Consumer expectations are more dynamic than ever before. Most e-commerce and online shoppers can be pretty unforgiving to a brand when having to navigate through app glitches, bugs, and flaws (including slow page loading, app freezing, display errors, complex UI, among other experience issues). It is imperative that e-commerce brands embrace a suite of advanced technologies for effective retail and e-commerce application testing to offer best-in-class customer experiences that drive brand value. According to the PwC February 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, about 43% of consumers intended to increase online shopping in the upcoming six months. The further increase in the number of online shoppers makes it even more critical for e-commerce and retail brands to streamline their testing efforts to accommodate a large number of shoppers and ensure consistent experiences for each user.
What is e-commerce testing?
E-commerce testing refers to the testing of an e-commerce application to prevent errors and glitches, ensuring seamless performance and thereby enhancing the customer experience. The key objectives of e-commerce testing include the following:
- Software reliability
- Software quality
- System assurance
- Optimum performance and capacity utilization
Common challenges associated with e-commerce app testing
Challenges associated with E-commerce Testing include the following:
- Difficulties complying with many security and privacy guidelines for safeguarding customers' data and identity.
- Complying with standards for multi-lingual markets and business regions
- Ensuring scalability and reliability of e-commerce applications
- Efficient test management and end-to-end testing for large e-commerce transformation programs
How can e-commerce testing help improve the overall customer experience on websites?
In order to ensure customer satisfaction across a variety of user journeys, organizations must test various e-commerce website attributes including designs, specifications, pages, functionalities, and features. When doing so, the following benefits can be achieved:
1. Improved user engagement
E-commerce testing helps ensure the seamless operation of a page. This allows an organization to determine which page element or process impacts the user journey and helps to rectify the issues more quickly. The better the user experience, the greater the digital engagement.
Leverage digital experience monitoring capabilities for proactive resolution of app issues. Know more.
2. Reduced risk
Very often, incorporating significant changes to web properties can lead to notable strategic changes and even trigger huge losses, however, effective e-commerce testing can help streamline these changes in a planned manner and eliminate the risks of uncertain losses.
3. Generating market strategies that drive engagement and customer retention
Effective testing and optimization enables companies to make efficient strategies and plans for e-commerce website testing. By allowing reiteration of the problematic areas, companies can engage more audiences and increase customer retention.
4. Improved conversion rates
Testing every website element helps ensure a seamless shopping experience through site optimization, thereby increasing conversion rates. For example, it’s important to test a user flow that gets impeded by a bad checkout or failure to complete the checkout process as this prevents a customer from dropping out of the funnel.
Check out: Tips to Improve Retail Mobile App Testing
5. Understanding visitor behavior
It can be a fairly complex endeavor to map your website visitors' needs and preferences across different scenarios while optimizing the site accordingly. E-commerce testing makes this easier and is one of the most effective ways to ensure visitors' activities, choices, and behavioral patterns, which helps determine the gaps on the site and how they can be improved.
Critical areas to focus on while testing e-commerce apps
1. Performance testing
A minor delay of a few seconds in page load time can cause your customers to abandon your app. Customers are no longer willing to spend time on poorly performing apps, and as a result, testing the performance of the e-commerce apps is absolutely critical. E-commerce performance testing helps to test the following aspects to ensure superior performance and functionality:
- Throughput — This includes requests per second, transactions per minute and executions per click.
- Response time — This includes elements like the duration of a task, page load, DNS lookup and many more.
2. Browser compatibility
Consumers currently leverage multiple online platforms for their e-commerce activities. The wide array of web browsers used by consumers to access an online shopping experience requires extensive browser compatibility testing to ensure that the users have uniformly seamless experiences while browsing, purchasing, and performing other actions as part of the customer journey. It is essential that your e-commerce property looks and functions similarly across all browsers, including Firefox, Edge, Chrome or other browsers.
Run cross browser tests to quickly identify bugs before your customers. Learn more.
