FAQ and Tutorials

How do I sign up?
  • Click "sign up" at the bottom of the log-in page and enter your email and a password
  • You should receive an email to your registered account to complete sign up
What should I do if I’m not receiving confirmation email after sign up?
Please do the following in this order…
  1. Check your spam folders
  2. Go to the log-in page and click "Didn’t receive confirmation instructions?" to have the email re-sent to you
  3. Try signing up with a different email address. Especially if you are signing up using an institutional email address, your spam filters may block our email
  4. If you’re still experiencing problems, please email Holly at holly.howe@duke.edu
How do I create an experimental condition?
Are my participants actually shipped the products they order?
No. Participants will not be sent any of the groceries they check out with.
Is any identifiable information collected from my participants while they’re in the store?
No. Howe’s grocery does not collect identifiable information. Howe’s grocery is designed to be linked to Qualtrics or other survey platforms (see below). If you want to collect identifying information, it must be done on those survey platforms.
Can I add questions for participants to complete after check out?
No. Howe’s grocery is designed to be linked to Qualtrics or other survey platforms (see below). Any additional questions should be asked using those platforms.
How can I integrate Howe’s grocery into my Qualtrics survey?
How can I change the way products are labeled?
What does it look like? Name What is it? How can I change it?
Healthy Stars Labels

Healthy stars labels appear below all the products in Howe’s grocery.

The labels are based on the “Guiding Stars” system and score foods from 0 stars (not at all healthy) to 3 stars (very healthy).

The algorithm for Healthy Stars can be found here

Healthy stars can be toggled on an off using the check box (“Show healthy stars") at the bottom of the labeling tab
On-image Labels

You can specify any image to be overlaid on the product image.

You can upload your own image label (Supported Formats: JPEG, GIF, PNG, PDF, IMG) or use a pre-fabricated one.

Using our calculator, you can specify when you would like the nutrition label to appear

You can choose the size of the label and where it appears on the image

I would like to use a label that is not based on nutrition information (like "Organic" or "SNAP Eligible")
This function is not currently available in the store, but we would love to work with you to create it. Please email holly.howe@duke.edu with your requested feature to discuss further.
Can I add more than one label to foods?
Yes! The healthy stars label can be combined with any on-image label. Researchers can also add multiple on-image labels. To see how, watch the video below.

How can I change the way products are sorted/ordered?
  • By default, products are ordered by product ID number. This number is based on how products were ordered when we scraped them from grocery websites
  • Under the "sorting" tab, researchers can change how products are ordered
  • If you would like to sort by a single variable (e.g., price, calories) you can do that by clicking "A specific field" in the sorting tab and inputting the field you would like to sort by
  • If you would like to sort based on a calculation (e.g., Protein/serving + Fiber/serving) you can do that by clicking "The following calculation" in the sorting tab and entering your equation
  • If you would like to allow participants to choose how the store is sorted, you can add options by clicking the dropdown menu on the right side of the sorting page. From there, you can select what features you would like participants to be able to sort by
I would like to add my own way of ordering the store (e.g., showing "WIC Eligible" or "Organic" items on top)
This function is not currently available in the store, but we would love to work with you to create it. Please email holly.howe@duke.edu with your requested feature to discuss further.
Can I create a custom category other than the ones listed?
Yes! Navigate to the "Categories" tab within an experimental condition. Then do the following steps
  1. Download the product data by clicking the button on the top right of the screen
  2. In the csv file, you will see the product ID, name, and current categorization of products within the store
  3. To add a new category, select "Download Product Data" from the "Categories" tab. Add the main menu selection under the "Custom Category 1" column and the subcategory under the "Custom Subcategory 1" column for each product for which you want to apply the custom category and subcategory. You can use the additional Custom Category and Subcategory columns (i.e. Custom Category 2", "Custom Subcategory 2", etc.) to add additional custom categories to products. Then use the "Replace file" option to upload the customized product categories CSV file for the current condition
If an item is in a custom category, does it still appear in its original category?
Yes. For example, if you add 1% milk to your "WIC Eligible" category, it will also still appear in the dairy category.
Currently, researchers do not have the ability to turn this category "double dipping" on or off. If that’s a feature you’re interested on working with us to develop, please email holly.howe@duke.edu
Can I change what participants see at check out?
Yes, there are multiple ways in which you can modify the check out screen to deliver a message to participants
  1. You can choose whether you want or do not want participants to see a price total
  2. You can choose whether you want to show participants how healthy their purchases were (e.g., "8/10 purchases you made had a health label")
  3. You can also add a custom image that shows up for all participants, or participants whose cart met a nutritional threshold.
See the video below for more information

