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Costco’s Checkout UX

This is a usability benchmark of the checkout experience of Costco and 49 other sites. The overall performance of Costco is all but broken. Costco's checkout is particularly thwarted by usability issues related to broken Credit Card Form, Order Confirmation & E-Mail, and Shipping & Store Pickup. That said, their checkout performs great within Order Review.

Rank: #43 of 50

Usability Score: 139

URL: costco.com

Reviewed by: Lauryn Smith

Poor
Acceptable
Good

Overall Checkout UX Performance

134 Guidelines · Score: 138.9

“Broken” Performance

Shopping Cart & “Added to Cart” Behavior

10 Guidelines · Score: 34.7

Guideline #4: Issue Resolved · Score: 12.0
Guideline #5: Issue Resolved · Score: 12.0
Guideline #6: Issue Resolved · Score: 12.0
Guideline #7: Issue Resolved · Score: 12.0
Guideline #8: Adhered Low · Score: 8.4
Guideline #9: Violated Low · Score: -6.0
Guideline #10: Adhered Low · Score: 6.0
Guideline #11: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #12: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #13: Violated High · Score: -9.6
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Account Selection & Creation

9 Guidelines · Score: -23.9

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #14: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #15: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #16: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #17: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #18: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #19: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #20: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #21: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #22: Violated High · Score: -7.2
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Customer & Address Information

12 Guidelines · Score: -13.2

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #23: Violated Low · Score: -8.4
Guideline #24: Violated High · Score: -19.1
Guideline #25: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #26: Issue Resolved · Score: 16.7
Guideline #27: Issue Resolved · Score: 16.7
Guideline #28: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #29: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #30: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #31: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #32: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #33: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #34: Violated High · Score: -7.2
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Gifting Flow & Features

5 Guidelines · Score: -7.2

Guideline #35: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #36: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #37: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #38: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #39: Violated High · Score: -7.2
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Shipping & Store Pickup

11 Guidelines · Score: -16.7

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #40: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #41: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #42: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #43: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #44: Violated Low · Score: -4.8
Guideline #45: Issue Resolved · Score: 4.8
Guideline #46: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #47: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #48: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #49: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #50: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Payment Flow & Methods (Incl. 3rd-Party)

8 Guidelines · Score: -16.7

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #51: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #52: Violated High · Score: -14.4
Guideline #53: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #54: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #55: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #56: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #57: Adhered High · Score: 9.6
Guideline #58: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Credit Card Form

10 Guidelines · Score: -64.6

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #59: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #60: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #61: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #62: Issue Resolved · Score: 12.0
Guideline #63: Violated Low · Score: -6.0
Guideline #64: Violated Low · Score: -6.0
Guideline #65: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #66: Violated Low · Score: -4.8
Guideline #67: Violated High · Score: -7.2
Guideline #68: Violated Low · Score: -2.4
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Order Review

5 Guidelines · Score: 35.9

“State of the Art” Performance
Guideline #69: Adhered High · Score: 16.7
Guideline #70: Violated High · Score: -14.4
Guideline #71: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #72: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #73: Adhered High · Score: 9.6
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Order Confirmation & E-Mail

4 Guidelines · Score: -4.8

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #74: Violated Low · Score: -6.0
Guideline #75: Adhered Low · Score: 4.8
Guideline #76: Violated Low · Score: -3.6
Guideline #77: Neutral · Score: 0.0
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Page Design

6 Guidelines · Score: 2.4

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #78: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #79: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #80: Adhered Low · Score: 4.8
Guideline #81: Adhered High · Score: 7.2
Guideline #82: Adhered High · Score: 7.2
Guideline #83: Adhered High · Score: 7.2
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User Attention & Interactions

6 Guidelines · Score: 27.5

Guideline #84: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #85: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #86: Adhered Low · Score: 6.0
Guideline #87: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #88: Issue Resolved · Score: 14.4
Guideline #89: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Cross-Sells

4 Guidelines · Score: 44.3

Guideline #90: Issue Resolved · Score: 16.7
Guideline #91: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #92: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #93: Adhered Low · Score: 3.6
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Form Design & Features

8 Guidelines · Score: 39.5

Guideline #94: Adhered High · Score: 16.7
Guideline #95: Issue Resolved · Score: 16.7
Guideline #96: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #97: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #98: Adhered High · Score: 14.4
Guideline #99: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #100: Adhered Low · Score: 3.6
Guideline #101: Adhered High · Score: 4.8
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Validation Errors & Data Persistence

6 Guidelines · Score: 45.4

Guideline #102: Adhered High · Score: 19.1
Guideline #103: Adhered High · Score: 19.1
Guideline #104: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #105: Adhered High · Score: 16.7
Guideline #106: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #107: Adhered Low · Score: 7.2
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Address Validators

4 Guidelines · Score: 21.5

Guideline #108: Adhered High · Score: 14.4
Guideline #109: Adhered High · Score: 14.4
Guideline #110: Violated High · Score: -7.2
Guideline #111: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Field Labels & Microcopy

7 Guidelines · Score: 20.3

Guideline #112: Violated Low · Score: -9.6
Guideline #113: Adhered High · Score: 16.7
Guideline #114: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #115: Adhered High · Score: 9.6
Guideline #116: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #117: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #118: Adhered Low · Score: 3.6
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Field Design & Features

8 Guidelines · Score: -12.0

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #119: Violated High · Score: -16.7
Guideline #120: Violated High · Score: -12.0
Guideline #121: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #122: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #123: Violated High · Score: -7.2
Guideline #124: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #125: Violated High · Score: -7.2
Guideline #126: Issue Resolved · Score: 7.2
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Default Values & Autocompletion

8 Guidelines · Score: 17.9

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #127: Adhered High · Score: 16.7
Guideline #128: Adhered High · Score: 14.4
Guideline #129: Violated High · Score: -14.4
Guideline #130: Adhered High · Score: 12.0
Guideline #131: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #132: Violated Low · Score: -3.6
Guideline #133: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #134: Violated High · Score: -7.2
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All 50 sites were benchmarked across the 134 guidelines from the E-Commerce Checkout usability study. During our evaluation, Costco's checkout process adhered to 57 usability guidelines, violated 45, and scored neutral on 5 occasions, while a remaining 29 guidelines weren’t applicable.

See methodology to read up on the evaluation criteria and scoring algorithm.

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Industry Comparison: Mass Merchant

Overall Costco ranks 43 when comparing their checkout UX performance against the 49 other major US e-commerce sites in the benchmark, and ranks 12 in the Mass Merchant industry.

Poor
Acceptable
Good

1. Walmart

3. Target

4. Sears

5. Etsy

8. Rakuten

9. Amazon

10. Macy's

11. Kohl's

12. Costco

“Broken” Performance
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