Differences in Navigation Experience The major differences in the navigation experience that I observed between navigating in-store and navigating online were few. First, at the top of the starbucks.com homepage, there lists the top major categories of the site including a Menu and Shop button. On the other hand, when you enter the store you first navigate your way through small and large shelving units in the middle of the storefront floor and lining the adjacent ways from the entrance. From there you walk past these shelving units containing products to purchase to then coming up to the coffee bar area to order food and drinks. The products in the shelving units would be in the “Shop” section and the food and beverages would be in the “Menu” and “Coffeehouse” sections of the homepage. One click away opposed to ten steps. Second, the online navigation differs from the in-store navigation because you do not have the option to purchase single beverages online.
In-Store Navigation Difficulties The most difficult parts of navigating the store included the mass amounts of people waiting in line to give their orders and pay. It takes a while for me to order my specific beverage. Then the Barista has to make my drink while I wait for my drink to be made. This holds up the line. Additionally, not all the menu options and customizations are listed on the blackboard in the store. I like to add Splenda to my drinks, however nowhere on the Menu does it mention anything about sweeteners. It seems that people who frequent Starbucks and know their way around including the various options of drinks are at an advantage to receiving exactly what they want.
Online Navigation Difficulties The most difficult parts of navigating the website include the labeling of two links on the homepage entitled “Coffeehouse” and “Menu”. I wanted to purchase a tea drink so I assumed that this would be under the “Coffeehouse” link opposed to the “Menu” link, which I thought would have food items. After clicking on the “Coffeehouse” link I realize that this is for listings of the various coffee products, where they are from, and what they taste like. I scroll back to the Homepage and click on the “Menu” link, which ended up being the correct way to navigate what I was looking for. After clicking on the tea drink I wanted to purchase I find out that you cannot order individual drinks online, but are then given the option to find the nearest Starbucks location to see if the desired drink is in stock.
Conclusions Users would not execute the task of purchasing a single beverage online, but would in-store. This is obvious, but I think it is smart for starbucks.com ‘s navigation to provide the option of helping the online user locate where the nearest drink can be purchased. Having the “Menu” option allows consumers to browse to available drinks and food so that when they navigate in-store they will quickly be able to tell the Barista what they would like, therefore making theirs and others’ in-store navigation experience more efficient.