Want to order 200 grams of ham directly from the couch? The marketing department of the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences is testing this out.



INTERSPAR is active in the food, household goods and non-food sector. It is the largest subsidiary of the SPAR Austria Group. As an operator of hypermarkets and bakeries, INTERSPAR has around 10,000 employees with headquarters in Salzburg.


The aim of the project was to test the user-friendliness of the INTERSPAR online shop for food to derive concrete suggestions for improvement. In the first step, a short comparison of different areas of the online shop with other competing online food shops was made in order to then test as many areas of the online shop with concrete shopping scenarios in step two that applied a usability study.


At the beginning of the research project, various areas of the shop (for example, the search function and the check-out area) were examined more closely and compared with the main competitors. Here, a desktop search was able to create a basis for further investigations. Then, in collaboration with INTERSPAR, a specific task was created in which classic shopping on the web shop is simulated. Based on existing analysis data of INTERSPAR, the task involved the purchase of various everyday goods. To collect the data, the group opted for an eye-tracking study using the Voice Aloud method.

The advantage of eye-tracking studies is that in addition to conscious behavior, unconscious and often purchase-critical gaze behavior can be observed and analyzed. A questionnaire was used to query various important areas or variables such as satisfaction scores to provide an optimal decision-making aid for future adaptations and improvements in the webshop. The research group also created different versions for testing on mobile devices and stationary PCs. Here is an example of a test on a stationary PC:


A total of 38 subjects in the business administration BWI research lab at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences were tested in the study. About two-thirds of the participants conducted the usability study on a PC, and a third on mobile devices. The participant acquisition also paid close attention to acquiring different age groups to be able to compare these to each other.

The data analysis was roughly divided into the three areas of check-in, purchasing and check-out. These areas included a wide range of emphases – from the exact product view to the search type and the use of special functions. For the exact evaluation of the eye-tracking data, the team used different key figures such as time to first fixation, fixation duration, fixation number and the number of saccades. The results were visualized using heat maps and various graphical representations of the key figures. Here are two examples:



The evaluation of the questionnaires as well as sound recording took place using Excel as well as the statistical software SPSS. Here, a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative data could be generated to facilitate possible future decisions to improve the homepage. A small excerpt from the qualitative data is shown below:


 General information:


Project manager:

Arno Kinzinger

Team faculty members:

Sarah Arrenberger, Anna-Maria Buchegger, Lisa Schmidhammer

Contact person INTERSPAR:

Linda Engel, Michael Bermadinger

Project duration:

March 7th, 2017 to July 26th, 2017