E-Commerce Testing - What, Why & How You Should Do It

E-Commerce Testing – What, Why & How You Should Do It?

Imagine you are a passionate entrepreneur venturing into the world of e-commerce. You’ve meticulously developed an online store that offers unique products, a user-friendly interface, and secure payment options. However, before you launch your website to the world, there’s a crucial step you can’t afford to miss, i.e. experiencing the entire journey yourself, where you learn how the platform you’ve created actually operates and does it make you want to shop and stay around or does it not provide the experience that you aim to deliver. E-commerce has revolutionized the way we shop and conduct business. As an integral part of the digital era, online stores need to deliver seamless user experiences, and that’s where E-commerce Testing plays a pivotal role. In this article, we will delve into the significance of E-commerce Testing, exploring what it entails, why it is essential, and how to implement it effectively to ensure a successful online business.

What is ECommerce Testing?

E-commerce testing is a crucial process that involves evaluating and validating various aspects of an online store to ensure its reliability, functionality, and security. It aims to identify and address potential issues before the website goes live, allowing customers to shop without any hiccups. Software developers, while crafting e-commerce platforms, must be cognizant of the diverse testing strategies required for a smooth user experience.
E-commerce testing is like setting up a trial run for your online store, before it goes live.”

Why E-Commerce Testing is Important?

E-commerce testing holds paramount importance because it guarantees a flawless online shopping experience for your customers. By validating the functionality, security, and usability of an e-commerce website, businesses can gain the trust of their customers and encourage repeat visits and purchases.

Imagine this – you’re a customer looking to buy a new smartphone from an online store. You search for the desired model, add it to your cart, and proceed to checkout. Suddenly, the website crashes, and you lose all the items in your cart. Frustrating, right?

This unfortunate scenario highlights the importance of E-commerce Testing. By thoroughly testing your website, you can prevent such issues and ensure that your customers have a smooth shopping journey, leading to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What Should You Know Before You Run an E-Commerce Test?

Now, let’s say you are preparing to launch an e-commerce platform that sells personalized gifts, somewhat Archies. However, before you conduct your E-commerce Test, keep the following pointers in mind:

  1. Understand Business Requirements: To cater to your target audience effectively, identify the specific goals and requirements of your personalized gift store.
  1. Test Environments: Create separate test environments, just like a mock store, to perform testing without any impact on the live website.
  1. User Scenarios: Consider different types of users, such as new customers, returning customers, and even first-time online shoppers, to test various user journeys.
  1. Test Data: Populate your test environment with realistic data, like sample products and customer profiles, to simulate real-world scenarios.
  1. Testing for Bugs: Imagine a customer trying to customize a mug on your personalized gift store, but the design tool malfunctions, leaving them frustrated. E-commerce Testing helps identify and fix such bugs, ensuring a seamless experience for your customers.
  1. Testing Conversion Rates: Let’s say your e-commerce analytics reveal that a significant number of customers abandon their carts during the checkout process. Through testing, you can optimize the checkout flow, leading to improved conversion rates and increased revenue.

Benefits of E-Commerce Testing

  • Testing an E-commerce website ensures a smooth and user-friendly interface, improving the overall shopping experience.
  • Thorough testing builds trust among users by ensuring the website’s reliability, secure transactions, and accurate product information.
  • Rigorous testing helps identify and fix issues promptly, leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Performance testing ensures the website handles traffic efficiently, reducing load times and preventing downtime during peak periods.
  • Security testing safeguards customer data, payment information, and sensitive details, protecting against potential cyber threats.
  • Testing ensures the website functions seamlessly on various devices and browsers, expanding its reach to a diverse audience.
  • A well-tested website with optimal performance contributes to better search engine rankings, attracting more organic traffic.
  • Testing helps identify and resolve issues that may lead to cart abandonment, such as checkout errors or payment processing issues.
  • Scalability testing ensures the website can handle increased traffic and transactions, preparing it for future growth and expansion.

