Global eCommerce is poised to skyrocket to $3.5 trillion in 2019 and $4.5 trillion by 2021. It is estimated that more than 95 percent of shoppers will use online channels to buy products by 2040. Businesses are adapting fast to the dynamic online ecosystem to serve their customers better.
A report by Adobe Analytics showed online sales in the last holiday season from November to December 2018 to be $126 billion in the US. The record holiday sales and promising forecasts for the future, are a strong indicator for every business to stay on top of their eCommerce game. The holiday season poses an incredible opportunity for online retailers to increase their YoY sales.
With every retailer vying to take a pie of eCommerce, competition has become stiff. Starting with Black Friday, Cyber Monday all the way to Christmas, businesses need to keep their eCommerce platforms prepared for an incredibly high volume of traffic. Normal seasons also see a high user load, necessitating a 24*7 monitoring of eCommerce platforms and applications and an ongoing curated effective digital strategy.
Here are a few essential things businesses must keep in mind to make themselves business competition-ready for the big holiday season and even otherwise.
1. Load and Performance Testing
No matter how good a deal you offer or how feature rich your application is, if your website is slow or web pages do not open up; customers will abandon it out of frustration – this is also called bounce rate where they leave your application. Hence, it should be the priority of every tester to ensure that the website is able to load swiftly in the event of high traffic.
Businesses should analyse historical data judiciously to calculate an absolute approximation of spike in traffic. Aside, other relative components including hardware, network bandwidth and database should be tested to identify whether the entire infrastructure is ready to bear the expected load or not. It would also help in adjusting the application’s performance profile accordingly.
Testers are also required to analyze the number of concurrent requests the existing systems can handle during the event of maximum load. Aside, testers need to identify whether response time for test paths is acceptable or not, analyze the reasons for weak performance and browser compatibility issues amongst others.
Appropriate load testing will also help in determining whether the website or application requires more load balancers or not. It will help in eliminating the problem of refused connections which could lead to unsatisfied customers.
2. Catalog and Segment Infrastructure – Ease of Use
The number of offers and discounts on products and services increase exponentially during the festive season. Hence, it is essential for eTailers to make sure that all the items and offers are displayed correctly on the product page.
Aside, testers should also ensure that products and related discounts are reflecting appropriately, cataloguing of the products is done correctly and browsing of products is easy. Testing all search options, the number of products displayed on each page and that there is no duplication of products on the list, are important too.
Also, make sure that pagination and filtering options are working in harmony to ensure ease of browsing for the user.
3. Mobile Testing
Does Best Buy’s Black Friday crash in 2014 or the Lowe’s crash of 2017 ring a bell? In both cases, customers had to abandon the deals on the checkout page. And the major reason of these infamous crashes was the surge in mobile traffic. Apart from customer frustration, it resulted in a lot of goodwill and financial loss.
More than 63 percent of people access the internet on their mobile devices. And more than half of Americans buy things on their smartphones. Aside, a growing number of millennials are more inclined towards using their smartphones to shop online for holidays and festivals. Hence, it is crucial for every eCommerce business to make their website as mobile-friendly as possible.
Testers need to ensure that mobile performance of the eCommerce platform is top-notch. The mobile website or application should not crumble under the heavy load of users. Apart from testing the overall performance of the website, testers need to identify and analyse problems including mobile latency and run mobile network speed simulation to ensure optimal performance on the mobile platform.
4. Shopping Cart and Payment
Shoppers often abandon the deal at the payment stage due to the slow performance of the eCommerce platform. Test engineers need to make sure that the entire checkout process is user-friendly and fast. Testers need to make sure that all the discount codes are working correctly. Regression testing should be done on all inactive and active discount codes.
Aside, make sure that discount codes are not adding unwanted load on the database as this can significantly impact the performance of the website during peak load times. And finally, testers need to identify whether all payment options are working efficiently under peak load conditions or not.
eCommerce websites become the most loved targets for hackers during the festive and holiday season because they handle a lot of personal and financial data of customers. A shocking report revealed that almost 29 percent of website traffic is to attack the sanctity of eCommerce portals. And the risk increases manifold during the holiday season.
Hence, testers should make sure the eCommerce website and application’s security is not compromised by any means. Analysis of secured handling of incoming and outgoing data, payment gateway, and penetration testing to identify and rectify vulnerabilities should be done thoroughly. Aside, a multi-layered security approach should be implemented to make security ironclad.
In summary, eCommerce website or application is the digital gateway to your business endeavours. Hence, it is essential to embrace the right testing strategy which enables you to achieve desired results by delivering a flawless buying experience to your customers.
QA InfoTech is a leading name in delivering exceptional testing solutions to clients globally. Contact us to help you make your eCommerce business ready for the upcoming holidays.