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We are constantly maturing as consumers in digital sales channels and place higher demands on good user experiences. Therefore, we have developed a health check where we map the quality of user experiences and the user-friendliness of e-commerce solutions.

The question is how do we do this? We have developed a tool called UX Audit where we use our analyses to focus on specific improvement points for the customer's solution. In addition to thorough analysis of the solution and user testing, we use competitive analyses with data from relevant research studies from the Baymard Institute and Google's Retail Playbook.


When and why should an UX Audit be done?

  • If you suspect that unnecessary or incorrect functions have been developed
  • It's unclear why you have low conversion rates
  • There is a high bounce rate and drop-out among users
  • There are inconsistent experiences across channels
  • Customers are disloyal
  • There are many customer service inquiries

What benefits can it bring?

  • Improved customer experience
  • Reduced expenses by developing the right features
  • Increased profits
  • A roadmap for the road ahead, based on solid data, not guesswork
  • You get to compare your solution with competitors
  • You get to know your customers better

What are you left with?

  • Review of best practices in your industry
  • Customer behaviour analyses
  • Valuable information from user testing
  • Visual and functional comparison of competitors and industry leaders
  • Priority list of improvements

Here's how we work

As advisors, we are keen not to break with well-known conventions within e-commerce to any great extent. At the same time, we want to create innovative solutions, for example in terms of performance, functions, aesthetics or through other measures. In order to arrive at good solutions, we focus on the following points:

1. Guidelines and best practices as a starting point

When performing a UX Audit, we don’t reinvent the wheel, but we are not afraid to create innovative solutions. According to the law for user experiences on the internet, the so-called Jacob's Law customers will prefer that your website works in the same way as web pages they already know. The guidelines we follow are to evaluate how usability compares to best practice. This provides guidelines and strategic practices for frameworks, navigation, product lists, product pages, accessibility, B2B commerce and much more. 

As a starting point for the UX Audit, we use data from the UX specialists at the Baymard Institute and Google's Retail Playbook, which is their comprehensive survey of e-commerce. We are partnered with the Baymard Institute, which conducts large-scale research studies of all aspects of digital user experiences.

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Combined with our extensive industry expertise, we have put this together into a strong and solid collection of guidelines and 244 checkpoints. This makes up our Columbus Commerce Best Practice, which is an important part of our UX Audit.

2. Customer behaviour analysis 

It is important to see things in a holistic perspective when analysing customer behaviour. We analyse quantitative and qualitative data through, for example, Google Analytics and the user analysis tool HotJar. Qualitative data often provide complementary findings to quantitative data and can help confirm or refute hypotheses we have formed along the way.

3. User testing

To get qualitative and good feedback on customer behaviour, we also do simple low-budget user tests. We do this by taking the solution, preferably on a mobile device, out where the users are. The goal of this type of user testing is to explore whether the site is easy to navigate and to uncover any challenges users may experience in using the solution.

4. Benchmarking against competitors

In order to form a picture of the competitive landscape, we compare other players in the industry with the solution itself. We do this to gain a better understanding of what works well for the online store. We review feature areas such as on-site-search result pages, product list pages, product pages, and landing pages to examine similarities and differences.

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5. List of improvements 

After surveys, analyses and user tests, we collect and summarise all our findings. We set this up in a diagram that shows an estimate of how much effort it takes to implement the changes against the impact it has on the solution. Based on the overall result and data, we see what is most profitable to focus on and implement.

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We can facilitate and conduct UX Audit for all types of e-commerce solutions and industries. Do you want to know more about how you can use UX Audit as part of your solution?

Contact our Head of UX and Design, Øyvind Nordseth Westbye at: oyvind.nordseth.westbye@columbusglobal.com

Øyvind Nordseth Westbye



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