3. Mobile compatibility
Users currently access e-commerce sites through a wide variety of mobile devices. As a result, it is important to ensure that the store and app function in a uniform manner across all of the devices that are being used. In order to drive brand value consistently, the user experience must be optimized on all devices. Simulators can help refine code in the development phase. However, in order to get close to how the actual customer experience is supposed to function, organizations will need to use real devices to accurately gauge what the impact is in the field.
Feature and functions to test in e-commerce apps
A few critical features and functions of e-commerce apps that need to be taken into consideration while testing include:
1. Account and login
The ability to create accounts and seamlessly log in is essential not only for customers, but also for driving sales and brand ambassadors. Testing the functionality connected to creating and signing into a user account is important for ensuring a flawless customer experience across an app.
Also check: Role of Automation Testing in the Retail Industry
2. Search bar
Most consumers are not willing to spend hours searching for the product they wish to purchase. The ability to find a product easily helps enhance their experiences instantly and increase brand value. Search bars play a crucial role in determining the quality of a customer's experience and it is therefore important that the search bar functions properly to not only help customers find the product of their preference, but also provide the right recommendations to help drive the brand's sales.
3. Wishlists and shopping cart
High cart abandonment rates are a common challenge today, where consumers add a product into their cart, but leave without purchasing them. This can occur due to a number of factors, including:
- High shipping costs
- Requirement of creating an account for the purchase
- Complicated checkout process
- Slow delivery
- Website crash
- Lack of payment methods
As a result, it is important to ensure that shopping carts deliver a good consumer experience.
Read: A complete guide to user experience testing
An easy-to-use, intuitive interface to save products and access them later simplifies the buying process for customers and improves the brand's value. Shopping cart functionalities should be tested efficiently to verify that:
- The cart updates correctly whenever an item is added and removed
- The items are displayed with their names, quantity, and corresponding prices
- The cart and wishlist operate seamlessly across different platforms
- Promo codes, BOGO offers and discounts should apply correctly as per the terms and conditions
4. Payment gateway
A significant part of an e-commerce customer journey is the final step for processing a payment. This is not only important from a customer experience standpoint, but also for the business itself to be able to organize the monetary transactions accurately. The payment gateway needs to accurately:
- Process payments
- Generate invoices
- Send confirmations to customers
- Ensure complete security and privacy for customers
- Accept diverse payment processes
Customers facing difficulties in checkout processes, paying for their items, and loss of customer information can lead to a significant degradation in brand reputation.
How HeadSpin helps retail & e-commerce organizations to build high-quality retail apps and drive brand value
HeadSpin's retail & e-commerce solution possesses advanced AI testing capabilities designed to improve digital business outcomes in these industries. The advanced data science capabilities of the platform help capture critical KPIs related to the app performance and user experience. HeadSpin enables retail companies to test apps on real devices and track critical user journey attributes including login/home launch, product browsing, adding products to carts, transactions, checkout time, and more, enabling retail & e-commerce organizations to offer superior customer experiences.
A culture of effective e-commerce testing plays a crucial role in the success of an organization. Ensuring flawless customer experiences is critical to enhancing customer retention as well as driving brand importance and reputation while increasing the ROI. In conclusion, it is essential that organizations embrace suitable testing solutions to optimize testing efforts and meet their continually evolving goals for building customer loyalty.
Q1. What are some of the most common bugs you can find on e-commerce websites?
Ans: The following are some of the most commonly occurring bugs:
- Broken links
- Browser compatibility issues
- Inconsistencies in the catalog
- Checkout and payment bugs
- Poor configured content delivery on the edge
Q2. Why is testing important for testing retail & e-commerce applications?
Ans: The following are some of the key benefits offered by testing retail & e-commerce environments:
- Checking app performance when using different payment systems and currencies
- Covering the optimal number and types of real devices used by customers
- Choosing the carriers, devices, platforms, and locations for testing your product
- Easily identifying both minor and severe flaws that impact the user experience
Q3. What is Point of Sale (POS) system testing and what are the common challenges associated with POS users?
Ans: POS system testing refers to the process of software testing that helps verify the desired functionality, performance, and overall readiness of POS systems. The common challenges that POS users face include:
- Payment processing delays
- Security breaches
- Degraded user experience
- Heavy load times