How to check if your online store is working properly? What can an e-commerce audit concern and what elements should you pay attention to?
An initial UX audit can be focused on very simple elements that are key to the users, i.e. happy flow and payment. By “happy flow”, we mean the optimal path that guarantees success and is required as part of acceptance criteria. In the case of a store, it can be a shopping process: adding to cart, checkout, payment, confirmation email/SMS.
It can also involve verification of the footer on our store’s website – whether it contains all the most relevant information in specific places or whether errors and typos have crept in.
Next – how the site behaves on computer screens and mobile devices. It’s also worth auditing the mobile app. Here, for example, code quality and technical debt can be a determinant. Technology debt can be compared to a financial loan, which may be very helpful at a particular project stage, as long as we pay it back on time in the future. This concept of technology debt compared to simple credit was first introduced by Ward Cunningham, author of the Agile Manifesto (a declaration of common practices for agile software development methods). While there are certain patterns and principles or good practices in the case of code quality, allowing us to keep code free of potential errors (ideally as it is tested), when measuring technical debt, it is no longer that obvious.
Guaranteeing safety during online shopping is key to the functioning of a store due to there being a number of regulations such as PCI (Payment Card Industry) and stricter GDPR in force for several years.
Valid security certificates and protection of customer data by building optimal and safe solutions should be a priority. This is related to the credibility of stores and high financial penalties associated with insufficient attention to the technical protection of personal data. Such an example could be the imposition of a financial penalty of almost PLN 3 million on one of the Polish companies. And all in connection with the leak of customer personal data that was not properly protected.
The store must also be protected against the so-called SQL injection. It leads to unauthorized access to sensitive data stored in databases. But that’s not all. The creation of scripts attacking our website and, as a result, possibly leading to its destruction is also a threat.
Therefore, a secure store infrastructure is an important part of building its stability and credibility. Thanks to our experience in working with international clients, during audits we are able to identify which areas are most vulnerable to attacks and what types of threats may occur. Then we move on to the next step, which is threat removal and security improvement.
Website loading speed
Conversion rate analyses show that with sites where users waited longer than 3 seconds for content to upload, 40 percent of them left the site in competitors’ favor.
Metrics prove useful in helping find a point of reference. A popular one is Google Lighthouse, which in the final evaluation has a factor in the form of the rendering speed of the first item or moment when the user will be able to start interacting with the page.
In Sii’s performance audit, the factors we take into consideration are related to the synergy of areas such as infrastructure, server, back-end and front-end of applications. Only after this, we get a full view of the situation and can draw conclusions and, next, introduce improvements.
What are the benefits of an audit?
The UX audit is mainly about taking small steps towards meeting the user’s needs by making our store easier to use. Sometimes a small change, for example, a new button, can be a big change from the user’s perspective, improving the perception of the website and purchase flow.
Audits show areas that can be vulnerable to attacks. They do not assess competence. They provide feedback on the audited areas. Based on the audit, you can optimize the store or improve the security of the site. Thanks to the conclusions drawn from the audit, we receive answers that show us, for example, whether it is worth investing in our business or rather changing the technology on which our store is based.
Would you like to learn more?
On September 23rd, we will host the “E-Commerce Audit – main benefits for your online business” webinar, during which we will discuss the issue of audit in detail and explain how it can be used in e-commerce to strengthen our business.
Certified Scrum Master PSM2 with experience in customer support on e-commerce platforms as Project Manager and Test Engineer. She supports team members in developing and maximizing the delivered values. Enthusiast of personal development, assertiveness and paper books.
Architect working on e-commerce projects for Sii’s Polish and international clients on a daily basis. He has more than 10 years of experience in application development, including full-stack development. Fan of clean code and performance in e-commerce. Magento Commerce Specialist.