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Retail
8 minutes read

eCommerce Testing: Why Is It so Important?

by Alvaro Insignares
Retail
8 minutes read

Modern retail has been increasingly moving towards eCommerce, and this is exactly why eCommerce testing is of vital importance to business owners. Like any successful, high-traffic channel, eCommerce websites have been popping up all over the Internet. Every day the competition for customers gets more intense as more businesses offer online sales, eTail, and other services.  

That being said, there are still a ton of opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to get into eCommerce. Business owners just need to be aware that since there is a lot of competition, every aspect of your eCommerce website or marketplace needs to be functioning at the highest possible level and secure from attack. 

This is where eCommerce testing becomes important. If you’re going to start an eCommerce business, you need to understand what eCommerce testing is, why it is important, crucial aspects of your eCommerce website that need to be tested, and the benefits eCommerce testing can have for your business. 

What Is eCommerce Testing?

When we talk about eCommerce testing, we are referring to testing multiple different facets of a website or application. This includes testing for security, design functionality, performance, and more. eCommerce testing evaluates the entirety of an eCommerce application or website to ensure that every aspect of it is functioning properly and there are no security vulnerabilities.   

eCommerce application and website testing help ensure that the customer’s experience with the business is positive and secure. Performance and User Experience are just as critical as security. You can’t afford to solely worry about security at the expense of performance or User Experience. Consumers have a short attention span, and brand reputation can easily be damaged. 

The Importance of eCommerce Testing

Unless you sell a novel item or something brand specific, chances are your customers will be able to find the products you sell in another eCommerce shop. There is a lot of competition among eCommerce businesses. Websites or applications that perform poorly or fail to meet user expectations will be abandoned in favor of another eCommerce website.  

eCommerce testing can help you find bugs in your store and remedy them before they can affect your User Experience. Imagine a bug that prevented your customers from successfully adding items to their shopping cart. Do you think this would affect your conversion rate? Do you think frustrated customers would look elsewhere for the items they want to purchase?

If your eCommerce store were breached by a cyberattack and you lost sensitive customer information like credit card numbers, do you think your customers would continue to shop with you? These two examples are not uncommon. If you’re not performing regular eCommerce testing, you could miss bugs and security vulnerabilities that will hurt your brand reputation and drive your customers away. 

Acquiring and retaining customers is the chief concern in eCommerce. If you start losing customers, it will be very hard for you to get them back. 

Important Aspects of Your eCommerce Site to Regularly Test

Now that the importance of eCommerce testing has been established, you’re likely wondering which parts of your eCommerce website or application are the most important to test. The following areas are important to test whether you run an eBusiness or eCommerce website: 

  • Browser compatibility
  • Mobile compatibility 
  • Login 
  • Search bar 
  • Payment gateway 
  • User-friendliness
  • Security 

Browser Compatibility

There are several different web browsers that people use to access the Internet. The way your eCommerce store looks and functions can vary quite a bit based on the browser that is being used. It is easy to overlook this facet of your eCommerce site. You need to make sure that customers using Safari have the same experience as people using Firefox, Chrome, Brave, Edge, or one of the other browsers. 

Mobile Compatibility 

Besides the various browsers, there are also a lot of different mobile devices that your customers will use to access your eCommerce store. One of the most important parts of mobile app development and eCommerce testing is ensuring that your store and app function and look great on all the devices that will be used to access it. You can be sure that if you don’t deliver a solid user experience on a certain device, you will lose that audience. 

Login

Does your store allow users to create profiles to save payment information and past orders? You need to make sure that your login function is working properly, and you need to make sure that users who don’t create profiles can also purchase items from your eCommerce store. If you require all users to register and create profiles, you will likely lose a lot of potential sales from people who just want to make a purchase. 

Search Bar

Many people don’t want to browse through your entire inventory. Search bars help your users find the products they are looking for fast. You need to ensure that your search bar is functioning properly and bringing up the proper results for the terms searched. The more difficult it is for customers to find the items they want, the fewer sales you will make. 

Payment Gateway

This is one of the most important aspects of your entire eCommerce website. First, you obviously need to collect money in order to successfully make sales. Your payment gateway needs to accurately process payments, generate invoices, send confirmations to customers, and be secure and private at the same time. 

If customers are having difficulty completing the checkout process and paying for their items, you will lose business. If your payment gateway is not secure and you lose customer information, your brand reputation will suffer, and users won’t trust your store. Ensuring that the payment process is smooth, simple, and secure should be a major priority. 

User-Friendliness

The previous things we have highlighted all contribute to how easy your eCommerce store is to use. Usability testing helps you ensure that your store looks great and functions in a manner that doesn’t make it difficult for customers to find what they are looking for, browse inventory, and make purchases. Every small and large facet of your website contributes to the overall User Experience.  

Security 

We’ve already touched on it with the payment gateway, but security needs to be a top priority for anyone operating a business on the Internet. Your business is trusted with sensitive customer information. A breach of security could seriously damage your eCommerce website’s reputation and negatively impact sales. 

Regular security testing needs to be performed in order to maintain overall security, find vulnerabilities before they can be exploited, and reduce the attack surface of the website and supporting infrastructure. Security testing can also lead to cost savings too. The sooner you find security vulnerabilities and address them, the less money and time you will need to spend down the road.  

The Benefits of Regular eCommerce Testing

The benefits of regular software testing might be apparent based on the facets of your eCommerce store you should be testing. Still, it is worthwhile to note the specific benefits of regular eCommerce testing. They include:

  • Continual improvement 
  • Increased conversion rates
  • Save money 

Continual Improvement

No website or application is perfect. Regular eCommerce testing helps you make continual improvements to your store and brand. There are always small bugs or other UX and UI issues that you may be missing without regular testing. 

Increased Conversion Rates

Bugs hurt the User Experience. The more bugs you can identify and fix, the less likely your customers will get frustrated and abandon their shopping cart. Bugs in the payment gateway and checkout process get the most attention because they are the biggest and make a very visible impact, but the bugs that keep your customers from even reaching checkout are important too. 

Save Money

You might think that regular eCommerce testing would be cost-prohibitive, but it is not. In fact, regular testing can help you save money in the long run. Regular testing leads to a better website that requires less critical fixes. A better website leads to fewer dissatisfied customers and less money spent on customer service issues. Finally, if you use test automation, you can save money on labor hours and still get regular testing done.

Final Thoughts

If you want to be competitive in the eCommerce space, regular testing of your digital assets will help ensure that you are not losing sales to poor User Experience or bugs. We know that it can be difficult to manage regular testing while running a business. 

If you need help, reach out to a Shopify Plus Partner. They can help you get your eCommerce store looking good, functioning well, and converting your visitors. If your eCommerce website is not using Shopify, an app development partner can bring you technical expertise and industry experience that can help you optimize your store. 

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