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What Is User Acceptance Testing? How to Do Ecommerce UAT

March 02, 2022

There’s a critical stage between developing an application and launching it — and that’s testing.

In the world of ecommerce, even the greatest marketing strategies, web designs, sales campaigns, and SEO practices can all be for nothing when errors and bugs crash your website.

To avoid this costly problem, this blog will cover ecommerce tips specifically related to ecommerce UAT, otherwise known as user acceptance testing.

Keep reading to:

  • Learn what user acceptance testing is.
  • See user acceptance testing examples.
  • Learn user acceptance testing best practices.
  • Get a user acceptance testing checklist.

What is User Acceptance Testing?

User acceptance testing (UAT) is a type of testing and one of the final stages of the overall cycle of software development life cycle. It’s also called end user testing. UAT is an important part of the process because it validates end-to-end business functionality.

It doesn’t focus on things like spelling mistakes or cosmetic errors. Instead, UAT occurs in a separate testing environment that has a production-like data setup.

Who performs UAT? The client or the end-user does it in order to verify/accept the software system after thorough integration, functional, and system testing. It’s the stage that comes before you decide to move the software application to the production environment.

What Is Ecommerce UAT?

UAT is a vital step if you have an ecommerce business. Ecommerce UAT helps you determine if your site and its functions meet necessary criteria to be successful on the market.

Within this stage, you can discover anomalies and bugs that can hinder your website’s sales and ruin your brand’s image. By testing ahead of time, you can uncover these flaws before they go live on your site.

User Acceptance Testing Examples

Here we’ll talk about how UAT looks in practice.

Test Plan

For any type of QA test, you need to prepare a test plan you’ll use to keep up with the whole project. The first step is to create the test cases.

Test Case

A test case lays out all the features and functions of your website or application that need to be tested. Some ecommerce website testing test cases include:

  • Entering a promo code.
  • Adding items to the cart.
  • Sharing items on social media.
  • Plus many other functions.

With user stories, you can check if your site meets the requirements you specified.

For instance, an online customer wants to place their cursor on some product to see information related to that product such as name, image, color options, and price. Using the user story, a person who’s performing the test can check if this function works well or not.

Testing Configurations

After you’ve outlined your test cases, you then need to consider test coverage across different configurations most common to your audience. Ecommerce UAT must cover proper testing configurations across different browsers, devices, and operating systems.

Since most of today’s traffic on the Internet comes from mobile phones, think mobile first. When performing user acceptance testing, test your website using a combination of testing configurations that represent both markets and specific habits of your customers.

UAT Design

When you’re in the design phase, it’s crucial to determine the best way to execute your tests.

This includes making a choice between an automated or manual approach when it comes to testing. If you go with a manual approach, the next step is deciding between scenario-based or  exploratory methods.

In exploratory testing, your team will randomly, but still purposefully, explore your site and test features they may come across. In scenario-based methodology, testers follow a detailed and rather precise script or testing guide to examine specific functions.

UAT Execution

For better test execution, consider using a professional, objective testing team with relevant experience and training. For some companies, this could mean turning to their in-house QA testers or simply choosing the services of a third-party.

However, if you’re an ecommerce store owner, you’re probably on your own when it comes to testing — and doing everything else to run your business too. You probably don’t have the time or resources to devote to testing.

To help you test critical ecommerce website features, Nexcess offers built-in WooCommerce automated testing. This keeps your store running smoothly without any major effort on your end.

User Acceptance Testing Best Practices

Here are some user acceptance testing best practices to consider for your ecommerce site.

Pay Attention to Details in Test Cases

With clear test cases, you will be able to streamline the entire testing process and clarify desired outcomes. Detailed test cases will provide you with a better understanding of what you need to do in practice. It will help developers see what needs to be fixed before checking in their code.

Be More Specific

You want your test cases to be as specific and thorough as possible. Specify literally everything you can think of: what account to use, what buttons to click, what data to enter, and what results your end user is supposed to see.

Use test cases to check how new functionalities and features fit in with existing ones. Let’s say you want to update the View Cart page of your app. You need to predict potential user actions on your website to test if everything is going to perform well.

