An e-commerce navigation test allows you to understand how easily customers are able to purchase an item on an e-commerce website, where they drop off, and why. If the task cannot be completed, you may have an opportunity to identify specific usability issues and correct them to increase conversions.
Using a navigation test, you can create an ideal user flow and see if participants are successful in navigating through it. You can test any stage of the buying process, whether it’s signing up for an email, buying a product, or simply navigating through the website.
- Review your current website and web analytics to see where drop-offs occurr. This may indicate a good area to test.
- Ensure you have given proper thought as to what the ideal flow should look like.
We began by uploading four screens that would represent our purchase flow. We then connected the screens by drawing hit-zones for each image, indicating where a “correct click” would occur. Hit-zones are the areas that the participant must click to proceed to the next screen.
Once all of our screens were properly connected, we gave participants the following instructions they would need to follow to complete the purchase:
“Look at the following screen and then find and purchase a product for LESS THAN $5.”
Here's an example of one of the screens in the test. The green hitzone indicates where the user should click at that step.
- Make sure your navigation flow makes sense and is able to be correctly completed.
- When in doubt, be generous with your hitzone sizing to assist participants who click very close to the target area.
Along with the quantitative results, heat maps and click maps are available for each step of the navigation, providing further details to be analyzed.
|Step 1||100% Succeeded||0% Failed||20.5s Taken|
|Step 2||78% Succeeded||22% Failed||5.4s Taken|
|Step 3||96% Succeeded||4% Failed||4.1s Taken|
|Step 4||88% Succeeded||12% Failed||7.9s Taken|
Here is an example heat map and click map:
Overall, only 66% of participants completed the task successfully, with an average completion time of 37.7 seconds.
There are two key takeaways from this test:
- The product listing interface (screen 1) is performing well and could be used as a basis for further design.
- The selected product options interface (screen 2) provides an opportunity for improvement. In this case, improvements could include labeling the icons, cutting back on the number of options, or differentiating the primary "add to cart" action from the other possible actions.
- Once a problem is identified, try creating a mock-up of a new user flow and see if you can see any improvements from the previous test.
- A large number of clicks outside the expected hitzone can suggest your navigation is cluttered or unclear.