Top 10 Guidelines for E-commerce Testing Guidelines
Testing an e-commerce site requires the same kinds of planning and effort as other forms of website testing, but because they also function as retailers, there are some extra details to consider. Meticulous attention must be paid because if a flaw is missed, the result can be a significant loss of business revenue.
To help with your test organizing, below is a summary of things you can do. Following these during the requirement analysis phase will let you determine the scope of testing and help generate the most useful test plan. Initial discussions during the requirement analysis phase must focus on learning more about the business and gaining an understanding of the business objectives.
The second important thing to focus on must be to understand the state of the system, whether it has been built from scratch, redesigned, migrated or just enhanced. The test plan and execution will vary based on the type of system requirements. For instance, if a site is being migrated from say, Shopify to Magento, it will require a lot of conversion rules and testing to be done surrounding the conversion feature to ensure data migration and other integrations are successful.
The next thing is to understand the platform planned for creating the website such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, etc. Another point to be noted is whether the site would be built using the native, or out of the box, features or if it requires customizations.
Knowing about the business objective is, of course, primary but from a tester’s perspective, learning more about the overall management flow of an order, from order creation until fulfilment, is equally essential. One must also become aware of all acceptable payment modes, and the taxation and shipping policies of the states and countries where the products are sold and shipped.
Last but not the least, you will need to understand the different types of user requirements along with privileges, so testing can be facilitated using those roles.
Test planning must begin after the requirement analysis is completed. Read below to know more about the most important features you should cover in all E-commerce testing.
Top 10 areas of focus for E-commerce Testing
Order Creation Flow – The primary purpose of an e-commerce website is to allow buy-and-sell transactions. Placing yourself in the shoes of a buyer when testing the order creation flow is essential for assuring a smooth buying experience. The entire process must be verified by selecting a product, adding it to cart, then making a successful payment to purchase the product. Also, include the verification notice that’s sent to buyers upon order creation.
Pricing – When products are imported or set up in the system, they are tagged to a price tier. Ensuring the products display the correct prices to the end users is an important checkpoint for testing.The pricing of each product must be correctly presented to the user because an incorrectly associated price can incur business losses. The test plan must also include scenarios to check for price updates in case of multiple quantities, bulk pricing, discounts, etc.
Search Feature – Search has become a significant feature used by almost 80% of customers to reduce the total number of steps involved in buying. It eases and improves the overall experience. While creating the test plan, be sure to include testing for search functionality. The search must be tested using different types of keywords, with the goal being to examine behavior when there is a matching result, as well as when nothing matches the search criteria. Keep in mind to also check that results are appropriately linked and redirect to the respective page.
Payment Methods – Buyers do not like to be stuck on the payment page or for the transaction to fail. Payment testing is the most critical part of any e-commerce testing. Tests must include placing orders using every supported payment method, and that also involve validating features like partial payment (pay using two modes), the redemption of gift vouchers and discounts.
User Registration and other Account Features – Some sites allow guest checkout, and for some, it is mandatory to register. Users tend to prefer registering for a faster checkout since registered users can save their address, the preferred mode of payment which lets them but with fewer clicks. User registration testing must include all steps from signing up, accessing all other account features like profile view, managing of address, payment modes, order history, and login/checkout as a registered user.
Product Categorization – Displaying a product under one category is necessary testing. The focus must also include testing multi-category association where a product can be tagged to multiple categories in the back-end. The verification must consist of checking that products are displayed under all associated categories in the front-end. Let’s consider the example of a bag that could be used by men and women. In this case, the product bag will be linked to the men, women and unisex categories in the back-end, and for the front-end user, the bag is displayed in all cases irrespective of the filter to view just one category.
Product Landing Pages – Testing product landing pages can include checking for the correct product name, unit price, images, description, product variants and the user’s ability to add to the basket if the product is available. The unavailability or out-of-stock feature must also be tested by making a back-end change and ensuring the front-end indicator to reflect out of stock is displayed correctly.
Order Tracking – A critical feature from the user’s perspective. After a successful purchase, the next concern for a buyer is when they can expect delivery. E-commerce websites allow two ways of order tracking; for the registered user the information can be accessed by logging in to the website, and for the guest user, email notifications are sent whenever the order status changes. These features cannot be tested in real time but instead, can be tested by making back-end changes that will trigger the event.
Email Notifications – Any action taken by the user on the website triggers a notification, which can be in the form of email or SMS. Consider including the testing of notifications as part of the user flows. For example, when a user tries to reset the password, be sure to check that a proper email with instructions is sent.
Cross Browser and Device Compatibility – The ease of accessing a website from any device or browser is considered a boon by end users, but I am sure for testers this is a pain area when it comes to validating the same scripts on multiple browsers and devices. These days, an e-commerce site is required to be compatible with different types of OS and versions, so testing on real devices supporting iOS and Android or different browsers must be included in the test plan. There are many cross browser testing tools available which can help ease the pain of this part of the testing process.
I hope the above section has provided information towards creating an effective E-commerce test plan, but there are few more areas which must also be addressed.
This section provides a list of other features which may not be applicable on all sites, so consider them too if relevant –
Configurable Products – Some sites allow the user to configure products. For instance, if a user wants to buy furniture and they have an option to customize, this option will vary per product. This is an essential factor for consideration when product testing.
Offers/Promotions/Deals Section – There can be different types of offers and promotions run by the business during the year, and will need to be configured in the back-end and successfully verified. Some websites create and display a separate deals page, so as part of testing, checks must be done by making configurations and performing front-end validation. Do this by placing an order and ensuring the price is adjusted as per the applied offer.
Cart Abandonment – The cart abandonment feature helps and increases the chances of conversion, hence it is mostly configured for e-commerce website. A Cart abandonment feature helps in notifying user about a cart with items which is created but not paid. So, if a user has a saved cart, they are reminded of the shopping cart via email notification at frequent intervals. Inorder to include this as a part of the testing, a cart must be created as a logged in user, from the backend the frequency to receive notification must be adjusted to an hr or so and then verify that after an hour the user receives an email with the cart details.
Refund Feature – Refunds can be performed via the website. This feature will require testing the ability of buyers to either cancel the order or refund the amount after the delivery is complete.
Performance Checks – Performance testing and performance checks are necessary for all website testing. The speed of the page load and performance is a critical factor for customer retention.