E-Commerce Purchase Test

Optimize your e-commerce purchase funnels with navigation tests.


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.

Test Setup

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.

Purchase hitzone

Preview this test


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

View test results

Here is an example heat map and click map:

Purchase clicks


Overall, only 66% of participants completed the task successfully, with an average completion time of 37.7 seconds.

Purchase clicks
Screen 2 was the point where the largest number of drop-offs occurred. Reviewing the heat map from this screen shows where people were clicking.

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.