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Costco’s Homepage & Category UX

This is a usability benchmark of the homepage and category experience of Costco and 49 other sites. The overall performance of Costco is mediocre. Some of Costco's biggest category usability issues are due to broken Product Lists, broken Cross-Navigation & -Selling, and poor Category Taxonomy. That said, their category experience performs great within Site-Wide Layout.

We also benchmarked Costco in 2016. Since then, their overall UX performance is down by -7%.

Rank: #45 of 50

Usability Score: 346

URL: costco.com

Reviewed by: Christian Holst

Poor
Acceptable
Good

Overall Homepage & Category UX

79 Guidelines · Score: 346 (-7% since 2016)

Current Performance
2016 Performance

Homepage

13 Guidelines · Score: 93.4 (-50%)

Guideline #1: Adhered High · Score: 39.6
Guideline #2: Adhered Low · Score: 14.2
Guideline #3: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #4: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #5: Violated High · Score: -17.0
Guideline #6: Adhered Low · Score: 14.2
Guideline #7: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #8: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #9: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #10: Issue Resolved · Score: 28.3
Guideline #11: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #12: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #13: Adhered Low · Score: 8.5
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Category Taxonomy

13 Guidelines · Score: 67.9 (+40%)

Guideline #14: Violated High · Score: -39.6
Guideline #15: Adhered Low · Score: 14.2
Guideline #16: Violated High · Score: -39.6
Guideline #17: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #18: Violated High · Score: -39.6
Guideline #19: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #20: Issue Resolved · Score: 45.3
Guideline #21: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #22: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #23: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #24: Adhered Low · Score: 14.2
Guideline #25: Adhered High · Score: 22.6
Guideline #26: Violated High · Score: -22.6
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Main Navigation

16 Guidelines · Score: 172.7 (+90%)

Guideline #27: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #28: Adhered High · Score: 45.3
Guideline #29: Violated Low · Score: -19.8
Guideline #30: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #31: Adhered High · Score: 34.0
Guideline #32: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #33: Issue Resolved · Score: 34.0
Guideline #34: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #35: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #36: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #37: Issue Resolved · Score: 28.3
Guideline #38: Adhered High · Score: 22.6
Guideline #39: Issue Resolved · Score: 22.6
Guideline #40: Issue Resolved · Score: 17.0
Guideline #41: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #42: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Intermediary Category Pages

7 Guidelines · Score: 36.8 (-116%)

Guideline #43: Adhered High · Score: 45.3
Guideline #44: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #45: Adhered Low · Score: 19.8
Guideline #46: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #47: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #48: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #49: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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Product Lists

13 Guidelines · Score: -96.3 (-30%)

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #50: Adhered Low · Score: 22.6
Guideline #51: Violated High · Score: -45.3
Guideline #52: Adhered Low · Score: 19.8
Guideline #53: Adhered Low · Score: 22.6
Guideline #54: Violated High · Score: -45.3
Guideline #55: Violated High · Score: -45.3
Guideline #56: Violated Low · Score: -11.3
Guideline #57: Adhered Low · Score: 14.2
Guideline #58: Violated High · Score: -34.0
Guideline #59: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #60: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #61: Violated High · Score: -17.0
Guideline #62: Violated High · Score: -22.6
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Site-Wide Layout

10 Guidelines · Score: 124.6 (+14%)

“State of the Art” Performance
Guideline #63: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #64: Issue Resolved · Score: 45.3
Guideline #65: Adhered High · Score: 28.3
Guideline #66: Adhered High · Score: 22.6
Guideline #67: Violated Low · Score: -11.3
Guideline #68: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #69: Issue Resolved · Score: 17.0
Guideline #70: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #71: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #72: Violated High · Score: -11.3
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Cross-Navigation & -Selling

7 Guidelines · Score: -53.8 (0%)

“Broken” Performance
Guideline #73: Neutral · Score: 0.0
Guideline #74: Violated Low · Score: -14.2
Guideline #75: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #76: Violated High · Score: -28.3
Guideline #77: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
Guideline #78: Adhered High · Score: 17.0
Guideline #79: Not Applicable · Score: 0.0
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All 50 sites were benchmarked across the 79 guidelines from the Homepage & Category usability study. During our evaluation, the e-commerce homepage and category design of Costco adhered to 39 usability guidelines, violated 22, and scored neutral on 8 occasions, while a remaining 10 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 45 when comparing their homepage and category UX performance against the 99 other major US e-commerce sites in the benchmark, and ranks 10 in the Mass Merchant industry.

Poor
Acceptable
Good

1. Macy's

“State of the Art” Performance

2. Target

3. Amazon

4. Etsy

5. Kohl's

8. HSN

9. Sears

10. Costco

11. Walmart

“Broken” Performance
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