The Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting social distancing measures have altered consumer behavior everywhere, including shopping habits. 

With millions of people forced to stay at home, consumers have turned to online purchasing to procure their everyday items. According to Accenture’s research, buying patterns have considerably shifted with most people using – and expected to continue using in the future – in-app ordering (51%) and home delivery (45%) services.

To put this in perspective, Adobe’s Digital Economy Index reports that the pandemic accounted for an extra $94 billion spent online since March – amounting to $434.5 billion in online spend during the first seven months of 2020.

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The spike in online shopping means that many companies are accelerating or retooling their offering to meet the demand of exceedingly digital-savvy consumers. Shoppers expect high-quality e-commerce mobile apps and websites with seamless shopping experiences. And in a world where just one bad customer experience can cause brands to lose one-quarter of their customers in a single day, having a well defined QA strategy is vital.

Six types of testing for e-commerce apps

1. Functional testing to maintain quality

Quality is essential for customer satisfaction and retention.

Imagine an e-commerce application that lets you add products into the shopping cart but doesn’t allow you to place the order or apply a valid promo code to your purchase. These are just a couple of examples of functionality ‘faux pas’ and why integrating functional testing into the engineering workflow is crucial. 

Functional testing helps identify glitches and uncover critical bugs that can ruin the customer experience. It sets the groundwork for a well-functioning application, validating that all features work according to requirements.

For an e-commerce application, critical features that need functional testing include:

  • Login system
  • Search and filters
  • Search result page
  • Order details page
  • Shopping cart
  • Deals and promo codes
  • Order confirmation page
  • Order tracking 

2. Performance testing for better stability

Imagine it’s 3 a.m. Saturday morning and your CEO calls, texts, and Slacks you with bad news – “The site is down!” Not the best way to begin your weekend.

E-commerce downtime can be extremely costly – just 40 minutes of downtime cost industry giant Amazon nearly $5 million in lost sales. That is why performance tests are a vital part of the software development life cycle.

Performance testing aims to analyze an application’s speed, scalability, and stability under varying user loads. For instance, as e-commerce sales volumes soar during peak times like Christmas and New Year, apps experience a massive inflow of traffic that can make the whole system slow down or even crash. Performance testing helps evaluate the application’s stability under peak traffic events and determine how well it holds up to general performance requirements. 

Types of performance testing include:

  • Load testing
  • Stress testing
  • Volume testing
  • Scalability testing 
  • Spike testing

3. Security testing for safer usage

It seems all too common these days to read about a major retailer getting hacked. The risk of fraud, theft, and security breach are real threats to e-commerce applications. After all, it only takes one knowledgeable hacker to exploit system vulnerabilities and loopholes. 

Sophisticated in-app bots can imitate user behavior, harvest personal information, take over accounts, commit carding and gift card fraud, generate fake reviews, and much more. Therefore, including security testing as part of the app development and testing process is critical. 

Types of security testing include:

  • Penetration testing
  • Vulnerability testing
  • Security auditing
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Ethical hacking
  • Security scanning
  • Risk assessment

4. Payments testing for seamless transactions

Capturing payments is essential for any e-commerce business model. From checkout to payment options, and everything else in between –  the whole purchasing experience must be smooth and frictionless. Besides having a robust payment gateway, retailers need to avoid pricing glitches, mistake fares, security breaches, and other revenue-sapping bugs. 

Payments testing helps ensure that the full transaction cycle works flawlessly from the customer’s and the merchant’s perspective. Case in point, a leading Testlio client, ranked in the top-15 U.S. iOS shopping apps, needed its web app tested in 10 target countries, with testers playing either the role of a shop owner or buyer. As a result, they learned about penniless currencies and had to adjust their product pricing. 

Types of testing to ensure a smooth payment experience include:

  • Functional testing
  • Integration testing
  • Performance testing
  • Security testing
  • Usability testing
  • Location testing
  • Compatibility testing
  • Localization testing

5. Localization testing to ensure global usability

An e-commerce platform cannot achieve global penetration without perfecting its product for a worldwide consumer base. But delivering a native app experience across different markets is not without some challenges. 

Therefore, expert localization testing is key to ensuring product stability in terms of linguistic accuracy, design specifications, and functionalities. 

To learn how this works in practice, read how an eCommerce giant maintains a 4.9+ app store rating by conducting localization and payments testing throughout the world.

6. Compatibility testing for consistent app experiences

From mobile phones to tablets and desktop computers, consumers use the same application across various devices. Therefore a successful application will run smoothly across a broad range of widely used operating systems, network environments, and hardware combinations. 

Compatibility testing helps avoid issues related to versions updates, navigation flows, screen size adaptation, broken tables or frames, etc. It is a complex but vital stage of the app development that requires real device testing capabilities that matches true-life environments.

Types of compatibility tests include:

  • Forward testing
  • Backward testing

Learn how many devices leading Commerce & Retail apps test per run

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Testlio helps retail and commerce businesses all over the world ensure great product experiences. Schedule a free demo today.

Ramit is a technophile, always interested in keeping current with the latest technologies. He works as a Test Automation Engineer and is always up for travel and adventure.