eCommerce Testing: Answering The What, Why And How
Author bio: This is a guest article by Tim Ferguson. As a writer and editor of Marketing Digest, he enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data. When he is not writing and editing for Marketing Digest, he spends time on learning more about content marketing and getting better at it.
eCommerce Testing, as its name suggests, simply refers to the process of testing an eCommerce website or application. Any portal that allows its users to shop for any kinds of products or services in exchange for monetary payments, from the comfort of their seats can be included in the list of such sites.
While this testing is done to check up on multiple things, some of the main objectives are to ensure the software’s functionality, quality, and reliability.
Table of Contents
- Relevance Of Ecommerce Testing
- Some Types Of Testing
- These Need To Be Tested For As Well
Relevance Of Ecommerce Testing
Just like in case of any task, a second glance at a completed job can help one discover any errors and discrepancies that may have occurred during the creation process. In a similar manner, eCommerce testing allows one to analyze all the functions and workings of the website so as to make certain that no mistakes have been made that may hamper either the seller’s or the buyer’s experience.
Some important things that can be looked after in the duration of this test are as follows:
Removes Bugs and Errors
All eCommerce platforms deal with the online purchase and selling experience of customers and vendors alike. The use of payment gateways is also not uncommon among these to ensure optimum serviceability. However, since these gateways are softwares, there is always a chance that mistakes in the coding may have occurred which went unnoticed during the initial test phases. Thus, at this point, when the eCommerce application is tested, a major concern is to keep an eye on any bugs or errors that may have crawled through and made their way to the main system.
As you already know, the lesser the inaccuracies, the higher the success.
Ensures Availability of Online Store
All of us have gone through this at least once that we open the website to make a purchase and we find out instead that the site is “down”. This basically means that due to either maintenance, or high traffic, or most importantly technical issues, the portal has stopped working temporarily. But anyone who knows about such platforms and the sheer volumes of business they generate every minute knows how big of a loss it can be if the online store is unavailable to the shoppers even for a few seconds.
The testing process of eCommerce websites however helps ensure that the shop is always available to its customers. High-quality software tests can help prevent this risk with surprising ease.
Keeps a Check on Mobile Responsiveness
Mobile responsiveness or the ease and speed of loading the site on a mobile device along with the proper functionality of the same is an important element of any site. It needs to be checked at regular intervals to be certain that there are no prevalent causes that may result in the platform becoming slow and difficult to use for its visitors. As we have already established, a lag of even a few seconds can lead to losses on the supplier’s part and thus, needs to be avoided at all costs.
Safeguards Against Misleading Analytics
It may seem to some that the analytical processing of a website is not really a part of the platform as that is not what could affect a customer’s experience thereon. However, what we need to remember is that it isn’t just about the consumer’s but also the seller’s experience.
The analytics collected by an application can help guide a business in making informed decisions based on the trends and shopping patterns they witness, alongside understanding the different kinds of effects a portal’s various functions have on its users. In case this collected data and its subsequent analysis is of poor quality, the decisions taken based upon them will also not be good for the business.
Timely testing of these sites can help in overcoming this issue and laying down better analytical procedures for the future.
Some Types Of Testing
There are a number of tests that need to be run on an eCommerce website before it is made live. Several of these assessments (like regression testing) however are also often run on a regular, timely basis to ensure no errors have cropped up after the previous tests.
While listing all the tests here may not be possible for us, we have listed hereunder some key evaluations that are necessary for all such portals.
Login and Security Test
Most sites nowadays provide their users the option of shopping as a guest or creating an account for oneself where they can keep their default addresses and payment methods saved alongside keeping a wishlist of products they’d like to purchase at a later date. This also means that many customers need to login into these aforementioned accounts before they may continue shopping.
This makes the process of login more important and the safety of these pages and the client credentials entered necessary. The Login and Security Tests are used to keep a check on login capability, security of information transmission, ease or difficulty of cyber attacks, vulnerability to various viruses, etc.
Content Analysis Test
The written, as well as visual information that is shared over the web pages of an eCommerce platform, is of as much importance as the displayed products themselves. This is because the details shared through this content can lead to anything from the trending of a product to the downfall of the entire business.
These kinds of tests include assessing for offensive, litigating, or simply misleading content, any copyright laws being violated, and the availability of personalization functionality.
Any eCommerce website is incomplete without a digital payment gateway. Although every business owner takes extreme precautions while setting these up for their portal, such steps are always at a risk of being hacked into. Therefore it is necessary to check for the transaction’s integrity, the validity of payments as well as frequent auditing of the process to ensure no untoward incidents happen wherein either party stands to lose money.
Now that we’ve already seen to it that the login and payment go off without a hitch and that the content shared thereupon on the web pages is of superior quality, another test of high importance is that of the platform’s usability. How simple or how difficult is it to navigate through a site and reach the intended destination is detrimental to the quality and success of the eCommerce portal. A cataloged navigation along with an intuitive design is essential to the simplicity of the website. Proper support tabs and FAQ pages should also be available in a clear view of the customer.
These Need To Be Tested For As Well
There are multiple types of browsers out there and one cannot be sure which one of these the customer may want to use to access the site. In such cases, it is smart to make certain beforehand that the website you have created is compatible with each of them.
The SEO aspect of any portal is of immense importance because it can be directly proportional to a platform’s ranking on different search engines. Many open-source eCommerce platforms, such as Magento and Shopify help guide a developer through maintaining these optimization levels so as to perform better in the end.
Social Media Integration
Social media networks are one of the defining characteristics of a business’s success in the real world and therefore, it is important to be able to integrate these handles successfully throughout the website. Simultaneously, using the web id throughout these social platforms is also necessary to be able to transition from one stage to another easily.
To provide a hassle-free experience to your customers, it is important that you not only set up the website in a simple architectural structure but also check whether the workflow of the application is going as it was supposed to. You might have noticed on some portals that applying more than one filter or sorting mechanism at a time leads to a complete disarray with you not getting the intended responses as a consumer. Therefore, it is essential that you take care that the working flow of your platform is clearly defined and functioning well so as to avoid any confusion for the users.
In The End
Ultimately, each eCommerce platform is an establishment in itself that requires continuous upkeep and regular maintenance to avoid any errors and lags that may result in losses for the business owner or worse, a bad customer experience. These testings should not be a one-time venture but should be undertaken frequently and at regular intervals as a single bend in any single functionality of your platform can cause a severe negative impact on your entire operation.
So before you make your website live, keep in mind to go through these assessments deliberately and set up a great portal for your consumers.
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