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Tested Tips for Successful eCommerce Testing

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The history of online retail is littered with expensive failures, many of which could have been avoided by better testing before the site was opened to the customers. Customers are unlikely to have confidence in a website that goes through frequent downtimes, hangs during a transaction, or has usability issues. All these reasons make testing crucial for eCommerce environment and any failure can be expensive in terms of lost revenue and dissatisfied customers seeking alternative sites.

Most software projects operate within tight budgets and timelines, so QA managers need a systematic and cost-effective approach to testing that maximizes test confidence.

Below are the areas to focus on in eCommerce testing:
1. Browser Compatibility
Remember this as a thumb rule: your application must perform consistently at-least in the top 3 browsers.

2. Browser Tones
Testing should cover the main platforms (UNIX/Linux, Windows, Mac) and the expected language options.

3. Page Appearance
The appearance of web pages in a browser forms the all-important interface between the buyer and the business. You can’t afford to get this one wrong.

4. Runtime Error Messages
Consumers get frustrated when a browser throws up gibberish. Ensure that the application captures and handles all errors by generating an apt and user-friendly error page.

5. Numb/Broken hyperlinks.
You don’t want links on your Website that lead to… nowhere. Try out automated tools such as Xenu and LinkChecker or websites such as brokenlinkcheck.com

6. Page download times.
Many studies estimate that page load times of ten seconds or more, combined with ISP download times could cause up to 33% of customers to leave a site before they buy anything. Test download time under genuine test conditions, rather than testing it locally.

7. Transactions
Transaction processing is a dominant element of eCommerce applications. Test integrity and security of transactions.

8. Shopping, Order processing, and Purchasing
In my experience, functional testing consumes between 30% and 50% of the total testing effort. In most eCommerce systems, shopping and order processing form the core functionality. Although most engineers largely consider functional testing a manual process, tools (such as QTP and Selenium) can often help automate aspects of functional testing by automatically capturing and re-running user interactions.

9. Tax and shipping calculations
You might have to handle multiple taxes and shipping rates. The problem becomes more interesting if you have customers outside the country. Testing is necessary to ensure that the customer is charged the correct tax and shipping amount.

10. Security
Security (or a lack of it) is a barrier to eCommerce. With the rise in credit card scams and high-profile hackings, buyers avoid websites they perceive to be insecure. Penetration testing is necessary to find out vulnerabilities before anyone else can.

We have looked at areas to focus on in eCommerce testing for the delivery and presentation of content: But the question is … where should we initiate testing?
I will share additional insights on it in my next blog… stay tuned!

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