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UX audit success: A beginner’s guide for ecommerce businesses

What goes into a UX audit and why would you consider performing one for your ecommerce site?

A UX audit, also known as a site audit, is a detailed evaluation that spots usability frictions and user experience issues in your ecommerce. By applying proven UX design principles, it aims to fix these issues and boost your conversion rates.

In this article, we provide a simple overview of the UX audit, its benefits, and the main steps needed to conduct a successful audit for your online store.

What is a UX Audit in ecommerce

What is a UX Audit

Imagine that you have an eyewear brand that sells successfully in physical stores, but those same products don’t convert nearly as well on your online store. There may also be instances where you receive negative feedback from online users but you cannot seem to figure out what is the root cause of their dissatisfaction. This is where a UX audit steps in. Its objective is to examine what is going on and provide recommendations to solve issues impacting your online sales and user experience.

“Audit is just another word for Evaluate.”

A UX audit can consist of a team or a tool (or a combination of both) that has the purpose of finding which part of your website or app isn’t working quite right. It shows what’s making things hard for users to find information, search for products, and navigate the purchase process successfully. It is important to note that a UX audit checks your ecommerce using real data or analytics, and outputs suggestions on how to make it better.

Benefits of an ecommerce UX audit

How exactly does a UX audit positively impact your ecommerce business? How does it help you enhance the user experience, increase conversions, and raise profits? Here are the benefits that you gain from a UX audit:

  • It increases user retention by identifying frictions in the user experience.
  • It increases customer satisfaction from improving site functionality.
  • It enables you to make data-driven decisions that help lower costs from customer acquisition.
  • It facilitates better development practices through a more user-centric focus.
  • It allows you to gain a better understanding of what your users wants and needs, optimizing sales efforts.
UX Audit benefits to the user and the business

What does UX audit success really mean

It is important that we understand what success looks like when it comes to a UX audit. Is it achieved when:

  • a user successfully completes a task? (i.e. filling a form) 
  • a user accomplishes an action that contributes directly to business profit? (i.e. finishing a checkout process)
  • a user can understand and make decisions from the information given to them?
  • online store sales go up?
  • resource efficiency or team productivity increases?

While we could say that all of the above matters, in reality most ecommerce business stakeholders still do not understand the value of the user experience. 

A UX audit is truly successful for a business owner if it gets them the outcome that they are already looking for

  • Increased sales / revenue
  • Increase customer retention
  • Reduced costs

Therefore, the success of a UX audit heavily depends on business goals that have specific desired outcomes, and must be both measurable and achievable.

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What does a UX audit consist of

The structure of a UX audit depends on the situation and complexity of the ecommerce business. Nevertheless, there are always 6 key elements that are present in successful ecommerce UX audits.

  1. Determine business goals and desired outcomes
  2. Review platform and user journeys
  3. Review core interaction states (for example, what happens to the site on an initial page load, on a user interaction, and when an error occurs) 
  4. Review existing user analytics
  5. Prioritize issues based on ROI impact
  6. Deliver findings and recommendations for improvement
Valido Audit ROI impact

While a UX audit cannot solve all the problems of an ecommerce website, it can be used to answer the following important questions:

  • What is working, and what is not
  • Which audit metrics should be collected
  • What does the data tell you about user needs
  • How does the business view its ecommerce vs. how the customer sees it

An efficiently done UX audit provides actionable follow-up activities based on empirical evidence, not hunches. It produces metrics and gives businesses a foundation for future site evaluations. A UX audit also provides critical input to the product roadmap which includes feedback towards new releases as well as future design plans. Finally, it helps formulate conclusions as to why users act a certain way, and how they might behave in the future. 

Valido Audit: Enhancing ecommerce UX and performance

Ecommerce business owners and digital leaders bear significant responsibility for extracting optimal value from their businesses. Valido Audit is a service that empowers organizations to fulfill this objective by bridging strategy, technology, and transformation to stay aligned with ever-changing customer demands.

An ecommerce UX audit requires a comprehensive approach and understanding of digital businesses. Valido’s consulting team are professionals specialized in areas such as Usability, QA, Development, Security and Software Architecture. This diverse expertise helps you develop the right execution strategy for your UX audit.

Valido Audit enables your business to perform the following:

  • an unbiased analysis of your ecommerce, utilizing the Valido Testing solution to identify errors and potential usability issues across multiple devices and geographical locations.
  • a usability assessment of every important step of the user journey: homepage, category navigation, product detail pages, search, product filtering, my account page, and the checkout process.
  • benchmark performance metrics that impact the user experience by enabling you to compare your results with leading e-commerce sites.

Final takeaway

Congratulations! You now have the basic understanding of a UX audit and how to perform it for an ecommerce website. Think of it as a health check for your digital product, and the importance of doing it on a regular basis to operate a successful ecommerce.

A UX audit demands substantial investment in time and resources when carried out in-house, or financial resources if outsourced to skilled UX auditors. Nevertheless, the advantages for a well-performing online store are clear, particularly if sales growth is stagnant or negative, and user feedback is not represented in the product development process.

By undertaking a UX audit, you can bring about significant, data-driven change for your ecommerce, contributing to enhanced conversions and ROI once follow-up actions are taken.

Want to learn how a UX audit can benefit your business and lead to greater conversions? Get in touch with us today.