As a company that provides so many people with a wide range of services, Giant Eagle needs a truly extensive website. And they’ve done just that. With so many options for everything ranging from recipes to ordering contact lenses, this website can help any customer in need.
In the header of the page you’ll find a search bar, store locator, and shopping cart. These are important tools so it’s good that Giant Eagle put them in an easily accessible spot. The icons are recognizable and accompanied by text, just in case a visitor is not familiar with them (the shopping cart text is available when you hover the mouse over it).
Next you’ll see a banner advertising their Curbside Express—a new feature that allows patrons to order their groceries online for curbside pickup at your nearest Giant Eagle. How cool! This is such a clever, customer-focused service for a grocery store; it’s smart of Giant Eagle to advertise this in a clear, highly visible area.
Below that, you’ll find the main navigation bar, offering savings, products and services, recipes and planning, online ordering, pharmacy and wellness, and gift cards. Each of these options has a drop down menu with links to more specific routes. What’s great about this navigation bar is that it puts savings first, since that’s so important to anyone putting together a shopping list!
Up next is their main above-the-fold content—an image link to their weekly ad. If you click on it, it links to a page that asks for your location and then provides the specific deals at a Giant Eagle closest to you. This provides a personal experience.
Lower on the page you’ll find more image-based links promoting online shopping (again), signing up for an Advantage Card, online coupon offers (eOffers), and sales and deals on seasonal items. Seasonal promotions are a feature that helps keep the website current with what customers have in mind today (like stuff for Flu Season!).
At the bottom of the page you’ll find links to their email list, social media, fuelperks credit card, about page, customer service options, and quick links (which tie back to the links in the main navigation bar).
Finally at the very bottom are links to the websites of the different business brands of the Giant Eagle company (Market District, GetGo, Curbside Express).
Overall, the site packs in a lot of helpful content, and the best part is that it’s still very light and loads very quickly. The current page weight is 1.4MB which is well under the average of 1.7MB.
Likewise, its loading time of 2.6-4.2 seconds (with the first byte loading at .26 seconds) is fantastic, considering the average is 6.2 seconds. The site also only has 71 requests, which is on par with the average.
Still, it never hurts to specify image dimensions and optimize images. With so much content, it is important to take up as little space as possible.
A main problem with the site is browser
responsiveness. As you make your browser window smaller, the site stays fixed at a certain width, not adapting its content to your viewport size. Unfortunately, this may require you to horizontally scroll to view the site.
We found 93 HTML errors and 61 CSS errors that should be addressed.
A main problem with the site is browser responsiveness. As you make your browser window smaller, the site stays fixed at a certain width, not adapting its content to your viewport size. Unfortunately, this may require you to horizontally scroll to view the site.
It also had some trouble with the WAVE test for accessibility, which gave it 17 errors and 53 alerts. The errors were generally empty links or headings—meaning that there were links containing no text and headers containing no content. This is important because if a link contains no text, the function or purpose of the link is not accessible to the user using accessibility tools such as keyboard and screen readers. Similar for heading content – when a heading has no content, it will present no information, and keyboard and screen reader users who navigate by heading elements may end up confused.
It also had some trouble with the WAVE test for accessibility, which gave it 17 errors and 53 alerts. The errors were generally empty links or headings—meaning that there were links containing no text and headers containing no content.
There is an alternate, ‘mobile’ site served to users who visit on mobile devices (this partially explains Giant Eagle’s decision to not worry about making their ‘desktop’ website responsive).
The mobile site is simple and direct. It focuses on customers’ main needs for store sales, a store locator, recipes, pharmacy links, articles, Curbside Express, and more.
The mobile speed is a bit on the slow side. Also, it does not have basic navigation. This is a tricky area, since the mobile page itself is basically a navigation menu. But if you enter a menu page, such as “Pharmacy”, you are taken to “m.gianteaglerx.com”. From this page, there is no menu-based way to navigate back to the main Giant Eagle site. Using the mobile phone’s “back” button simply reloads the page. Clicking the Giant Eagle logo reloads the Pharmacy page; we expected it to take us back to the main Giant Eagle page.
…on a Samsung Galaxy s6 and iPhone 6, the mobile site asked for location and we declined. From that point on, every visit provided a pop-up alert saying, “Failed to capture geolocation coordinates.”
From a Giant Eagle-based menu page, such as “Stores”, a user can click the Giant Eagle logo to return to the main page.
And finally, on a Samsung Galaxy s6 and iPhone 6, the mobile site asked for location and we declined. From that point on, every visit provided a pop-up alert saying, “Failed to capture geolocation coordinates.” If “OK” was clicked, the pop-up and the mobile site both close. At no point in the future were we given a new chance to provide location information.
The mobile site does provide a link to download the Giant Eagle app, which provides a much cleaner, fully thought-out navigation experience, and more colorful browsing all around.
Overall, it seems that the mobile site is really an afterthought compared to the app, which is troublesome because the app is only for iPhones and therefore denies a better mobile experience to non-Apple users.
All told, Giant Eagle’s website really packs a punch with valuable, customer-focused information. It manages to be attractive, light, and fast.
Make sure to head to their website and try out Curbside Express today!