The UX audit of your online store – what it is and how can it help you?
Impeccable user experience is probably the most important aspect of every online store. If you want to attract and retain customers, you have to offer them a quick and convenient shopping experience, many delivery and payment options, and a broad offer. However, a typical UX audit focuses strictly on the way your website/app works. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
What is a UX audit?
UX audit is an analysis of your online store and the way it works. It aims to find out whether your website or app is:
- Fully functional
- Intuitive to use (even for less tech-savvy users)
- Aligned with modern trends and customer requirements
Today, there are many boxes to tick in the e-commerce business. You have to offer at least several payment and delivery options, provide sufficient product descriptions along with high-quality photos and other forms of getting acquainted with the product (e.g., augmented reality or 360 presentations), 24/7 customer service (primarily through chatbots), intuitive navigation and understandable menu and product categories, and several other elements.
The UX audit has to find out whether your customers can find everything they need to place an order, whether the purchasing process is clear and easy to follow, and whether everything is correct from a technical standpoint. If there is anything that needs fixing or improving, the UX audit should provide you with a specific recommendation.
What are the benefits of a UX audit?
E-commerce is dynamically developing. Stores that were successful ten years ago can be in dire straits today (provided they didn’t grow with the market and adjust to it). Customer expectations change; new payment options arise; new technologies emerge; new services become popular – the list is long. You have to be aware of all that, and the UX audit will help you assess whether your store can successfully compete with others in the market.
On the other hand, if something needs improvements, you can implement them quickly and get back on track with your business. Be in no doubt; e-commerce is not an easy market sector. On the contrary, stores have to grow and up their game continually. Only this way you can outrun your competitors and thrive.
What should be taken into consideration during the UX audit?
Every UX audit comprises several steps. Of course, these audits can differ depending on who conducts them, but there are several must-have elements. Here they are:
INTERVIEW WITH THE CLIENT AND RESEARCH
A professional auditing company starts by finding out as much as they can about the given store. What industry does it operate in? Who are its customers? What products are offered? Typically, we get these questions answered during the interview with the client. We have a ready-made list of questions, which helps us in getting all the information we need.
A COGNITIVE WALKTHROUGH
Here, our UX specialist plays a role of an ordinary customer. They have some ready-made scenarios, and they try to perform specific actions in the store to see how easy they are to complete (and, of course, if everything is operational from the technical point of view). Such actions can be, e.g., to:
- Place an order
- Send a question to customer service
- Have a conversation with a chatbot
- Find a specific product
- Change the order once it’s placed, etc.
Also, at this point, we assess if all the elements are fully visible, easy to click, and understandable. You have to know that not every user has to have perfect sight or speak your language like a native speaker. If you use some difficult terms or buttons are small (this is a common problem in mobile apps), you potentially lose some customers.
THE EXAMINATION OF THE STORE’S ANALYTICS DATA
Today, almost every store has at least one analytics tool. Typically, it’s Google Analytics, but that’s not the only option. To conduct a thorough UX audit, we need access to the store’s analytics. We need to see what are typical user behaviors on your website and if there are any alarming symptoms. For example, if the bounce rate is high, this means that there is something on the main page that discourages potential customers. The more numbers we have, the better our assessment.
THE WEBSITE’S PERFORMANCE AND MOBILE-FRIENDLINESS
That’s the last but still critical element. First of all, some time ago, Google introduced the mobile-first indexing policy, which means that it’s the mobile (not desktop) version of your store that’s indexed in Google. Therefore, the mobile version of your store has to be flawless. And secondly, you have to be aware of the latest Google requirements called core web vitals. According to them, your website has to load fast (ideally under 2 seconds!) and be stable (the movement of elements during loading a website will give you minus points).
Who should conduct the UX audit?
Usually, you have two options. You can ask your internal team to conduct such an audit or work with an external company, preferably a software house. We strongly recommend the second option. This way, you get an objective set of eyes. A third-party company can spot things that your employees could miss or neglect.
If you want to conduct the UX audit of your website (not necessarily an online store) – our team is at your service. Go to the contact section and drop us a line. We’ll take it from there.