Glovo vs. Deliveroo: UX comparison

As an avid fan of delicious-food-being-delivered-to-your-doorstep, this competitive analysis was a real treat to undertake. Also, with the covid pandemic still looming, food delivery services are taking a large part of our disposable income (or is it just me?), so this industry seemed a natural choice for scrutiny.

First things first — quick overview of these companies:

Glovo was founded in Barcelona in 2015 by two local chaps. The business has since expanded to 20 countries and 400 cities. Although the core business is restaurant food delivery (IMHO), Glovo is a courier service for anything from “food to nappies” as they say. They aim to offer convenient delivery service of literally anything, within every city.

Photo by Connor Houtman on Unsplash

Deliveroo was founded in 2013 in London by an American, frustrated by the lack of good delivery service in the city he decided to create one. Since then, Deliveroo has expanded to 12 countries and 200 cities providing online food delivery services. The focus of the business is restaurant food delivery, and bringing quality restaurant food to peoples homes.

Photo by Thomas de LUZE on Unsplash

Now you have been introduced to these companies, we can move on to the specifics of this project.

The aim of this UX focused competitor analysis

My aim is to evaluate and compare the service design, features and usability of competitors Glovo and Deliveroo. The focus of this study will only be on food delivery service offering.

In order to provide a consistent analysis, I used the same analysis methodology for each product. This involved using heuristic standards as the framework for evaluation, through the lens of a typical user journey:

  • User-flow of main function of app (e.g. choosing & ordering a take away)

So, lets dig in.

User-flow — ordering a take away for delivery

Task outline: to order a take away for delivery to my home in Barcelona. I was hungry and looking for some delicious comfort food after a long, hard week working from home.

First impressions and initial interactions

Glovo’s app has strong branding and the bright green and yellow evoke a feeling of freshness and joy. However, as Glovo has a broad offering of delivery services, the opening menu of options to choose from is varied and quite confusing. The initial “what can we get you?” CTA within the search bar is not prominent enough on the page. So there are choices & actions you need to take right away, and you don’t feel guided through them.

In fact I have to click twice and navigate 2 menus to confirm that I want restaurant food delivery before I reach the listings page. Having “Glovofertas” and “McDonalds” as options here in the second screen seems odd and a little premature — I want to browse please!

Glovo listings flow

Micro-interactions and animations fit with the overall joyful vibes of the app, and I enjoy the playful magic wand graphic with “Anything” being offered to be possible!

Deliveroo also has some strong branding with the cute little deliveroo kangaroo (I think?!) animation. The feeling is playful and excites you for the prospect of treating yourself. Unlike Glovo, we jump straight in the listings page — so we are able to scroll, search and research our dinner choice straight away. The search bar is prominently shown, with clear instructions of how to search “Dishes, restaurants or cuisines” and the filter icon to the side is clearly recognisable. Also, below the search bar we have a quick filters bar, from which you can choose a type of food “Offers, Groceries, Pizza, Sushi…” — the most common filters used perhaps? If this was personalised to your most used filters, that could be an improvement.

deliveroo listings page

The listings shown below the search bar include promotions and Featured restaurants — generic results that are not personalised. It is quite clear that you are entrance of the restaurant directory, and you are enticed into beginning your search for your meal.

User Journey Flow

I created a user-flow diagram with annotations of “pain points” and “joy sparks” observed during my experiences using both deliveroo and Glovo to research and place order for takeaway. NOTE — This does not include the post-order flow of delivery.

The speech bubbles above and below the denoted user journey demonstrate the annotations of each part of the journey flow.

Yellow=Glovo

Green= deliveroo

Please follow along and read the annotations for each product app. I wonder if you feel my pain and share my joy in the same places?

UX journey flow deliveroo vs Glovo

Evaluation and Comparison

First, I decided to categorise each notable response to this user journey above into positive/negative, based on the emotional response triggered. By categorising each experience into positive/negative, I can quantify the overall experience value of each app. Using these data points, I can then make a comparison of the percentage of positive vs. negative experiences of each app.

From this data analysis, we can see that with the deliveroo app the experience was 87% positive compared to Glovo’s 60% of experience being experienced as positive emotionally.