Can I modify the nutrition facts labels?
Yes. Navigate to the "Nutrition Facts" tab under any condition. Then, click the area of the Nutrition Facts label you would like to modify and make the relevant changes. Our program currently allows you to change:
  • Text size
  • Text color
  • Font
  • Background color
  • Style (e.g., bold, underlined, strikethrough)
You can modify the labels on every product in the store. Or, you can modify labels that belong only to products that meet certain criteria (e.g., calories < 100).

You cannot currently create multiple nutrition labels that apply in different contexts. For example, you could not say if calories < 100 then Label A, and if 100 < calories < 1000 then Label B, etc. If you are interested in helping us develop this function, please email holly.howe@duke.edu
Can I ensure that participants see the nutrition facts labels?
Yes. On the "Nutrition Facts" tab, click "Only allow items to be added to cart from the product detail page." This forces participants to see the full information about a product (including ingredients and nutrition information) before they add it to their cart.
Can I give participants a budget?
Yes. Navigate to the budgeting tab of a specific condition and input values into one or both of the "participants must spend at least" or "participants must not spend more than".

If participants exceed their budget, they will be given a notification and will be prevented from checking out.
Can I give participants multiple budgets (e.g. a SNAP budget and a personal budget)?
This function is not currently available in the store, but we would love to work with you to create it. Please email holly.howe@duke.edu with your requested feature to discuss further.
Can participants add items to their cart based on dollar amount (e.g., $5 worth of bananas)?
Yes. Navigate to the budgeting tab of a specific condition and select "Allow participants to add items to cart by dollar amount"
Participants can now specify that they would like to add $X worth of a product to their cart versus X number of a product. If adding $X results in a fractional amount of a product (e.g., 1/4 a box of crackers) the store will round down.

The participants will see something that looks like this:
Note that giving participants the option to add items by price does not remove their ability to also add them by number.
Can I give participants a time limit?
You cannot currently give participants a time limit while shopping.
You may be able to work-around this limitation by using an iFrame and a timer question in Qualtrics. However, if participants do not check out, their data will only be recorded in the "All participants actions" download.
Do you have the SKUs for the products in the store?
We do not currently have a record of the SKUs for products in the store. We would love to work with you to add this data. Please email holly.howe@duke.edu with your requested feature to discuss further.
Can I see the data of people who did not check out?
Data from participants who did not check out is stored in the "all participant actions" data set but will not appear in the "products in cart at check out" data summary.
What data is collected from participants?
Two data sets are available for download: "All participant actions" and "Products in cart at checkout"
Data All participant actions Products in cart at check out
Participant ID (called "Session ID")
What participants check out with
What participants remove from their cart
Products participants get more detail on, but do not add to cart
The nutrition information of the items participants checked out with
The categories of the items participants checked out with
In what order participants added items to their cart Indirectly through time stamp data
The cost of the items participants checked out with
What condition participants were in Indirectly through ID matching with Qualtrics
Can I know how long participants looked at an item?
This function is not currently available in the store, but we would love to work with you to create it. Please email holly.howe@duke.edu with your requested feature to discuss further.
How do I download my data?
  • After logging in, click on the experiment you want data from
  • From the experimental screen, click "download data" from the top right corner
  • Select whether you would prefer "All participant actions" or "Products in cart at checkout" (see the FAQ section: "What data is collected from participants?" to know the difference between the two)
Contact us: Holly Howe - holly.howe@duke.edu