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Olivia Buckley

User Experience

How to Carry Out a UX Audit On Your Ecommerce Website

An ecommerce site should never be static. It is vital to understand and learn from your users behaviour and constantly improve your site; to not only improve their user experience, but also increase sales. How do you do this? A UX Audit. 

One of the best ways to do optimise your website and improve the UX is by conducting a UX Audit to find out what’s happening and why. Firstly, use Google Analytics to find out what the issues on your ecommerce website are – the ‘what’. 

Then you can run Heuristic Analysis and find out why these issues are occurring – the ‘why’.

Once you have completed your UX audit, you can review all of your findings and create a list of actions to improve or resolve the issues you initially found.

Decide and Understand Your Goals

conversion rate percentage calculation, used during a UX audit

Understand what the goals for your ecommerce site are, and then you establish how you can achieve them

Firstly, you need to understand the goals you want your website to achieve.

In this blog, we will use the Ecommerce Conversion Rate as the goal we want to track, but you may choose to set alternative goals such as the number of visitors to your site, or the number of completed form submissions.

Set an aspirational yet reasonable Conversion Rate goal for your e-Commerce website to achieve. For reference the average ecommerce conversion rate in the UK is 1.8%, whilst an ecommerce conversion rate of 12% is considered good.

It is also important to remember that success for your ecommerce site may be very different from what success looks like for your competitors ecommerce site. Whilst there are ideal goals or rates your website should be achieving, your specific goals for your website may differ slightly.

Review Data in Google Analytics

Once you have established and understand the goals you want to achieve, use Google Analytics to find out what Conversion Rate your website is currently achieving. It’s worth understanding the overall/average ecommerce conversion rate, but to really find the winners and losers, you should also look at individual product conversion rates. 

Google Analytics is a vital tool for a UX audit

It’s worth understanding the overall/average ecommerce conversion rate.

To find the overall Conversion Rate for your site, head to Google Analytics > Conversion > Ecommerce > Overview.

Where to find buy-to-detail rate in Google Analytics

But to really find the winners and losers, you should also look at individual product conversion rates.

To find out the conversion rates for individual products, head to Google Analytics > Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance.

You can also select the date range that you want to get the data for, for example the last quarter, or the last 4 weeks.

Once you have your chosen date range, you can find out the current goals that your site is achieving. 

Make a note of any products with poor conversion rates as these are the areas of your ecommerce website that are underperforming and will need analysing further. If you have an average conversion rate of around 2%, a poor conversion rate might be anything under 0.9%, so these are the products and pages to focus on initially. 

Check Bounce Rate to Identify Underperforming Pages

Bounce rate shows how engaging a page is for a user

The lower the bounce rate, the better, as this means fewer users are leaving your site immediately after landing on it.

Pages and products with a high bounce rate are a great way to identify more underperforming 

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who enter your site and then leave immediately, rather than continuing to other pages in your site.

The pages with the highest bounce rates are the ones with the most users leaving your site, and therefore need further research to establish why users are leaving so frequently.

It is important to find pages that have a reasonable number of visitors to ensure the data is statistically significant. Make a note of the pages and products with the top 10 highest bounce rates. 

Review Add to Basket Rate and Checkout to Completion Rates

Basket-to-detail and buy-to-detail rate explained

Review Add to Basket and Basket to Completion rates to establish the product that are underperforming.

Now check the Add to Basket and Checkout to Completion rates for your products.

The products with the worst rates are the ones to further analyse as a priority, and establish opportunities for improvement.

If your goal is to improve the conversion rate on your ecommerce site, it is important to identify the products that are eroding sales and bringing down your conversion rate.

Run Heuristic Analysis

Heuristic Analysis as part of a UX audit

Now that you’ve figured out the ‘what’, run a Heuristic Analysis to find out the ‘why’

Once you have established your top 10 worst performing products based on the bounce rate, you can run a Heuristic Analysis on each product to identify why they might be performing poorly.

A Heuristic Analysis or Heuristic Evaluation is an in-depth process where you use UX best principles such as ‘Friction’, ‘Relevancy’ and ‘Value’, and information about page load speed to measure the usability of your ecommerce website and report issues.

For an in depth guide on how to run a Heuristic Analysis, check out our blog here.

You can also use our template when you run your Heuristic Analysis to provide some structure to your UX audit.

Identify Actions from Heuristic Analytics

Optimising pages after a ux audit on an ecommerce website

A UX Audit is pointless unless you act on your findings, optimise underperforming pages and test your changes.

Once you have conducted a Heuristic Analysis, you can use your findings to identify any key takeaways and opportunities for improvement. 

These may include global changes across all products, optimising content, or improvements to the structure and functionality of the web pages.

Conducting a UX Audit is important, but if you don’t test your insights, the process has been a waste of time.

Then leave a reasonable amount of time to allow statistically sufficient data to be gathered on Google Analytics. Neil Patel suggests aiming for 95-99% statistical significance, a large enough sample size of at least 1000 conversions, and don’t be tempted to end your test too early; if you planned to run your test for 4 weeks, keep the test running even if you have surpassed 1000 conversions.

If your site usually receives a much higher volume of visitors (perhaps into the tens of thousands), you may need to gather a larger sample of conversions. 

Conducting a UX Audit and optimising your website is the continual cycle of UX practices known as CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation). It is the ideal way to keep improving the user experience for your customers.

By improving the user experience, you meet the needs of your users continually, which in turn increases online revenue and builds a loyal customer base.