Things one should know while E-commerce Testing.
On observing the fast-changing retail landscape, Jeff Jordan of Andreesen Horowitz said: “We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail.” Today, eCommerce is a $341 billion industry and growing at the rate of approximately 20% each year. It is estimated that eCommerce sales will cross $414.0 billion in sales in 2018 according to Forrester.
While the popularity of eCommerce continues, the past two years also have been witness to many high-profile website glitches and crashes, especially during the high-traffic holiday season. From Walmart, Belk, Tesco to the mighty Amazon, all have experienced major glitches at crucial times, resulting in heavy losses, disgruntled customers, and some serious media bashing.
The expectations that people have of these eCommerce websites are increasing. Today, eCommerce websites need to not only look great but have to also ensure that they are user-friendly, easily navigable and do not take much time to load. Thus e-commerce site/website testing has emerged as a crucial component of e-Commerce business success. The need is to ensure that all the parts of the website function in harmony and that performance and security issues do not lead to bad press. For this to happen, testing cannot be treated as an afterthought and should ideally be built into the project from the very beginning. In this blog, we identify things to test when testing an eCommerce website.
- Product Page and Shopping Cart Behavior:
While testing eCommerce website, the product page is equivalent to the shelving and the goods available in a brick-and-mortar store. Thus testing that the products display correctly and properly on the site is a given. Considering that the product page displays a lot of information such as product image, description, specification and pricing etc. it is critical that all this information and the associated value proposition display correctly whenever a customer logs in. Additionally, you have to check if the shopping cart is adding the products and the associated pricing correctly. Testers need to add multiple items to the shopping cart and then remove them to see if the price alterations during the changes are correct. You also have to ensure that special deals, vouchers, coupons etc. process correctly all the way through the checkout. Further, testers need to ensure that the cart remembers the items that have been stored when the browser is closed suddenly and then restarted.
- Category page:
Category pages have a lot to convey so testers need to pay a great deal of attention in testing the category pages and must ensure that sorting, testing and pagination (SRP) making testing the search result page essential for eCommerce success. Considering that the search form is present in most of the pages, testers must make sure that when a customer goes to the SRP page the relevant products, product information, and the number of products per page display correctly, and all items on the next page and that there are no duplications in the next page. Ensuring that the sorting parameters work correctly and the sort order remains as chosen even when you paginate is important. Further, testers need to play close attention to filtering options and ensure that filtering and pagination work harmoniously. Finally, testers have to check if sorting and filtering options are both applied they remain the same as we paginate or if new products are added.
- Forms and Account creations:
Optimizing forms in eCommerce with the help of testing can help increase conversion rates. Since forms are a key talking point, whether it is to sign up for the site newsletter or to create an account or at the checkout, testers need to make sure that these forms function correctly. Testers need to make sure that the information gathered in these forms is being stored, displayed and used correctly. If the customer creates a new account, then testers need to check the login behavior and ensure that the customer is connected to the right account. Testers also need to check the login and logout sessions, the login redirects and finally, check if the purchased items get added to the correct account. If the customer is proceeding to check-out as a guest, then testers need to make sure that they, the customers, get the option to create an account when the order is placed.
- Checkout and Payment Systems:
Testing checkouts and payment systems are critical to the success of an eCommerce site. Lengthy checkout procedures and complicated payment systems can increase the chances of shopping cart abandonments. Testers need to ensure that the checkout and payments process is smooth and glitch free. For this taking a close look at the checkout process to assess that the final amount to pay is correct after all other charges such as VAT, delivery charges etc. are levied. Testers also need to check that final updates after alterations such as changes in products being ordered, change of delivery address etc. reflect correctly. Testers need to also check the payment systems using each payment method that is on offer. Debit cards, credit cards, PayPal, mobile payment options, all should be checked individually to check if the systems work correctly and also ensure that confirmation emails are sent correctly.
- Performance and Load testing:
Testers need to pay special emphasis on performance and load testing of eCommerce sites. Almost 18% of shopping carts are abandoned because of slow eCommerce websites. For an eCommerce website that makes $1 100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales each year. Testers also need to make sure that the website can handle high traffic and assess how the website performs when instead of two, 200 people log in simultaneously on their website without slowing down.
Apart from this, testers need to check web browser compatibility, ensure that cookies are audited and that there are no broken links. Further, they need to also check if the website has mobile device compatibility considering 7 out of 10 users access eCommerce websites from their mobile devices.
- Security Testing:
Testers need to focus on the security testing to safeguard customer data and ensure that the customers privacy is not compromised. Testers thus need to check the penetration and access control, check for insecure information transmission, web attacks, digital signatures etc. They also have to ensure that the application handles incoming and outgoing data securely with penetration tests and identify vulnerabilities that can cause a security breach and jeopardize client information.
Testing an eCommerce website requires careful planning, meticulous execution and an eye for detail. However arduous this task may seem, it is a critical element that contributes significantly to the success of an eCommerce website.