We can use these results as evidence that deliveroo is delivering a quite notably more (+27%) positive user journey for the user. But this only tells a small part of the story, we need to dig deeper into the value and profundity of those positive and negative experiences.

For example, although one product may be provoking less negative responses, it only takes one very negative interaction to make the user leave the application, e.g. if the credit card information fields are not working/delivering an error message.

However, we can use this data to get a preliminary idea and comparison of these experiences, and from this we fill in the qualitative gaps to get a deeper sense of the user’s journey.

I will split this evaluation & comparison into three sections of the journey that fell naturally into separate categories because of their different user intentions.

  1. Exploring & Choosing Restaurants

I found the exploration of restaurants on deliveroo far superior to Glovo, and this was mainly due to the advanced filtering available. Using deliveroo, I could choose multiple filters at once, a functionality not available within Glovo. Deliveroo also provide a filter for dietary requirements, which I felt was a proactive approach to this potentially very important customer requirement — compared to Glovo which simply offer an ability to add a note to your order.

I also liked how with deliveroo, you could see how many restaurants were listed in each category before you choose it, to save wasting time filtering for something with limited scope. It was also very easy to delete these filters from the listings page.

Deliveroo search filters

Although it was possible to sort listings by rating, distance or time (delivery fee not available)— I would prefer to be able to choose these as filters not just sort options. This would allow you to reduce search listings by different criteria other than just cuisine type. This would also allow you to make what can be an incredibly difficult decision, with often overwhelming choice, more easy.

As previously mentioned, Glovo is limited by its ability to only filter by one cuisine. Similarly to deliveroo, you are also only able to sort not filter, by rating, distance or delivery fee (time not available on Glovo). Again, same note as for deliveroo, I think this is limiting.

The Glovo design aesthetic was much more inviting to me, using cute icons to indicate the cuisine type is a really neat feature. Also, it is quick to remove filters from listings page, the small cross is easily recognisable as “remove” icon. I just wish I could do more complex filtering on this page!

Glovo search filters

Both products offer search function within the listing page, which is helpful but only really if you have a concrete idea of which restaurant or dish you are looking for. Again, not for the indecisive!

Within the restaurant listings, Glovo shows you the minimum information needed: rating, delivery time and delivery fee (and offers if available). I would argue that the Glovo ratings are not very meaningful as percentage thumbs up; I prefer deliveroo star rating approach which is more familiar and holds more value.

Deliveroo also gives you more information at a glance within the listing page. In addition to the information Glovo show, they also show you the distance and cuisine type. The deliveroo listings page is a little visually busy due to this extra information, however.

2. Restaurant Info & Choosing Food

The restaurant page is important for giving the user two things. Firstly, more information and selling the restaurant itself (like looking through the window into the restaurant). Secondly, showcasing the delicious (hopefully) menu available.

Deliveroo have a great initial visual impact using the large carousel of images at the top of the restaurant page. I did find the auto-scroll of the carousel a little distracting, but it does showcase the products better than Glovo’s initial restaurant page display.

Restaurant page: deliveroo (left), Glovo (right)

The information displayed is similar and both include:

  • Restaurant name
  • Delivery time
  • Rating
  • Delivery/Pick-up option to change

However, Glovo offers more transparency on delivery fees by displaying this at top of page as one of its 4 top information icons. I think the Glovo design here is much more clear and concise than deliveroo. In the case of deliveroo, I think the font size is too small, and amount of text could be streamlined and icons used.

However, deliveroo does share more information and features, showing a more detailed introduction to the restaurant. For example they include:

  • Restaurant address & distance from location
  • Cuisine type
  • Rating details
  • Allergy information
  • Restaurant details
  • Feature: link to Google Maps to see location
  • Feature: Share restaurant through social media, whatsapp etc.

Despite drawbacks in the visual design here, deliveroo offers more information and functionality for the user than Glovo.

Moving on to the menu…

I found deliveroo’s menu easier to navigate, the menu was clear and I could hop around different categories of food easily, flipping between starters, curries, deserts. In contrast, the restaurant menu on Glovo was split into categories but it was not easy to navigate between them and the menu felt long and overwhelming to view. However, the search function here helps to find the dish you have in mind, and is prominently shown at the top of the page. The search function is also available for deliveroo but it is indicated more subtly with a search icon in the top right corner.