Types Of E-Commerce Websites/Applications

Before we start creating and executing test cases for E-commerce websites, let’s understand the various types of E-commerce applications available in the market. Over the years, E-commerce has evolved into various types to cater to diverse consumer needs and business models. Understanding these types is crucial for businesses aiming to establish an online presence. Here are some prominent types:

B2C (Business-to-Consumer):

B2C E-commerce involves transactions between businesses and individual consumers. In this model, businesses sell products or services directly to end consumers. Amazon, a global giant, provides a user-friendly platform where consumers can browse an extensive range, make secure transactions, and benefit from efficient delivery services.

B2B (Business-to-Business):

B2B E-commerce facilitates transactions between businesses. In this model, businesses buy and sell products or services to and from each other. Alibaba, a leading B2B platform, connects manufacturers with bulk buyers globally, offering a vast marketplace for wholesale transactions and collaborations.

C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer):

C2C E-commerce enables transactions between individual consumers. Individuals can sell products or services directly to other individuals, creating a virtual marketplace. eBay, a well-established C2C platform, allows users to engage in buying and selling interactions, fostering a sense of community within the platform.

C2B (Consumer-to-Business):

C2B E-commerce involves individual consumers selling products or services to businesses. This model often includes freelancers or individuals offering specialized services or products to businesses. An illustrative example is influencers on social media platforms partnering with brands for sponsored content, showcasing the shift in consumer power.

D2C (Direct-to-Consumer):

D2C E-commerce brands sell their products directly to consumers without intermediaries. This model cuts out middlemen, allowing brands to establish a direct connection with consumers. Warby Parker, known for its direct-to-consumer approach, not only sells eyewear but also focuses on creating a personalized shopping experience and brand loyalty.

How to Do E-Commerce Testing?

Now, let’s explore how you can conduct E-commerce Testing with a focus on your personalized gift store:

  1. Search and Navigation: Ensure that your search functionality allows customers to find personalized gifts quickly. Test different search queries like “personalized mugs” or “engraved keychains” to verify accurate results.
  1. Homepage Design and Features: Test the layout and features of your homepage to create an engaging experience. For example, check if featured products and personalized gift categories are prominently displayed.
  1. Product Pages: Verify that product descriptions and personalization options are clear and visually appealing, guiding customers in their purchase decisions.
  1. Shopping Cart and Checkout Process: Conduct end-to-end tests to ensure a smooth checkout process. Simulate adding items to the cart, applying coupon codes, and completing the payment.
  1. Site Performance Across Devices: Imagine a customer accessing your store on their smartphone but encountering slow loading times and distorted images. Test your website’s responsiveness on various devices to deliver a consistent experience.

Types of Testing for E-commerce System

Type of TestingTesting Process in Steps
Functionality1. Develop test cases based on business requirements.
2. Execute tests to verify functionality.
3. Analyze results and report defects.
Usability1. Define usability criteria for evaluation.
2. Conduct usability tests with real users.
3. Gather feedback and implement improvements.
Security1. Perform vulnerability assessments.
2. Implement security patches and measures.
3. Regularly update security protocols.

Given below is a brief overview about the types of testing involved for an E-Commerce System –

 E-commerce System

Quality Risks E-Commerce Testing Can Prevent

Testing E-commerce websites does a lot more than just improve the site performance and increase customer satisfaction. It helps prevent risks associated with bad brand reputation, lower organic rankings, and churn rate. Let’s look at some of the quality risks you can prevent by conducting E-commerce testing:

