Well-ca Site Review – 5 Most Important Ecommerce Quality Factors

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca Home page

Well-ca Site Review – 5 Most Important Ecommerce Quality Factors

Well.ca Site Review -Canadian Health, Beauty Retailer

This week we will be reviewing our first Canadian retailer – well.ca to see: how well the site performs, how easy it is to make a purchase and whether the price is right. You can read all about our framework and evaluation methods in this article: https://www.eradium.com/quality-of-ecommerce-websites-5-most-important-factors/

We will be mostly reviewing Canadian retailers as they are falling short of our friends south of the border and would benefit from improving their operations based on our reviews and recommendations.

Let’s review some statistics that compare American and Canadian eCommerce shopping habits. (1)

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca canada ecommerce spending
Eradium ecommerce review well.ca use ecommerce spending

The following infographics provides more statistics about the US eCommerce growth (2)

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca usa online sales stats

Below is infographics that tell Canadian eCommerce story (3)

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca canada online sales stats
Eradium ecommerce review well.ca canada selling online

Our evaluation framework takes into consideration the following five factors:

  1. Functional features of the site
  2. Cognitive factor – perceived conscious efforts to complete a purchase
  3. Emotional appeal of the site
  4. Product selection
  5. Price competitiveness


All features will be rated from 1* to 5* scores, where 1 means poor and 5 is great

About well.ca:

Well.ca is Canada’s online Health, Beauty, and Baby store with a focus on Green & Natural products. We carry more than 50,000 products from over 3000 brands, with the speedy delivery right to your door!

Our focus is on giving customers a simple and hassle‐free shopping experience with a personalized touch with each package shipped. With over 100 employees and 1 million orders shipped, we are great at making the lives of busy Canadians a little bit easier.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca logo

1.   Functional Factor

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca fail mark

Well.ca Home Page

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca Home page

1 . eCommerce Platform Fit – SCORE: 2.5

Well.ca uses the custom developed e-commerce platform for the storefront and the back-end logistic system operations. (4) The platform is written in PHP, Ajax and utilizes third-party cloud services such as Google Analytics, Optimizely for A/B testing, Adroll for retargeting and others. The site did not have a mobile version when we tested it  in November 2015.

While the custom software provides customization flexibility for Well.ca the platform is definitely behind the leading e-commerce systems on the market. The Well. ca eCommercee platform is missing many features that are expected from the tier-1 eCommerce sites. We discuss some of those features in the specific section of this review. The e-commerce software evolved significantly from the early days of shopping carts to the modern platforms that provide many features in the core systems. Popular platforms also created ecosystems with marketplaces of extensions around the core systems, for instance, the Magento Connect marketplace or the Shopify App store.

It requires significant investments in the research and development to keep a proprietary system to be comparable with the leading eCommerce platforms from IBM, Oracle, Magento, SAP, Demandware or Shopify.

2. The site speed performance – SCORE: 3

The site speed performance is also below the ecommerce sites average. You may see here the speed test   report card from the test that we perform with dynatrace.com web performance testing tools:

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca speed test report cart

3.    Mobile Friendly – SCORE: 1

The site is not mobile optimized at all.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca mobile veiw

4.    Search – SCORE: 2

The search results bring too many items and it is very hard to narrow down the search to find the exact item you are looking for. The page also does not have proper pagination and takes a long time to load.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca search

5. Real-Time Inventory – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

Product Page

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca related products
6. Zoom Feature – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

7. Product Comparisons – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

8. Live Chat –  SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

9. Product Demos- SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

10. Product Description – SCORE: 2

There is not enough information to make a fast and easy decision based on the information provided. There needs to be a lot more product specific description.

11. Cross-sell popular and related products – SCORE: 3

The products displayed are directly related to the item shown. For example for socks the recommended should be matching clothes or shoes. Simply having alternative socks is not really helpful to increase the basket size.

Check Out Process

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca shopping cart
Eradium ecommerce review well.ca checkout
12. Payment Options –  SCORE: 5
Eradium ecommerce review well.ca payment options

There is a large variety of payments available to please the different types of buyers.

13. Express Checkout – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca account
14. Security – SCORE: 1

There is no clear indication of security certificates or measurements taken to protect the data.


15. Order Tracking – SCORE: 3

You can track an order as it is placed.

16 .Past Order Display – SCORE: 4

Easy to view and purchase past products.

17. Favorite products  – SCORE: 0

There is no such functionality on the site.

18 . Communication preferences  – SCORE: 2

There is no ability to manage the frequency or type of communication to be received. It is only yes or no options for both generic and baby club subscription.

This is the email that I received once I have added items to the shopping cart and have not completed the purchase.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca email
19. Wish List/Registry – SCORE: 4

There is the ability to add items to the wish list for retrieval at a later date.


2. Cognitive Factor

A retail website must be easy to navigate and help visitors find relevant information quickly. Knowing your audience is the key to creating an effective site by combining the right elements in order to have the best appeal to your shoppers.

Site Structure and Information Architecture

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca main menu
1. Search – SCORE: 4

Is found in a prominent location but the light colors get it hard to find.

2. Site Navigation – SCORE: 3

There are a number of navigations present through the site. The main navigation is consistent and easy to follow. The secondary navigation items do not interfere with the main navigation elements.

3. Alternate Views – SCORE: 0

There are no alternative views of the products.

4. Visual Cues- SCORE: 4

The key elements such as shopping cart and other calls to actions such seasonal and sales clearly stand out from the rest of the navigation.


3. Emotional Factor

Emotional connection of a website to the target market

1. Show Products on Human Models – SCORE: 0

This functionality is not present on the site.

2. Quality of Image- SCORE: 2

The site presents generic product photos. There are no distinctive images creates for this specific site.

3. Share Buttons – SCORE: 4

Share buttons are included for Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

4. Email a Friend’ Button- SCORE: 0

This functionality is not present on the site.

5. Consumer Reviews- SCORE: 3

The reviews are very basic and do not have more advanced features such helpfulness and category ratings.

6. Make it easy to call you –  SCORE: 2

There is no easy or visible way to see the contact information.


3. Product Selection

Variety of Products

It is critical to have a variety of products that you specialize in, whether it is a specific category or type of product.

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca skip hop product page

Product availability

1.    Color options – SCORE: 2

There is no good color options selection. Products are displayed as different products once they are a different color. There has to be a better integration between the products and all its options.

2.    Size options –  SCORE: 2

There needs to be a better connection between color and size option. You need to be able to select the color and then only the sizes that are available in this color should display.


5. Price Factor

Is it Amazon Competitive?

Random sample of 3 products:


Eradium ecommerce review well.ca amazon price

WELL.CA $6.49

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca price

Skip Hop Safety Harness – AMAZON  PRICE $18

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca skip hop amazon price

Skip Hop Safety Harness – WELL.CA $22.99

Eradium ecommerce review well.ca skip hop price

Cascade ActionPacks Dishwasher Detergent – AMAZON $7.54

Cascade ActionPacks Dishwasher Detergent – WELL.CA $9.99

The products that are available at both sites have higher prices on Well.ca site  than on Amazon. There is no actual benefit purchasing them from well.ca. The only way to win is to offer unique products in order not to compete with Amazon head to head.


Our first review of a Canadian retailer falls very short of the perfect eCommerce site. Consider that this retailer considers itself innovative there is definitely a very uphill battle to climb.

5 top recommendations for well.ca for 2016:

radium-ecommerce-review- Check-mark
  1. Mobile site – invest in a proper mobile site
  2. Faster page load – do not load all the products on the page at once, allow pagination
  3. Zoom and alternative product views – allow multiple product shot and proper zoom feature
  4. Better Search filtering – make the filtering more user-friendly
  5. Combine product options and sizing on the same page – people do not want 20 different products for the same product in the same color, dynamic product configurators are better solutions for the color and size option selections


  1. Global eCommerce Sales, Trends and Statistics 2015, http://www.remarkety.com/global-ecommerce-sales-trends-and-statistics-2015
  2. Online shopping increasingly popular, here are the freshest stats, http://theamericangenius.com/business-news/online-shopping-increasingly-popular-here-are-the-freshest-stats/
  3. Ecommerce in Canada 2015; A Sorry State, http://blog.virtuallogistics.ca/ecommerce-in-canada-2015-a-sorry-state
  4. Technology Overview, http://labs.well.ca/
Anna Battrick

Anna Battrick is Eradium’s Director of Ecommerce Services, has an extensive background in retail marketing and project management. With over 10 years of managing complex projects from inception to completion while always maintaining “it can be done” spirit. The world of retail is not only a professional interest but also a personal hobby which lets Anna see the other side of retail, from a shopper perspective. This helps create engaging marketing programs that speak personally to the shoppers interests and engage them in a conversation.