E-commerce stores are the most recent developments that have been gaining momentum over the past few years. However, the e-commerce industry is at its prime and is slated to grow exponentially before reaching its full potential in the future.
It is a no-brainer that an online store needs to meet all the requirements of a successful e-commerce venture to succeed. However, with the rising competition, many stores have faced difficulties distinguishing themselves from other competing e-commerce sites. Therefore, when setting up a new online business, it is significant that you set up the online store professionally that fulfills its primary function and includes some additional features and functions to make sure your business stands out from the rest.
It is important to note that online businesses with multiple locations require testing in every possible environment to ensure that users are getting the same results regardless of where they are in the world.
What is e-commerce testing?
E-commerce testing is a process of making sure that an e-commerce store works reliably and effectively from all angles. It makes a business understand the E-commerce functions to improve web interactions, usability, and security.
Testing is mainly used to scan the functionalities of the E-commerce website to make sure that it is compatible with different browsers, devices and is secured.
Challenges in e-commerce testing
The e-commerce market is growing very fast, and this has led to the growth of e-commerce testing. E-commerce testing is how tests are conducted on websites to ensure that the website is functional and meets the business requirements. The e-commerce websites are constantly checked for any errors and anomalies. Here are the top 5 challenges faced in e-commerce testing:
The complexity of e-Commerce websites
E-commerce websites have a massive amount of data and different functionalities. This increases the complexity of e-commerce websites. Therefore, you must develop a test plan to conduct the testing effectively, including several test scenarios, test design, test execution, and test reporting.
The changing user requirements
E-commerce websites cater to different user requirements. The specific needs of users vary with the e-commerce store. Some users require only basic functionalities, while others require more interactive features. To cater to the different user requirements, you must prepare a test plan to test essential features and functionalities.
The dynamic changes in the website
E-commerce websites are dynamic. They need to be monitored continuously for changes. There are many instances where website features need to be changed or added. The testing team must be aware of these changes and test them accordingly.
The testing requirements
The testing requirements differ from one e-commerce store to another. For example, some e-commerce stores have basic functionalities, while others have complex functionalities. The testing team needs to identify these functionalities, test them, and check whether they meet the business requirements.
Best Practices for testing e-commerce website
Now that we've learned about e-commerce testing. Let's gain insights into some e-commerce testing best practices to get results faster and more efficiently.
1. Optimize your website for mobile
The mobile revolution has rapidly changed our day-to-day lives and is shaping the future of retail. Mobile commerce represents a massive opportunity for retailers — in 2016, mobiles accounted for 51.3% of retail e-commerce sales. And, by 2021, consumers are expected to spend 80% of their total time online via their mobile devices. However, if retailers want to capture this mobile opportunity, they must adapt to the mobile ecosystem. Besides, no single device can capture the entire picture. Therefore, retailers need to test with different devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
2. Concentrate on usability and functionality tests
Focus more on usability and functionality than on aesthetics. If you sell products rather than services, aesthetics aren't an issue anyway. However, if your site sells downloadable files or educational materials, then you'll want to make sure your site looks good. There are many usability testing tools available, but which ones you should use will depend on your company's specific goals.
For simple tests, which involve just a few users, you can use tools like UserTesting.com or TestFairy.com. You might want to try Intercom for a more complex test, which provides one-on-one interaction with users.
3. Test your processes
Nobody cares about your technology as much as people do their jobs. So focus your testing on business processes, as opposed to technology, so you can uncover areas where people lose time, get frustrated, or make mistakes.
4. Test your hypotheses
Testing is most effective when it aligns with your company's strategic goals. And the best way to do this is to test assumptions before you make them.
5. Avoid dependence on emulators or simulators
The proliferation of virtual browsers (sometimes called "emulators" or "simulators"), and the increasing use of mobile and tablet devices, are forcing us to rethink our testing strategies. Virtual browsers, while convenient, are problematic in a couple of ways. First, they often don't provide the most accurate picture of the sites executed on different browsers and devices. Second, they're usually slower than real browsers, so that they may introduce delays in monitoring site performance.
In addition, while emulators and simulators can provide an accurate idea of how our sites will render on actual browsers, their accuracy is often questionable. For example, a simulator might display a page correctly on one browser but not on another. And, because emulators and simulators sometimes rely on actual browsers, they can introduce bugs into those browsers.
6. Don't be fully Dependent on automated tests
Automated testing cannot fully replace manual testing. No matter how thorough your automation is, there will always be issues that humans will detect. In addition, an automated test suite can only test what it can specify. For example, if you are testing two pages, you typically cannot determine that a button must be green on both pages. Instead, you have to write some code that checks for a button change on both pages.
Additionally, automated tests often rely on data that does not exist when the test is run. For example, if your test requires a user to log in and test their shopping cart, the automation will not know the user's email address when testing.
7. Don't forget A/B testing
Ecommerce stores can be complex. Often, the core elements of an online store — product pages, shopping carts, checkout systems — are all different. It can create silos of information across your website that make it difficult to evaluate. A/B testing enables you to compare multiple elements against each other to see which one performs best. By testing different design elements and layouts, you can determine which elements convert best and which ones you need to keep.
As the E-commerce stores grow and move rapidly, testing should be a crucial part of the quality side of the organization and a possibility to gain users' confidence. These are the modern improvements you incorporate on your site; failing to test those web page functions constantly will have a massive impact on the scalability, performance, and user experience, resulting in a poor conversion rate.
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