Why Ensuring Quality is Paramount in E-Commerce?
E-Commerce is a dynamic industry, which is growing rapidly across the world. Lately, online shopping has been more popular when compared with physical stores due to the ease of finding anything that needs to be purchased immediately.
With all this hype on the E-Commerce platforms, competition among the sellers and the expectations of the customers are rising. Hence, apart from the attractive layouts and greater appearances, it also requires more focus on the easy navigations, user-friendliness, security measures and performance concerns.
With the ever-growing popularity of online shopping, certain users have witnessed some negative experiences as well. Certain incidents have been reported even in high profile websites due to temporary glitches during the peak periods, which led to some frustrated customers, heavy losses and damaged reputations.
Thus, E-Commerce sites have been identified as a vital component for success in this industry. In this article, I have listed down several areas that need to be specially considered when conducting testing on an E-Commerce site.
Lengthy and complicated checkout processes might result in users abandoning the shopping carts. Special focus should be given for the calculation of the total bill amount and how the shipping taxes and delivery charges are calculated based on the shipping details and product prices. If the website serves International customers as well, extra attention should be given for the conversion of prices in their respective domestic rates. Furthermore, it is important to test whether the accurate information is mentioned in the order confirmation emails and whether it has been correctly sent to the customer upon placing an order.
Testing of the payment process is one of the critical factors in an E-Commerce website. Hence, ensuring a smooth and a stable payment system is highly important. In case if multiple payment gateways are supported by the website, QA must ensure that all the payment types (PayPal, Visa/Master Card and AMEX Credit cards, etc.) are accepted and processed as intended.
Slow E-Commerce sites are one of the main reasons that users drop from the checkout flow therefore special consideration should be given towards conducting performance and load testing. Testing needs to focus on the website’s performance when a larger number of users are logged simultaneously, in order to ensure that the website does not crash when subjected to a higher traffic during seasonal times. Further, historical data can be used to analyze the spikes in the traffic that could occur in peak pressure. Reviewing of past data will assist in gaining important insights with regard to potential causes for transaction delays and other performance glitches. This will allow the QA team to effectively plan the performance testing approach. Apart from that, databases and network bandwidths also needs to be evaluated in order to regulate the performance profile accordingly.
Device & Browser Compatibility
Since mostly web applications are supporting multiple browsers and devices, it is important to know all the recommended browser types, versions and specifications of the devices beforehand and plan the test accordingly. When testing on multiple platforms, it is important to ensure that cookies are audited and broken pages/links do not exist. Online cross-browser testing tools, emulators and automation tools can be used for this purpose. Further, it is important to consider how the website renders differently according to the size of the device when using responsive web designs.
Monitoring of HTTP Traffic
Monitoring of HTTP Traffic can be used when testing 3rd party tracking tags used in web pages such as Google Analytic tags, Coremetrics tags, Omniture tags, etc. Apart from the verification of tag values and types, this can be used to trigger requests to 3rd party systems and verify responses. Live HTTP Headers, Wireshark and FireBug are some of the most common tools that can be used for analyzing HTTP traffic.
One of the major blockers for online shopping is the security as it requires customers to submit their personal and banking details while performing transactions. Hence, the main purpose of conducting a Security Testing for an E-Commerce website is to ensure the safety of customer data and customer privacy. It should mainly cover areas like transmission of insecure data, web attacks, access control, digital signatures, etc. Apart from that, penetration testing needs to be conducted in order to identify vulnerabilities that can lead to security breaches.
In conclusion, the success of your E-Commerce website will be highly depended on how you plan to ensure the customer experience, security and the efficiency of your system. However, testing of an E-Commerce website could be highly challenging hence it requires special skills such as attention to detail, carefully planned approach and methodical execution.