E-commerce has made our lives so easy by providing a medium to shop at our own comfort and convenience. We can order almost everything by sitting in front of our computers avoiding huge lineups and travel tiredness. As a tester, it can be quite challenging to test E-commerce website since there are so many general scenarios to test but the priority would always be “excellent user experience”. No doubt, exploratory testing plays a major role here.
I remember once, I wanted to buy a dress online and I added that to my cart when I proceeded with checkout, it threw an error of “out of stock item” but when I went to the page where I added that dress, it didn’t show “out of stock”, it was still showing in stock. That was annoying as a customer since it wasted my time and efforts and I decided not to buy anything from that website again. Another experience was with the responsiveness and compatibility of the website. I was not able to see the details of the product I wanted to buy on my phone; it is much easier to shop using our Smartphone’s than on computers. There are many factors which can led to a bad user experiences and after such bad experiences, the user will not visit those websites for shopping which is the potential loss to an organization holding such businesses.
And I also realized the importance of testing an E-commerce website thoroughly from user’s perspective. It can make or break the business. One bad review and you will lose the customer base, and great user experience would let your customer do the marketing and earn you lots of money as well as prestige in the market.
Lets’ take an example of a very popular E-commerce website “Amazon.com” which sells almost everything and see what are the major areas which should be tested properly that can make or break their business:
1. Excellent UI:
Easy to use and understand user interface is a great way to attract more customers. UI with all the details and good picture quality is one of the example. Not only, it helps the customers to shop faster but also, it helps them to see all the details which they need to know before buying the product. Bottom line is that, when you shop physically in a store then that store uses the dummies to shown how beautiful the dress would look like after wearing, in the similar way the GUI used to display the dress should be as good as the actual dummies. So that the customer will prefer to buy the items from the online store instead of the physical stores.
2. Proper updated Information:
As I mentioned above, the item I wanted to buy did not show “out of stock” at the time I added it to my cart but at the time of checkout, it threw an error. A good E-commerce website would have all the updated information to avoid bad user experiences. For example, it can show “out of stock” and have an option to notify user when the item is again available in the stock. Other approach could be to stop adding the out of stock product to be added to the shopping cart by disabling “add to cart” button. The tester has all the rights to log this bug and suggest the business analysis team after explaining this bad use case and help in finding the best user experience that could add value to the online business.
Here, we have two scenarios, compatibility with different browsers and responsiveness to different devices of different screen sizes or view ports and operating systems. For best user experiences, all possible options should be tested. For example, if your E-commerce business has a mobile app then user should be notified to download the app when he or she is trying to shop using his phone. Users find it more convenient to shop on their mobile apps so the compatibility of the online shopping application should be well taken care of.
4. Smooth checkout process:
After adding the products to the shopping cart, the checkout process and payment process should be very smooth and secure. Not only the application performance but also the amount of details to enter and number of steps to complete the purchase order should be as minimum as possible. For example, Amazon provides the feature to pre save your address details and credit card information so that you can quickly checkout and places the purchase order. It has one click purchase feature as well which demands the one time setting and saves a lot of time while checking out the shopped items or products.
5. Load on server:
The web application or mobile application is hosted on a web server. The application should have undergone the load and performance testing both on the web server and the UNIX server. It should not happen that the user while shopping faces the delay or HTTP response 404 error due to server busy or if due to a huge sale, number of customer has increased, server should be able to handle the load properly.
6. Redirection to the proper website according to the location of the user:
This is one of the features that should be tested geography wise. In other words, it should not happen that a person logged in Canada is purchase stuffs from Amazon US or India website. The URL should be directly properly as per the geography, this will ensure the country tax compliance and other details.
In this article, we have highlighted that how popular E-commerce is in today’s world which will eventually be more popular in the days to come. This business could be make or break only if such application is tested properly after keeping in mind the above points and filling the grey areas. The best part in testing such application or website is innovative test scenarios and there is no limit to it.
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