Which Ecommerce Homepage Design
is More Usable? A Comparison of
Costco.com vs. Walmart.com
Customer Experience Labs’ New Hybrid Homepage Study
(Eye Tracking + Usability Methodology)
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© 2010 Customer Experience Labs, LLC
About this Study: What We Did
Customer Experience Labs conducted a hybrid homepage study on the live sites of Costco.com and Walmart.com. The study was
conducted January 22nd through February 2nd 2010 in Seattle, WA. This study was done on lives sites and was not sponsored by
the companies shown in this report.
This study was conducted in order to capture participants’ visual behavior as they shopped the Costco.com and Walmart.com
homepages. While dynamic page elements such as drop down menus will be discussed in this report, the main objective is to
analyze what page and design elements tested well and attracted attention.
How the Sites were Tested
• Procedure: Each session started with a warm-up exercise to calibrate the eye tracking software and to allow participants to
become comfortable with the technology. Participants were asked to interact with each site as they would at home in order to
capture the most naturalistic data as possible.
Scenario and Task: Participants were asked to pretend that they came to Costco.com and/or Walmart.com to shop for a
product they might actually buy on their own. Each participant was encouraged to navigate and use the site as they would at
home, and encouraged to click on what they normally would. Participants stopped or completed the task when they either
found a product they would consider purchasing, or felt they were a point the would naturally move on.
Tech Specs: The study was conducted on the Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker. Participants viewed the sites at a 1024 x 768 screen
resolution using Internet Explorer. At the beginning of each session, participants were calibrated to the eye tracker. The
websites were counterbalanced so that ha