Menu: deliveroo (left), Glovo (right)

Item descriptions & images

Browsing deliveroo’s menu (above left), you notice there is much more consistency with the images and descriptions provided. Although Glovo do offer images and descriptions, it is not uniform across all items. Both products offer the function of clicking on the item to see more details and larger image, although it is not as intuitive to the user that this function is available within Glovo’s app.

Add item: deliveroo (left), Glovo (right)

Adding items to basket

As shown above you can add items to basket through the item description overlay within both Glovo and deliveroo apps. However, Glovo also offer the function to add and remove items from the menu page itself, which is much more efficient, especially for the indecisive amongst us! I really like this feature as it feels like you are sketching out your order before you make a final decision.

Glovo add item function

3. Payment and Order Confirmation

I have to start by saying that I think both Glovo and deliveroo offer an efficient order confirmation flow, taking advantage of saved user information at all stages. For example, both have the option to save your delivery and card details, which are without a doubt the most painful to re-enter time and time again.

Other features both Glovo and deliveroo offer and that are well displayed:

  • delivery address and time change/schedule
  • add allergy information
  • cutlery option

Now to look at each flow in more detail…

Overall, Glovo provides the most streamlined flow to order your food asap. All information is input on the one page, and therefore within one more click your order is placed. Continuing the usability design from the menu page, it is very easy to update the order using the plus and minus icons on the order confirmation page also. I would have liked the order total to be sticky to the bottom as it was in previous pages, it is quite hidden right at the end of the page along with all the small print. In contrast, the Glovo Prime advert is very large and prominent — perhaps this could be toned down in order to give more room for relevant information.

Deliveroo also allows you to update your order but its not as quick or easy as Glovo. I also think it is not very intuitive that the order is clickable to edit. This can cause confusion and frustration as perhaps the user will go back to the menu page to edit.

I value the attention that deliveroo pays to offer answers to user questions surrounding delivery, service and order fees. This level of transparency is reassuring to the user, especially in contrast with Glovo’s courier fee info, which is some vague small print near the order total. I also really enjoy how much deliveroo celebrates the adding of rider tips with the confetti animation and slowly smiling face, it adds a warm feeling to the experience and the branding. Furthermore, they offer the ability to add a restaurant tip also.

Deliveroo also provide the highest level of order customisation at this point, with the option to add order notes as well as rider notes just in case.

deliveroo order confirmation

Concluding points

From this initial research, I can summarise that there are two overarching tensions I believe differentiate Glovo and deliveroo.

Visual appeal vs. functionality

Glovo has strong, cute branding throughout and I find the aesthetics are more appealing and the visual design is cleaner BUT, this sometimes comes at the cost of a fuller functionality. This can be contrasted with deliveroo’s more utility-focused design, with more information available and extra features BUT this sometimes complicates the user flow or visual appeal.

Efficiency vs. attention to detail

Whilst using Glovo’s app I feel like they really understand the desperate hunger of the user when they are trying to order food delivery! They have really streamlined the process to its most basic to facilitate an efficient experience. In contrast, deliveroo offer a more detail orientated experience, aiming to satisfy not only the hunger of the user but all other issues or doubts that could come up within the order journey. Do we care about courier fee transparency when we are gagging for a pizza on a Friday night? Possibly not, but I feel like deliveroo is almost asking us to be more conscious.

And so, which did I order from in the end? A secret I’ll never tell.

Feature recommendations

Overall I would say that despite the more advanced filters of deliveroo, the hardest part of the user journey is still…. choosing the restaurant!! I think there is a really great opportunity to improve this area of the user journey, which is the one which most often takes the most time and causes the most frustration (and arguments!).

This could be achieved through (some quick ideation examples):

  • creating shareable lists of favourite restaurants between friends
  • using more suggested restaurants based on history
  • filters by restaurant rating / delivery time
  • filters based on users mood — I’m in the mood for comfort food, health conscious…
  • gamifing the experience

I will leave you with this food for thought:

How might we make choosing the restaurant the most fun and easy part of the user experience?

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Geraldine Wastell

Geraldine Wastell

I am a research & marketing professional with a passion for understanding the human story behind the data.