Why Automated Testing is Perfect for e-Commerce Websites!

Why Automated Testing is Perfect for e-Commerce Websites!

E-commerce sites are just like professional sports franchise; they are both constantly striving to get better in order to win. For sports franchise, winning means being crowned champion at the end of the season. For an e-commerce site, winning means gaining more revenue and market share to become the industry leader.

In order to do this, both parties must work to improve their ability to make adjustments that improve areas of weaknesses either through adding new pieces to the mix or improving existing ones. For an e-commerce site, this could mean offering new or improved products or services, a more user-friendly platform, or a number of other changes.

Between 2008 and 2014, Zalando has undergone major changements to its e-commerce platform.

Zalando's website banner in 2008.

Zalando's website banner in 2010

Zalando's website banner in 2011

Zalando's website banner in 2013

Zalando's website banner in 2014

Updating E-Commerce Sites 

Simple adjustments likes changing banners, color schemes, page layouts, call-to-action buttons, fonts, promotions, and more can improve the very important user experience, which influences customer behavior. Additional adjustments such as adding new functions can make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for or improve the overall shopping experience.

Other important changes can improve a site’s speed as well as their ability to handle large amounts of traffic. Improving these aspects is vital in e-commerce. Slow speeds contribute to a higher attrition rate while too much traffic can cause sites to shutdown, which can be disastrous during busy shopping periods.

During the first hour of its Prime Day, Amazon’s site crashed blocking and frustrating would-be shoppers.

Amazon crashed during the first hour of Prime Day

In the end, making any of these changes or adjustments can help e-commerce companies improve their conversion rates allowing the company to grow and prosper.

E-Commerce Testing Challenges

While making the necessary updates is crucial for e-commerce sites, it is equally important to test any update to find and eliminate any bugs that emerge as a result of these updates. This includes testing all aspects of the site even if the new changes or updates were only made to one part or page of the site. However, testing an entire website can be quite challenging.

To overcome these challenges, organizations can employ automated testing to ensure the quality of the site’s performance and functions. Automated tests can even be executed more efficiently and consistently to provide developers with the data they need to eliminate any bugs that could hinder the site.

Type of QA Tests

There are several types of tests that can be automated. These generally include regression tests that assess performance and functions.

Performance Tests

The old saying goes, “Time is money.” And for e-commerce sites, the same holds true. 40% of users abandon a site that takes to longer than three seconds to load. For those using a mobile website, 53% of users will leave the site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. When this happens, sites lose potential customers and business. To prevent this from happening, e-commerce sites not only have to work to improve to increase the speed at which data can be processed and transferred, but also test to ensure any updates do not create bugs that negatively affect the site’s speed.

Luckily, this performance test can be automated to ensure new updates do not hinder the speed of the site. Furthermore, automated testing makes it easier to asses the site’s speed while under the stress of large amounts of traffic, which is key to taking advantage of special shopping periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more.

conversion rate improve as load times improveSource: Tagman

Functional Tests

Automated tests can efficiently asses both new and existing functions like new buttons leading to new pages, new banners or pop-up windows displaying relevant promo codes, policies, or other functions designed to better direct or entice shoppers.

With automation, these tests can be automatically executed on a variety of devices at the same time to ensure the quality of site’s functions across of number of testing configurations. Given the fact that more and more customers are using their smartphones to research and buy items online and the rich diversification of the smartphone market, it makes perfect sense to test these sites thoroughly on a number of devices.

Additionally, automated tests ensure the tests are executed more consistently. Repeating the same test over and over again can be mind-numbing for manual testers which can negatively affect the quality of the test. This is not a problem for a computer as it executes every automated test case in the same manner to provide more consistent and reliable results.

Conclusion

While updating e-commerce sites is essential, the importance of testing each and every update cannot be overlooked. With the incorporation of automated testing, more e-commerce sites can maximize their potential.

To learn more, please check out our guide to automated testing  as well as download our white paper on the challenges of testing e-commerce sites.

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