How UX testing can help e-commerce platforms analyse their pitfalls

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected numerous industries, such as aviation, hospitality, and automobile. However, it has also been a blessing in disguise for certain sectors such as e-commerce platforms. The sentiment of purchasing goods online is likely to stay as e-commerce sites allow individuals to get products delivered to their doorstep with minimum human contact and eliminate the need for venturing out in public places.

E-commerce sites, therefore, need to be ready to handle the large influx of individuals that are likely to use their services. They risk losing customers if their website or app is unable to provide a simple, reliable, convenient, and pleasing user experience to their customers. E-commerce platforms, therefore, implement user experience testing to gather data that can help them improve their user interface design and solve any usability issues the customers might encounter.

How UX testing can help analyse shortcomings in usability

UX testing enables e-commerce websites to measure how easily users can navigate their website or app interface to complete a task in the quickest and easiest manner. E-commerce sites usually conduct UX testing by asking the participating users to complete a task and then gather feedback regarding how easy or difficult the user found it to complete the task, usually through the System Usability Scale (SUS). Individuals are asked to provide answers that range from “I strongly agree” to “I strongly disagree.”

For example, the participants are asked to search for a particular product on the platform and make a successful purchase in the shortest time possible. The participants are then handed a questionnaire that helps garner data about the user experience.

Based on the responses of the participants, changes can be made to the user interface to improve its usability. This method, however, has certain limitations, like:

  • the survey method requires the e-commerce platform to enroll a large number of customers, which can be tedious
  • not all users provide sincere feedback as some users might participate in the testing only for incentives and have no intention of contributing to the research

Such limitations prompt e-commerce platforms to look for other methods of UX testing. An excellent method that e-commerce platforms can use for UX testing and gain actionable insights is eye-tracking technology.

How e-commerce sites can enhance UX testing through eye-tracking technology

Eye-tracking technology helps understand the user experience in a detailed manner by tracking the eye movements of the customer. It can help understand what the customer is looking at, how long they are looking at it, and the directional path of eye movement. Based on the data collected, it can create a heatmap of the areas viewed by the customer. This can help e-commerce players in refining their website by focusing on parts of the website users are most interested in.

For instance, if a product listing page has user reviews at the bottom of the page, they can move a summary of the reviews to the top of the page, if the eye-tracking software proves, through heatmaps, that users spend a lot of time reading reviews. Thus, by changing the layout that showcases reviews on top of the page will provide users with the information they are most interested in as soon as they open it. This can help improve the user experience on the site.

Similarly, eye-tracking can help e-commerce platforms with advertising and marketing. Eye-tracking technology can be used to measure and compare the customers’ responses to various ads shown to the user. It can gauge the response of the customers to various ads and that can help e-commerce sites create curated ads and other marketing material. It can lead to a high click-through and conversion rate. Thus, eye-tracking technology results in being an excellent online market research tool and helps e-commerce websites conduct remote testing.

Eye-tracking technology enables e-commerce platforms to see through their customers’ eyes. The insights provided by the technology can help e-commerce platforms optimize their website and apps to provide a pleasant shopping experience to their customers and help them stay ahead of the competition.