewhere as well, specifically within the checkout process. Including all this right here is distracting for the shopper.
I clicked on the Pork Cuts category. Mmm… pork! This page looks very similar, but instead of sketches in black and white, it shows full-color images. These look really great, but the pictures and even the fonts don’t seem to match the general design theme of the site. My suggestion is for Heritage Foods USA to rethink how they want their ecommerce site to look, and make updates to keep that look consistent throughout all the pages.
When I clicked on Popular Pork Cuts, again I found some odd issues with the images. As I scrolled down, I noticed 3 distinct types of product images being used: pictures of the uncooked meat, pictures of the meat cooked and served, and sometimes that sketch of a pig, presumably for when a product image is missing. Again, I have to preach consistency. I would love to see images of the same type on this category page, with various other images on the product pages. This will make it easier for shoppers to see the differences between the cuts, and to understand which type they want to purchase.
The thumbnail image for the Five-Rib Pork Chop Rack looked so good, I had to click. But when I arrived on the product page, I saw the pig sketch image again. Where did that other picture go? I had hoped to see a bigger view. This is obviously a huge error, as every product page should have at least one image. Beyond that, I think the layout gives a pretty outdated look to the page. However, the cross-sale feature at the bottom offers some nice suggestions, so that’s a good aspect of this page.
Overall, Heritage Foods USA’s ecommerce storefront has an outdated look and a lot of inconsistencies in the images. For both B2B sales to restaurants and chefs, as well as B2C sales to consumers, a modern and consistent design and feel will help to build trust in the site and the foods it sells. This company is doing great work for local foods and small farms, I would love to see their site reflect that greatness.