With this in mind, include test cases with different scenarios such as one where your visitor completes the purchase, abandons it, and potentially comes back later.

Create Negative Test Cases

Negative test cases are things that shouldn’t happen when a user comes to your site. Too many times, test cases focus on the best possible scenarios where the user goes to the page, clicks the button, and successfully gets the message.

However, what will happen if a visitor does something you haven’t expected? Ideally, your test cases will include specific actions a user can take, together with what should happen as a result of that.

For instance, you have a new phone number field. What will happen if a visitor enters their number in some unusual format, like letters instead of numbers? Also, what happens if it leaves it blank instead? The more precise your negative test cases are, the fewer patches you’ll have to create in the future.

Don’t Let Developers Test Your Application

Before the testing process begins, define who will perform it. Don’t include your development team: this is the user test and developers are only supposed to deal with test results in order to fix bugs.

If the application you want to test is internal, it would be best to let the actual users do the testing. After all, they’re best suited to know what exactly they’re looking for in the application and which features they want to use.

If you’re building an application for external users, find a team member who’s familiar with its purpose to test it.

User Acceptance Testing Checklist

Below, you’ll find a user acceptance testing checklist to simplify your processes.

Initiate the UAT Project

When starting with ecommerce UAT, make sure you:

  • Identify who your key stakeholders are. Generally speaking, stakeholders are individuals who are concerned or have an interest in the outcome of your activity/project.
  • Choose a team leader who will take responsibility for monitoring and planning UAT activities and communicate decision making structures.
  • Communicate the project intent, goals, and general criteria of the system.
  • Agree on your UAT team and the resources they get.
  • Agree on necessary documentation to support UAT.
  • Form an initial project plan for UAT and initiate the training.

Planning the Ecommerce UAT

When planning, include the following tasks:

  • Look for the best approach to the testing process by identifying the method of system acquisition.
  • Check if the end user expectations and business intent are measurable.
  • Verify that all requirement types are included and the business requirements are captured.
  • Check the acceptance criteria.
  • Capture the business processes.
  • Evaluate if your current documentation is sustainable to become a test basis.

UAT Design

These are steps for UAT that will help you get the desired outcome:

  • Determine the entry criteria for UAT.
  • Review test scripts where available.
  • Define the testing strategy.
  • Review existing tests and write new test conditions if necessary.
  • Review existing test cases and write new test cases based on reviewed test conditions.
  • Write test scripts for your test cases.
  • Make sure your tests cover all the necessary requirements.

UAT Execution

UAT execution includes the following tasks:

  • Check availability and the conditions of the UAT environment.
  • Define the priorities in your strategy.
  • Create a detailed test schedule to make the most out of the available resources.
  • Make sure your test log is up to date.
  • Make sure all incidents are reported on time.
  • Communicate with your developers to make sure there are no bottlenecks.
  • Create test summary reports on a regular basis.

UAT Release Decisions

The following steps will help your team to decide if you should release the project or it’s not ready yet:

  • Identify status against acceptance criteria as well as time and effort needed to meet them in detail.
  • Look for alternative options based on potential risks.
  • Determine emergency release criteria to enable release in controlled conditions.
  • Report the status of the testing project to key stakeholders and prepare alternative suggestions for release.
  • Get a complete UAT report with suggestions and recommendations ready.

Post-Testing Actions

What can you do when the UAT project is finished?

  • Carry out user training planning and design.
  • Ensure post-release support.
  • Keep up with continuous testing.
  • Create a UAT report with FAQ.

Now You Know

Ecommerce UAT ensures your website is in its best shape and error free. Many tend to overlook this step, even though it is critical to a solid ecommerce strategy.

You can do all these testing steps yourself, or you can leave it to the experts. With a proper ecommerce hosting solution like Nexcess, you get the full package: built-in testing, sales monitoring, and all backed by high-performance hosting.

Nexcess automatically tests your ecommerce website for you, so you don't have to worry. Check out the Nexcess-exclusive WooCommerce automated testing feature to learn more.

Or, check out our WooCommerce hosting plans to get started today.

Aaron Binders