It's more important than ever to make sure your ecommerce website is functioning correctly and is as user friendly as possible.
Recent ecommerce trends have shown an increased presence of online stores on the internet therefore, creating more competition.
One of the best ways to make sure your ecommerce website is standing out above your competitors is to have a solid test plan in place.
Keep reading to learn more about ecommerce test plans, what they entail, and how to create a test plan for your ecommerce site.
Why You Need a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Site
Testing any website is important, but it's especially important when it involves your business and increasing your revenue. A test plan is a plan to methodically test, review, and improve and fix functionalities on a website. This is especially important if you have an online store.
There are many benefits to having a test plan for your ecommerce website. Whether it be monitoring your top ecommerce metrics, getting ready to release a new ecommerce website, or making improvements to an existing site, having a test plan for your ecommerce site is a key activity for a healthy website.
A test plan can help you stay organized and purposeful when testing in order to make sure everything is working correctly and that the user can easily navigate and interact with the website. The lack of testing or not having a clear plan to test your site could lead to a site malfunction, which means you could lose potential sales.
Types of Tests to Include in an Ecommerce Test Plan
There are many different types of testing methods that can be included in your ecommerce test plan. Here are four main testing methods that can be used for an ecommerce testing plan.
Ecommerce Performance Testing
This type of testing is good for making sure the responsiveness of your website is fast enough. You’ll want to make sure your site is high performing.
Performance testing encompasses a wide variety of checks, including responsiveness, ecommerce load testing, and simultaneous session performance testing. Hopefully your site load is, at some point, put to the test with heavy traffic.
The key to being able to handle a heavy load is being prepared for it. This type of testing is usually successful when it is imitated with a script that pushes traffic to your site all in quick successions. Luckily, Nexcess has a performance tool that can assist you in this type of testing with the ability to monitor the site performance.
Security Testing for Ecommerce Websites
It’s very important to make sure you provide a safe and secure shopping experience for your users. Ecommerce site security is important. Site visitors won’t buy if they’re worried their data will be compromised.
Before you include security as a part of your test plan, you will first want to understand what the security requirements or needs are for the ecommerce site. There are a few different security measures that can be applied to make sure your site is secure.
Whether it’s confirming your customer’s account data is secure or the application systems are up to date, with security testing it is efficient to use scripted testing because it gives a more accurate report of a real world scenario.
Most of the time when someone is attempting to “poke holes” in your website’s security, it's going to be through the use of some sort of scripting.
Since there are many security testing applications out there for performing these types of testing, we recommend finding one that will work for your ecommerce security needs.
Having a couple of users test very specific portions of a website ensures that your important functionalities are working properly. This is critical to making sales.
In the later stages of the test plan, it’s a good idea to include user acceptance testing. User acceptance testing (UAT) is a manual process of having users visit specific portions of the site that are of importance to you.
These users complete tasks on the test plan list and compare the expected outcomes to what is actually taking place in the website. As the users look at the different functionalities, they are noting whether or not the outcome is working as expected or if the developers need to review the malfunctions.
Some portions of a website that you might cover in ecommerce UAT include product descriptions, adding an item to the cart, confirming search engine accuracies, user friendliness, and secure check out process.
End to End Testing
It’s a good idea to have your online shop walked through as if the user were a customer. This type of testing has many benefits.
End to end testing is a very thorough way of confirming the user’s experience throughout the entire ecommerce website. This type of testing confirms everything on the website is working from the beginning of a customer’s path, through the many different site clicks, to the purchasing, and post sale.
Unlike user acceptance testing, this type of testing has someone test from the homepage and navigate through the entire website as a customer would until they get a post sale confirmation.
Manual Testing vs. Automated Testing for Ecommerce Sites
When it comes to testing ecommerce sites, you can perform tests manually, or you can automate the process.
Manual testing is time consuming. Either you have to do the testing yourself or hire testers to go through your ecommerce site. Automated testing can be tricky to set up and run successfully. It can also be expensive and hard to scale as you grow.
Depending on the size of your site, you might prefer to have some of the testing done via automated script. Keep in mind there are certain things you will still want performed manually.
If you own one of the top ecommerce sites for example, you’d need to automate your ecommerce test plans to cover the breadth of testing needed. Larger ecommerce sites will especially benefit from automated testing, but ecommerce stores of all sizes, including WordPress online stores, can enjoy the benefits of automated testing.
How to Create a Test Plan for Your Ecommerce Website
Creating a test plan for your ecommerce website is fairly straightforward. It could even be as simple as creating a checklist for ecommerce website testing. Start by outlining the top test cases that are critical to your ecommerce site.
The test plan usually consists of test cases that range from functionalities to site experiences that are the most important to you.
Examples of ecommerce testing test cases to feature in your test plan include:
- Customers can log in
- The cart page loads
- A single product page loads
- The main shop page loads
- A customer can add a product to their cart
- A customer can reach the checkout page
- A customer can checkout as a guest
- A registered customer can checkout
For each test case, you should also document the expected outcomes. This way it’s clear when the test results align with your expectations.
Some of the common places that are tested in a test plan are the landing page (aka homepage), product descriptions, search engine, creating an account, signing in, cart interaction, purchase experience, post purchase experience.
Once you have a list of critical test cases you might consider labeling what should be performed manually and what, if any, test cases that should be tested with automated scripting.
You will want to examine the test results after performing the tests. The results you get from testing, depending on the type of testing you decide on performing, will typically come from user notes or a script output. After testing you will want to go through the output and fix any test results and repeat those tests until they pass.
Nexcess Makes Ecommerce Testing Easy
You can do all of this hard work yourself, or you can let the experts take care of ecommerce website testing for you.
Nexcess can help make it easy for you with our built-in automated testing, which is included in all of our WordPress ecommerce hosting plans. With nightly tests and results that show up right in your WordPress dashboard, you’re always on top of things with no effort at all.
With Nexcess’s WooCommerce Automated Testing our customers can feel confident knowing they are being alerted to issues on their ecommerce website.
Try Fully Managed WooCommerce Hosting from Nexcess
The ecommerce hosting solution that you choose directly impacts the success of your business.
Nexcess WooCommmerce hosting provides exclusive tools that can help you monitor your site’s performance and sales, such as Plugin Performance Monitor and Sales Performance Monitor.
The Plugin Performance Monitor informs you of performance changes before and after a plugin or theme is installed. Sales Performance Monitor watches your online store’s sales analytics and informs you of trends, such as your sales slowing down.
Check out our WooCommerce fully managed hosting plans to get started today.