In the past decade, with the widespread of smartphones and internet, online shopping has gained its worth. These days, e-commerce and online retailers are in great demand because of the online consumers. Shopping online has its own advantages over shopping in person: easy access to a wider range of products, a shop-from-home experience, time-saving, and international deliveries are some of its benefits.
The key to a successful e-commerce/retail business is a powerful website. The presentation of the website should be equivalent to that of a storefront. The reason behind this is that whenever a customer visits a store physically, he/she already knows which store to visit and which brand to buy. But when it comes to shopping online, he has a wide range of brands for a single product available to select from. So, to entice a customer to make a purchase, your website should be able to engage the visitor as it clicks the link to visit your e-store.
If you have an influential website, your business will flourish. Many things depend on the application, and because of this, there are some important tests that the e-commerce sites and applications or mobile applications undergo:
- A/B testing
- Usability Testing (User Acceptance Testing)
- Database Testing
- UI Testing
- API Testing
- Mobile Application Testing
- Security Testing
- Performance Testing
- Load Testing
- Functional Testing
A tester must have precise knowledge of web testing techniques and the e-commerce domain to test these e-commerce websites. Almost every e-commerce website has a general structure and theme. For instance:
- Search Results Page
- Product Details Page
- Order Form Page
- Order Confirmation Page
- Login Form Page and Accounts Pages
An e-commerce website would usually have more than the pages mentioned in the example, but their main journey while making a purchase would comprise of the above pages, and these are the pages which the testing e-commerce websites should be focused on – "The Checkout Journey."
These pages are termed as "front end pages," and connected to them are the "back end pages," which are the booking engine, product search service, accounts service, content service, etc. Besides just checking these e-commerce websites for individual services, they should be integrated and checked as one system providing excellent e-commerce services.
The journey of a visitor generally begins from the homepage, or the page where the products are displayed. Then they would search for the required product, analyze the product, add the product/products to their shopping cart, fill in the order details, enter the details of the payment, and submit the order.
Retail sites have become quite lively and they are full of new products, bestsellers, discounted products, festive offers, and so much more. The website changes quickly and it could become overwhelming for most. The point here is to divide and conquer.
Here is how you can test an e-commerce website with examples:
E-Commerce Testing Checklist
Listed below are some sections and test cases for e-commerce website testing:
1. Homepage – Hero Image
The hero image on a website’s homepage is a big web banner image which is placed conspicuously on a web page, usually in the center front. This is the first image that any visitor would come through on the website. It presents an impression of the websites important content. The hero image could be either static or dynamic with topics and images rolling by. Here are some points that need to be tested here:
- Has it been set to auto scroll?
- If yes, what is the interval at which the image would be refreshed?
- While hovering over it, would it scroll to the next one?
- Is hover functional?
- Can the hero image be clicked on?
- If yes, is it redirecting to the right page with the right deal?
- Is the load speed same as the other elements on the page, or does it take longer to load?
- Can the remaining content be viewed?
- Is the render the same when the website runs on a different browser and in different screen resolutions?
This is an important element in the success of a retail site as websites have several products or services located in the pages and the customer cannot actually see it in front of them. Search lets them locate things easily and instantly.
- Search should be based on brand name, product name, etc. For instance, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, flat shoes, etc.
- The search results should be relevant.
- There should be various options available depending on price, reviews, brand, size, etc.
- Number of results that should be displayed on each page.
- If there are multi-page results, then is there an option to navigate them?
- Search can be from different places. Ensure that the search while drilling to more levels should have the functionality displayed. Say for example if you search for something on Homepage then this is what you should see but when you navigate further in a sub-category then what you should see is the second image.
3. Product Details Page
Once the users find what they are looking for, they should be redirected to the product information page by clicking on the product. This page should be tested for the following points:
- Product image/images
- Product price
- Details of the product
- Different options for checkout
- Options for delivery
- Shipping details
- Product in stock/out of stock information
- Multiple colours/variations/sizes
- Breadcrumb navigation for should have all the elements and they should be functional, too. Breadcrumb can be said to be a secondary navigation scheme which displays the location of a user on a website. These breadcrumbs trace the path to their actual landing point.
4. Shopping Cart
The users can select the products and add them to their shopping cart. Here is what you need to test on this page:
- Items can be added to the cart and the user can continue shopping.
- If a user adds the same item to the cart while they continue with their shopping, the count of the same item in the shopping cart should increase.
- The total number of items and their totals should be displayed in the cart.
- Taxes, if applicable according to the locale, need to be applied.
- A user should be able to add items to the cart, which should be reflected.
- With the update on the contents, the total should also be updated and reflected.
- Users should be able to remove items from the cart.
- Proceed to checkout.
- Calculate shipping costs with various shipping options.
- Apply coupons or discounts.
- If the user doesn’t check out that instant and closes the website or logs out and come back later, the website should retain the items in the shopping cart.
This is the page where the customers make their payments towards the products they have purchased.
- Check for various options to make payment.
- If the site allows guest checkout, then the purchase option should be given instantly with an option to register for the website in the end after the purchase.
- Returning customers should be prompted for login to check out.
- User sign-up.
- If the website stores the financial information or credit card details of the customer, there should be proper security check done to ensure proper safety. PCI compliance is significant.
- If a user is signed in for a long time, ensure there is a session timeout. All websites have different thresholds.
- Message/email confirmation with the order number that is generated after the purchase is made.
6. Categories/Featured Products/Related or Recommended Products
It is not necessary to test every product or category under this section. A returning customer will be shown the recommended products on the homepage or their shopping cart. The featured products are subject to change on a daily basis. These are dynamic elements and in order to test this part of the application, it is best that you tested the algorithm based on which these segments are come up. Check the data mining/BI systems as well as [PS14] the backend queries which populate these segments or sections.
7. Post Order Tests
Here is what you should check or test post-order:
- Option to change the order
- Option to cancel the order
- A good order tracking system should be in place
- Returns option and policy
8. Other Tests
Besides the above tests, there are a few other important checks also that should be done:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Contact us details
- Customer service details