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100% of the 100+ websites I’ve run Usability Audits on have shown critical issues and I’m sure you will find problems on yours as well.

When I start working with a new client I insist on doing a Usability Audit. This is nothing like SEO or Dev Audits. During a Usability audit the team and I, independently go over every page type on multiple devices in search of usability issues. Over and over again we run into the same problems so I’ve compiled a list here for you to check on your own.

Most common Usability issues on eCommerce sites

Sitewide issues

Header

  • Missing contact information – you want a phone number or email address visible at all times.
  • Stuffy menu with sub-sub-categories that have little to no products
  • Blurry logo

Footer

  • Missing confidence badges (Site is secure, Better Business Bureau, Google Trusted Store badge, etc)
  • Stuffy footer with featured categories. The footer should contain contact information and relevant support pages, policy pages, and T&C
  • Copyright year not current

General

  • Missing Social Login options
  • Slow site due to lack of optimization
  • Missing SSL
  • Standard 404 page (this page should be optimized to keep visitors on the site)
  • Standard No Results Found page (this should show featured categories and/or products to keep visitors engaged

Homepage

  • Too much, or too little information
  • Banners missing CTAs
  • Banner graphics not optimized (slow loading speed)
  • Expired promotions or irrelevant banners (i.e. Valentine’s Day banner on February 20th)
  • Missing product sliders
  • Not enough text content
The homepage needs:
  • to be very fast (optimize all images, run a speed test)
  • it needs to show active promotions and relevant content including featured products (new, sale, most popular)
  • it needs to have a good amount of text content (250+ characters) so that it ranks OK for SEO

Category Pages

  • Missing descriptions – this will not help your pages have a good SEO rank
  • Poor filters – too few, or duplicate filter values (i.e. duplicate ADIDAS and Adidas values under the Brand filter)
  • Inadequate Sorting values – most Magento sites will have Sort by Position which makes no sense to your visitors. Sorting should have Price, Most Discounted, Most Popular, Most Reviewed, perhaps Name
  • Irrelevant functions like Compare Products on apparel sites – comparing 2 pairs of jeans does not make sense – comparing 2 laptops does
  • Missing product labels (New, On Sale, Clearance, Free Gift, etc) – they help greatly!
  • Too few products per page – i.e. 12 – go for 48 right away!
The Category pages need:
  • A relevant 1-2 paragraphs long description to help with SEO
  • Proper filters that help customers narrow down on what they actually want to buy
  • Proper Sorting options to help customers find products more easily

Product Pages

  • Too few or poor quality product images
  • Missing main product selling points
  • Missing description
  • Social Share button – waste of precious space. Everyone shares using their phone’s built-in share functionality. No one shares on desktop.
  • Missing product sliders – Related Products, Customers Who Purchased this also Got, More From the Same Brand, Similar Products, etc
  • Missing Reviews – if you don’t have any get some!

It’s actually easy to understand what product pages need – just go to Amazon.com and have a look at their own listings. They invested more than you ever will in perfecting their product page. Do what they do!

Shopping Cart Page

  • Shipping & Tax Estimator – some sites need them but do not have them, other sites don’t need them but have them. Look at your shipping policy. If it’s $3.99 Flat Rate & Free Shipping over $39 then you do not need a Shipping Estimator.
  • Missing Cross-Sells – these are impulse buys, inexpensive items that go great with the products from the cart – i.e. think shoe deodorant for shoes, belts for jeans, etc

Checkout Page

  • Bulky multi-step checkout
  • Irrelevant mandatory fields (think Birthday)
  • Too few payment options

The checkout page should ideally be a One Page Checkout with a very seamless process. Ideally, hide the website header and footer to prevent distractions. Also, having multiple payment methods will help (PayPal, CC, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc)

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