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Costco’s Search UX

This is a usability benchmark of the e-commerce search experience of Costco and 49 other sites. The overall performance of Costco is all but broken. Costco's search experience is particularly thwarted by usability issues related to broken Results Filtering & Sorting, Query Types, and Results Layout. That said, their search experience performs great within Search Form & Logic.

Rank: #41 of 50

Usability Score: -48

URL: costco.com

Reviewed by: Christian Holst

Poor
Acceptable
Good

Overall Search UX Performance

60 Guidelines · Score: -48

“Broken” Performance

Query Types

12 Guidelines · Score: -75.0

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #1: Violated High · Score: -54.5
Guideline #2: Violated Low · Score: -27.3
Guideline #3: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #4: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #5: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #6: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #7: Adhered High · Score: 47.7
Guideline #8: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #9: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #10: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #11: Adhered High · Score: 27.3
Guideline #12: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Search Form & Logic

10 Guidelines · Score: 136.3

“State of the Art” Performance
Guideline #13: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #14: Violated High · Score: -40.9
Guideline #15: Issue Resolved · Score: 34.1
Guideline #16: Adhered High · Score: 47.7
Guideline #17: Issue Resolved · Score: 34.1
Guideline #18: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #19: Adhered High · Score: 34.1
Guideline #20: Adhered High · Score: 27.3
Guideline #21: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #22: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Autocomplete

7 Guidelines · Score: 34.1

Guideline #23: Adhered High · Score: 40.9
Guideline #24: Adhered Low · Score: 20.4
Guideline #25: Violated High · Score: -20.4
Guideline #26: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #27: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #28: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #29: Adhered High · Score: 27.3
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Results Logic & Guidance

8 Guidelines · Score: 17.0

Guideline #30: Violated Low · Score: -23.9
Guideline #31: Violated High · Score: -47.7
Guideline #32: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #33: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #34: Adhered High · Score: 20.4
Guideline #35: Issue Resolved · Score: 34.1
Guideline #36: Issue Resolved · Score: 34.1
Guideline #37: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Results Layout

8 Guidelines · Score: -64.7

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #38: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #39: Violated High · Score: -54.5
Guideline #40: Adhered Low · Score: 27.3
Guideline #41: Adhered High · Score: 47.7
Guideline #42: Violated Low · Score: -17.0
Guideline #43: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #44: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #45: Neutral · Score: 0.0
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Results Filtering & Sorting

15 Guidelines · Score: -95.4

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #46: Adhered Low · Score: 27.3
Guideline #47: Violated High · Score: -54.5
Guideline #48: Violated High · Score: -47.7
Guideline #49: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #50: Violated Low · Score: -23.9
Guideline #51: Violated High · Score: -34.1
Guideline #52: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #53: Violated Low · Score: -17.0
Guideline #54: Violated Low · Score: -17.0
Guideline #55: Adhered High · Score: 34.1
Guideline #56: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #57: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #58: Adhered High · Score: 34.1
Guideline #59: Adhered Low · Score: 17.0
Guideline #60: Violated High · Score: -13.6
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All 50 sites were benchmarked across the 60 guidelines from the E-Commerce Search usability study. During our evaluation, the search engine and interface of Costco adhered to 19 usability guidelines, violated 20, and scored neutral on 8 occasions, while a remaining 13 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 41 when comparing their on-site e-commerce search UX against the search experience on the 49 other major US e-commerce sites in the benchmark, and ranks 10 in the Mass Merchant industry.

Poor
Acceptable
Good

1. Amazon

“State of the Art” Performance

2. Walmart

“State of the Art” Performance

3. Sears

5. Etsy

7. Macy's

8. Target

9. Rakuten

10. Costco

“Broken” Performance

11. Kohl's

“Broken” Performance
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