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What does an eCommerce UX audit look like?

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Do you know that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience? That means that 90% of users probably won’t return to your site if they find it unintuitive. This is the one of the reasons why a perfect user experience (UX) is crucial for your business. You just may not get a second chance.

When the pandemic began, people naturally started using digital products more. When cinemas were closed due to COVID-19, Netflix gained 8.5 million paid subscribers in the quarter to reach 203 million, topping 200 million despite recent price hikes. It was the same with the eCommerce industry. Not being able to shop in traditional ways caused an increase in online transactions

What does it mean? Certainly companies that have an online business or have managed to move it online have had some success. On the other hand, there’s more competition on the market and attracting customers may require more commitment. 

As an owner of an eCommerce platform, you can extend an offer in your eshop to outperform your competitors or invest more in advertising, such as Google Ads. It’s worth knowing that the more comprehensive the store's offer, the more difficult it can be to find the product you’re looking for. Investing in advertising is always a good idea, but attracting customers to an online store is only the first step. 

People often don’t convert due to a poor online experience

As we noted at the beginning of this article, research shows that nearly 90% of users may not return to a website if their experience with it is bad. Imagine that you offer your customers a wide range of products. Then you spend money on ads and marketing your website. Now you’re waiting for transactions to happen. You’re checking data in Google Analytics and see that there’s an enormous increase in visits but conversion is really poor. That may mean that users have an issue finding what they’re looking for.

In the case when we have an increase in visits on our website but conversion, which is our main goal, is still poor, the problem most likely occured during the first two steps in the eCommerce funnel: awareness and interest. That means that, because of marketing and advertising, we’ve attracted users. However, that doesn't mean that an increase in visitors will automatically convert into customers. Why? Attracting potential customers to our website is necessary for conversion, but the most important work we have to do starts when the user visits the online shop. Now we have a great user experience in order for the user to quickly look for what they need, see the details of the product that they’re interested in, add it to the basket, and go through the checkout without any complications.

In the eCommerce funnel, it represents the following steps:

  • Consideration based on product specifications
  • Intent to buy exactly this product 
  • Evaluation 
  • Purchase

ecommerce funnel

Why are your customers leaving your shop during checkout?

As you can see, before the user buys a product, there are a lot of steps to take. Each of them may create issues. Some of them could be small but some might be crucial for making the decision about a purchase or leaving the page.

The Baymard Institute asked eCommerce users about the main reasons for leaving an online store during checkout. Part of these issues are caused by customer care, like an unsatisfactory return policy, or logistics, like delivery was too slow. However, most of them are caused by UX issues. Things like forcing the user to create an account, a too long or complicated checkout process, and website errors increase the risk of potential customers abandoning their cart.

reasons for abandonments during checkout

Source: https://baymard.com/research 

A UX audit is the first step to improving the purchase process

Finding out what exactly causes a poor conversion rate requires checking many aspects of the eCommerce site. At Divante, we usually discover those issues through a complex eCommerce UX audit. It’s a method that allows for checking the website in terms of the functional part, like, for example, compatibility with best practices and heuristics, while taking into account the whole process, too.

One of the biggest advantages of a UX audit is a lower cost than in-depth research with users as the first step. In this case, a usability expert can identify most of the common issues and recommend a solution or more research, like in-depth interviews, card sorting, or user tests.

What methodology do we use during the audit?

Our UX audits are based on five pillars:

  1. Nielsen's heuristics: the principles for interaction design and broad rules of usability guidelines
  2. Good practices in UX design focused on eCommerce
  3. Baymard Institute guidance
  4. Cognitive walkthrough: a UX expert takes on the role of a user and goes through the whole purchase process
  5. Our experience in designing eCommerce platforms

What do you get after a UX audit?

The main deliverable of the audit is a comprehensive report that contains:

  • A description of the error and where it exists.
  • A recommendation for the solution based on good practices.
  • Examples of benchmarks, meaning how other companies do it right
  • A step-by-step description of the cognitive walkthrough that shows how the buying flow looks from the user's perspective.
UX report example

Besides the description of the errors, we deliver the classification of the errors divided into categories, such as technical, functional, visual, and conceptual, and their priority. We classify the same errors according to the impact on the UX, like critical, important, and minor errors.

Those two dimensions allow us to present those errors on the matrix defined by category and priority. This helps you to assess which of them are the most important and have the biggest impact on your business. In short, you know what drags you down, how to solve it, and what to focus on to solve the most pressing issues.

eCommerce audit error matrix example

When the report is ready, we’ll want to meet to present the outcomes and recommendations.

A UX audit is an entry point to better business results

A UX audit can help you identify any issues with the UX on your eCommerce website. This is important because a good user experience is essential for the success of an eCommerce business. A poor UX can lead to a high bounce rate, a low conversion rate, and, ultimately, lower sales.

If you want to improve the UX on your website, let’s talk about details.

Published February 24, 2023