  • Downtimes: Higher traffic load often leads to delayed page speed or website downtimes. Having a quality-focused testing approach will help you reduce such instances of unavailability of the site to your users.
  • Performance issues: These problems arise when the site is not functioning as per customer expectations. Any issues related to the page load speed, responsiveness of the application, scaling problem, and usage of CPU and batter resources are fixed under performance testing.
  • Cart abandonment: There are many reasons for customers to abandon a cart; some you can fix, others not so much. But the fixable ones are important to follow through. Poor quality of payment processing, the confusing layout of the final pricing page, and issues with discount coupons or other fields while checking out could be some of the concerns. 
  • Product search issues: All E-commerce sites need an accurately functioning search field. Proper quality testing of the search field will improve customer retention and complete the purchase journey because users will find the products they are looking for.
  • Customer purchase history: If a user cannot easily navigate to and view their purchase history, they are likely to not return to the site for further shopping. Often, purchase history helps with calculating the budget and seeing if the return/exchange option is still valid for the item.
  • Poor UI: Hands down, a poor UI is one of the biggest problems for an online store. Work on your UI being interactive and easy to navigate. A better UI can increase the website conversion rate to nearly 200%.
  • Issues with the Return/Exchange option: No customer likes to haggle or argue with a customer care executive for any sort of return, refund, or exchange. Place a heightened focus on making all these activities quick and simple for your users.

Common Bugs in E-Commerce Website Testing

While some issues are unique to an online business, there are some common bugs. Here are a few of them:

Payment Gateway Integration Issues

Errors in payment processing, such as failed transactions or payment gateways not functioning correctly. Mitigation includes regular testing of payment processes in a sandbox environment, implementing secure connections (HTTPS), and collaborating with payment gateway providers for updates.

Incorrect Inventory Display

A mismatch between displayed and actual product inventory leads to inaccurate availability information. Users can get confused in such situations and leave the website. Mitigation involves implementing real-time inventory tracking, conducting regular audits, and synchronizing stock updates between the website and the backend system.

Users may encounter broken links or faulty redirects if a product is discontinued or is no longer available under a particular section. For resolution, periodically scan and fix broken links, implement proper URL redirects, and conduct regular website audits.

Page Load Performance Issues

Slow-loading pages lead to a poor user experience and potential customer abandonment. Online users no longer have the patience or time to stay forever on your page. Focus on optimizing images and scripts, leveraging content delivery networks (CDNs), implementing browser caching, and conducting performance testing regularly to improve page speed.

Mobile Responsiveness Bugs

Inconsistencies in website appearance and functionality across various devices, particularly mobile platforms, get a thumbs-down from the customers. Fix such bugs by adopting responsive design principles, conducting thorough cross-browser testing, and prioritizing a mobile-first approach in development.

Useful Tools for Testing E-Commerce Site

  1. Testsigma: As your comprehensive test automation tool, TestSigma allows you to streamline and automate your E-commerce Testing process. From testing product search functionality to validating the checkout process, TestSigma simplifies the task, enabling you to focus on delivering a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

  1. Selenium: Use Selenium to enhance your automation capabilities and ensure accurate verification of product search functionality and other critical features for web browsers.
  1. LoadNinja: Perform load testing using LoadNinja to assess your website’s performance under high traffic conditions and validate that your personalized gift store can handle increased user demand.
  1. BrowserStack: Utilize BrowserStack to verify cross-browser compatibility, ensuring that your online store functions flawlessly on various browsers and devices.
  1. Google Analytics: Leverage Google Analytics to gain valuable insights into user behavior, allowing you to refine your personalized gift store to meet your customers’ preferences and needs.

When to Automate and How to Automate E-Commerce Test Case with Testsigma

Automating your E-commerce test cases can significantly boost efficiency and save time. However, it’s essential to identify the right scenarios to automate for maximum benefit. Here’s when and how to automate E-commerce test cases using Testsigma:

When to Automate:

  1. Repetitive Test Cases: Whenever you find yourself repeating the same set of tests, such as product search, adding items to the cart, or completing the checkout process, automation is the ideal solution. Testsigma can quickly execute these repetitive tests, freeing up your time for more critical tasks.
  1. Regression Testing: Whenever you make changes or updates to your personalized gift store, you need to ensure that existing functionality remains intact. Automated regression testing with Testsigma enables you to efficiently validate the system after modifications, reducing the risk of introducing new bugs.
  1. Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing: With an increasing number of browsers and devices in the market, ensuring cross-browser and cross-device compatibility is crucial. Testsigma enables you to run automated tests across multiple browsers and devices simultaneously, saving time and effort.

