Now that you know Why Testing is Crucial for E-Commerce, lets delve into a few testing strategies for E-Commerce. The task of approaching any type testing can be daunting at first, so we’ll break it down into a few key concepts. Lets take a look at what we consider to be essentials when it comes to testing for E-Commerce.
Checkout: Usability + Functionality
The current shopping cart abandonment rate is a whopping 68%. Your goal should be making sure you are not contributing to the increase of that statistic. To do so, ensuring that the main functionality of the checkout page works for all of your users is key. The best way to do this is by testing both cross device and cross browser. 83% of users say a seamless experience across devices is important, and found that a disparity between mobile and web apps dampened their experience. This is where testing for usability plays in: ideally, there should be no difference in the core flow of checkout between mobile and desktop. Naturally the mobile app will have a simplified, condensed layout. However, checkout time should remain consistent (within reason) between the devices; A user should NOT find that the mobile app is taking an extra 30 seconds to load each page. Any situation where a user is considering stopping their checkout due to a device loading slowly or acting different is not ideal. Automating typical user interactions for checkout is a great approach. Changing quantity, adding and removing addresses, & editing info all fall under common test paths that are bolstered by automation. Regardless of how you approach it, the functionality and usability of checkout should always be considered critical for E-commerce.
When conducting backend testing for e-commerce, your primary goal should be ensuring the site will have no issues handling a maximum load of users. This is especially of importance during holidays where traffic will increase exponentially. You will want to prioritize to test pages that have been historically more popular/problematic in the past, as they will likely be your main source of trouble. As we’ve learned from Best Buy, having your site go down during an influx of high traffic will have exponentially negative consequences; namely revenue loss and reduced likelihood of your users returning. Even if your site is able to stay online, ensuring that loading time is not slowed by traffic is just as important. Users have just as little patience for slow load times as they do for offline sites; 40% of them abandon a web page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Testing for security vulnerabilities and ensuring that a user feels comfortable submitting their data (credit card number, address, phone numbers) is more important than ever. Data breaches have recently increased by 54%, half of which were E-Commerce websites. Target recently had to pay $67 million in damages due to a credit card data breach! Your security testing should make sure there is no fear when a user to is filling out a form during checkout. Proper data storage practices will help to safe-keep sensitive information, namely credit cards and addresses. This also having security messages for different situations on your website, without setting off false alarms on for the customer. In the case of the checkout page warning message should be a clear indication of something wrong that will cause an issue with proceeding. The contrast is displaying a validation message, which should NOT look like a warning, but instead indicate something like an unfilled form or invalid area code
When testing under a tight schedule, you will want to prioritize your testing based on the importance of test paths in relation to your needs. For example, a specialty shoe retailer may first want to ensure that all product images, descriptions, and layout meets their standards; they likely wont have a massive influx of traffic threatening to take down their site. Conversely, a website for a large department store may want to first load test, based on data they’ve read regarding similar sites with a large customer base going down under heavy traffic. Ideally you will want to be hitting every aspect of your site/app, but we cant have perfect testing conditions every time, and being able to navigate your execution efficiently will result in a superior finished product.
How you choose to approach your testing should be entirely up to you; each situation is different, and will call for a different path of action. Still, these are widely applicable concepts that will be relevant to all E-commerce testing scenarios.
Below we’ve attached a short video example of Automated Testing, using the Kohl’s Web & Mobile Apps and executing directly on mobile devices and browsers: