In today’s e-commerce landscape, customers and businesses alike are more and more empowered by the new digital technologies and channels easily accessible at their fingertips. However, this growing level of connectivity means managing a huge wave of data and information. Thus, businesses are increasingly facing the challenge of adopting omnichannel strategies and solutions to manage that data deluge better, know more about their customer behaviors and meet or even surpass customers’ growing expectations for quality service. Thus, unlike the earlier years when product-eccentricity (to gain competitive advantage via superior product merchandising or design) or channel-eccentricity (focusing on one or more key channels to achieve dominance) were emphasized upon, customer-eccentricity with focus on quality has emerged as a key element in e-commerce programs. From acquiring high-value customers to using relevant communication to build more profitable, long-lasting relationships, customer-eccentricity has become the primary goal of optimizing the value of every customer relationship. But to ensure your eCommerce programs meet the desired quality levels and give the customers a single, fast, secure and seamless experience across different devices, platforms and channels, a range of software quality testing needs to be performed.
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Performance testing is a top priority in e-commerce
Did you know even a delay of just 250 milliseconds of a page load time can drive customer away from your eCommerce platform to that of your competitors’? How many times have we heard eCommerce programs performing poorly or crashing under a sudden surge of holiday shoppers or during promotional events or when a sudden spike happens in their traffic? Since you can never predict with surety how many people would use your program at a given point of time, what should you do to ensure your e-commerce programs are ready to handle an abrupt shopping frenzy or a higher than expected number of users? The answer lies in having a performance testing strategy in place for software quality assurance.
The performance of your eCommerce platform depends on these factors:
- Executions per click
- Transactions per minute
- Request per second
- Period of a task
- Seconds per click
- DNS Lookup
- Page Load
- Time lag between a click and the visibility of pages
So, these factors should be checked to ensure optimum performance of your eCommerce platform.
You should also consider these aspects while doing performance testing for your eCommerce applications:
- Examine performance across geographical locations: The performance of your eCommerce applications shouldn’t be affected by the geography of your customer base. Since a wide variety of browsers and devices may be used across different locations, testing for the same is also recommended. Before the peak periods like the holiday season or when you are about to unveil a grand sale, the testing team should work with the marketing team to know how the campaigns and promotions will be executed so that they can test ahead and ensure their customers have a good experience.
- Focus on UI/UX: The more usable your application/site is, the higher will be your chances of retaining the loyal users. So, you should check for poor site/catalog navigation, non-intuitive design and lack of support apart from using A/B testing to constantly test UI/UX elements to make sure the ones you use are giving you the best conversion rates.
- Emphasize on mobile testing: Since 1 in 10 e-commerce dollars come from mobile accounts, software quality testing for ecommerce focuses on making the applications and platforms mobile-friendly. You can use load generation software to simulate peak loads and check if your apps and sites perform as desired and don’t crash under heavy load. Since the mobile domain has a huge variation in terms of platforms, devices and networks, mobile testing needs to address performance issues that such variations can trigger.
- Testing for optimal transaction processing speed: Some particular transactions like product searches are likely to be more network intensive than others. So, you need to test such transactions across devices and browsers to ensure optimal processing speed for every transaction. It’s equally important to test each and every user path possible, especially if they are likely to affect critical operations or key functionality.
- Cloud-based testing: If you are shying away from repeated, adequate performance testing due to the high costs involved, cloud testing can be your solution> as it can quickly simulate a large number of users without needing additional hardware. With cloud testing, you can even test your eCommerce apps and sites from geographically diverse locations without requiring elaborate setups.
Finding and dealing with performance bottlenecks and checking scalability are other factors that performance testing should address.
Other aspects to be tested
Security: In the speedily evolving world of e-commerce, conventional penetration testing is no longer sufficient. What you need is specialized penetration testing tailor-made to suit your e-commerce functional modules that can spot issues specific to e-commerce design, including third part integration (for products and vendors) and mobile payments. The penetration tests you design should address the most common vulnerabilities in the eCommerce domain namely
- Order Management
- Payment Gateway Integration,
- Reward and Coupon Management, and
- CMS (Content Management System) Integration
Once you find the flaws, you should make sure to fix them and have a secure design so that your customers can trust your eCommerce application and platform fully. Ensuring that information transmission is secure, digital signatures are used where needed, and adequate protection is in place against web attacks and computer viruses is equally crucial to have happy, returning customers.
Browser compatibility: It’s important to test if your eCommerce application and programs work on the latest browsers (Google Chrome, IE7 and above, Safari and Firefox) in use or else, you may lose out on a sizable chunk of business.
Page display: This involves testing for run time error messages, page download time that’s too long, erroneous font sizing or page display and dead hyperlinks.
Shopping order processing: From checking shopping cart functionality and order tracking to how fast and correctly order processing is done and how seamless payment processing is, testers in charge of software quality testing have a lot of aspects to focus upon to ensure customer satisfaction.
Back-up and recovery: Testing fault tolerance, back-up failure and recovery problems in case of program malfunction or crashes are crucial so that important data isn’t lost or corrupted.
E-commerce testing challenges
Testing for quality assurance in software and applications for eCommerce often faces some challenges. Since such apps and platforms usually need to be made accessible to various business regions with multi-lingual markets, compliance with accessibility standards to support the same is a tough task. Another challenge is to protect customer data and identity. Checking reliability and scalability of applications as well as extensive testing and test management for programs dealing with large scale e-commerce transformation are other challenges that testers have to deal with.
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Testing for quality assurance in software for eCommerce applications and systems is crucial for meeting the demands of customers and encouraging them to keep coming back. If you are looking for an outsourced quality assurance partner for your eCommerce needs, you don’t need to look beyond TechArcis. Reach us to get started with testing your customer-eccentric eCommerce solutions today!