How to Automate E-commerce Test Cases with TestSigma:

For an easy understanding and navigation purposes, please find below the steps to create a test case with TestSigma and to automate it.

  1. Login to your TestSigma Dashboard, and the click on “Test Development”.
Testsigma dashboard

  1. Then, hop on to the “Create” button on the top right corner. 

create test cases

  1. Then, give a name to your test case and add your Website URL that you want to test.

create test case

  1. Once this is done, simply enable the TestSigma extension in your browser, and click on “Record Steps”.
  2. Now, simply execute the user journey that you wish to test. 
  3. In the image attached below, I managed to create a few steps for you, that will add some items to the cart.

ecommerce website test

  1. For automating this test run, all you have to do, is click on “Requirements”, Create a new requirement, select your test case and schedule the time and number of times it has to run. 

requirements


And just like that… Voila!! Your test cases are automated!


Challenges of E-Commerce Testing and Automating it

While E-commerce Testing and automation offer numerous benefits, they come with their fair share of challenges. Overcoming these hurdles is crucial to ensure the seamless functioning of your personalized gift store and delivering an exceptional shopping experience to your customers. Let’s explore the key challenges that arise during E-commerce Testing and how to address them effectively.

  1. Diverse Devices and Browsers: Ensure that your personalized gift store works flawlessly across various devices and browsers, from smartphones to laptops.
  1. Realistic Test Data: Generate relevant test data for personalized products to simulate actual customer scenarios.
  1. Security Concerns: Protect sensitive customer information by implementing robust security measures.
  1. Continuous Testing: Overcome the challenge of conducting frequent tests while the website is live, without causing disruptions.

Best Practices for E-Commerce Testing

  • Test the e-commerce platform across various browsers and devices to ensure consistent functionality and appearance for all users. Try to make use of real devices rather than simulators.
  • Prioritize testing scenarios based on user behavior, preferences, and expectations to enhance the overall user experience.
  • Thoroughly test payment processes, including transactions, refunds, and payment gateway integrations, to ensure secure and error-free financial transactions.
  • Run A/B testing based on different views; you can show Similar products to some users and display the Most popular to others and record the feedback.
  • Create and execute test cases both manually and automatically. While manual testing will help you experience the site similar to a customer, automated testing will assist you with repetitive and complicated tasks.
  • Evaluate the website’s usability through user interface testing, navigation checks, and feedback analysis to enhance user satisfaction and engagement.

Following these best practices during E-commerce testing ensures a robust and reliable online shopping experience for users, fostering trust and satisfaction while minimizing the risk of critical issues.

What to Test on ECommerce Websites and Checklists?

As you embark on the journey of launching your personalized gift store, meticulous testing becomes the cornerstone of success. An E-commerce Testing checklist serves as a systematic guide to ensure that every aspect of your online store is thoroughly evaluated and optimized before it goes live. 

  1. Verify functionality across the entire website.
  2. Test search functionality and navigation.
  3. Evaluate homepage design and features.
  4. Validate product pages and information.
  5. Check the shopping cart and checkout process.
  6. Ensure site performance on different devices.
  7. Conduct usability and user experience testing.
  8. Perform security testing and vulnerability assessments.

Conclusion

Just like assembling the perfect personalized gift, E-commerce Testing is the key to crafting a successful online store. By meticulously testing your website, you can provide your customers with a seamless and delightful shopping experience. So, before you launch your personalized gift store, ensure that it has undergone comprehensive E-commerce Testing to win the hearts of your customers and pave the way for e-commerce success.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which testing is used for e-commerce Applications?

E-commerce applications undergo various types of testing, including functionality, usability, security, and performance testing, to ensure a seamless user experience.

2. How do I manually test an e-commerce website?

Manual testing involves evaluating an e-commerce website’s features, navigation, and functionality by simulating user scenarios and identifying any potential issues.


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