A brief guide to eCommerce testing | DeviQA
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A brief guide to eCommerce testing

A brief guide to eCommerce testing
July 5, 2022


The shopping experience has immensely changed over the last decade. These days for a majority of people it is a usual thing to buy goods of the most diverse types online. Convenience and time saving are the main advantages of online shopping that nudge even skeptical shoppers to give it a try. Consequently, today there are millions of online shoppers, and there is no lack of e-shops. Therefore, those who are engaged in the eCommerce business have a lot of opportunities, but also face a serious challenge which is severe competition. To outshine rivals and win customers’ hearts from first sight, it is essential to pay particular attention to e-store testing. If you want to dig deeper into the topic, read on.

What is eCommerce Testing?

eCommerce testing can be defined as a process of checking an eCommerce website or application against specifications in order to make sure that it works, looks, and feels as expected. In these terms, consideration should be given to every single aspect such as design, layout, functionality, usability, page speed, security, stability, integrations, and more.

When performed properly and continuously, testing not only improves the overall shopping experience but also significantly boosts conversions. Below there are some reasons highlighting the importance of eCommerce testing.

eCommerce Testing Process

The eCommerce testing process is methodical and can be broadly categorized into several key stages:

Requirements Analysis: Understanding the eCommerce platform's objectives, functionality, target audience, and technical specifications to define testing criteria.
Test Planning: Developing a testing strategy that outlines the types, methods, and scope of testing, along with resource allocation and timelines.
Test Case Development: Crafting detailed test cases that cover all aspects of the eCommerce site, from user transactions to backend processes, ensuring comprehensive coverage.
Test Environment Setup: Configuring a testing environment that simulates real-world user conditions, including different devices, browsers, and network speeds.
Execution of Tests: Running the tests as per the plan, using both manual and automated methods to identify issues in the eCommerce platform.
Issue Logging and Resolution: Documenting any defects found during testing and collaborating with development teams to prioritize and fix them.
Regression Testing and Re-testing: Ensuring that fixed issues do not affect other functionalities and that the corrections are effective.
Performance Monitoring: Continuously monitoring the site's performance post-launch to detect and resolve any emerging issues.

eCommerce Testing Strategy

A robust eCommerce testing strategy is crucial for aligning the testing process with business goals and ensuring the efficiency of testing efforts. Key elements of a successful testing strategy include:

Balancing Manual and Automated Testing: Utilizing automated testing for repetitive tasks and regression tests, while employing manual testing for exploratory, usability, and ad-hoc testing scenarios.
Prioritizing Critical Path Testing: Focusing on the core functionalities that directly impact the user's ability to complete transactions, such as search, cart addition, checkout, and payment processing.
Cross-Browser and Device Testing: Ensuring compatibility across a wide range of browsers and devices to cater to all potential users.
Security and Performance Testing: Prioritizing tests that ensure the platform can handle high traffic loads securely, especially during peak shopping periods.
Continuous Integration and Deployment: Integrating testing into the development lifecycle to facilitate continuous delivery and deployment of updates.

Importance of Testing eCommerce Products Is Not Hollow Words

To succeed with the eCommerce business, you should treat every client like royalty. There is no room for crashes, non-functional navigation, dead links, slow page loading, and other stuff that can annoy or distract users.

To provide a smooth shopping experience, deliver services of the highest quality, and meet buyers’ expectations and demands, the cultivation of a testing culture is a must. It suggests the use of both manual and automation testing. A clever combination of these two approaches provides:

Complete customer satisfaction;
Prevention of critical post-release bugs and high expenses related to their fixing;
Seamless user flow and user-friendliness of an app;
Rock-solid security and sensitive data protection;
Compliance with accessibility, security, safety, and other industry standards, regulations, and procedures;
The capability of an online store to withstand huge loads.

All the mentioned above benefits result in great customer engagement, a high convention rate, and, consequently, high sales.

Online shoppers are very demanding. In case your website does not meet their expectations, they can easily find an alternative taking into account that there are a great number of e-stores. Therefore, in order to build a great reputation and not lose a single customer, e-commerce testing should not be ignored. A QA team should be engaged from the project outset, and an e-Commerce product should be properly tested after each upgrade, modification, or implementation of new features.

What to test in each part of eCommerce store?

Homepage and Navigation: The first impression is critical. Test the homepage for loading time, design consistency, ease of navigation, and the clarity of call-to-action buttons. Navigation testing ensures users can easily find what they're looking for, with functional search bars, filters, and category links.

Ensure the company logo is clickable and redirects to the homepage.
Verify that the main menu links lead to the correct categories.
Check for the presence and functionality of a search bar.
Test the responsiveness of call-to-action buttons like "Shop Now."

Product Pages: Each product page should be tested for accurate product descriptions, images, price details, and additional information like sizes, colors, or models. The page should load quickly and allow users to easily add items to their cart or wish list.

Confirm that product images load properly and can be zoomed.
Check for accurate and complete product descriptions.
Verify pricing details and if applicable, options for sizes, colors.
Test the "Add to Cart" and "Wishlist" functionality.

Shopping Cart: The shopping cart is a critical component that needs to function flawlessly. Test for adding items to the cart, updating quantities, applying coupons or discounts, visibility of total costs (including shipping), and ease of modifying or removing items.

Add multiple items to the cart and verify the total price calculation.
Test the update quantity feature and removal of items from the cart.
Apply promo codes or coupons and check if the discount applies correctly.
Ensure that shipping costs (if any) are clearly displayed.

Checkout Process: The checkout process should be straightforward and secure. Test for the ease of entering shipping and billing information, the functionality of payment gateways, and the clarity of instructions leading to the final purchase confirmation.

Walk through the checkout process to ensure each step is clear and functional.
Test form validations for shipping and billing information.
Verify successful integration with multiple payment gateways.
Check for a clear and concise purchase confirmation page.

Payment Gateway Integration: Security is paramount when handling transactions. Test all payment methods for successful processing and ensure that security protocols like SSL encryption are in place. Also, verify the handling of failed transactions and the accuracy of transaction records.

Conduct transactions using different payment methods to ensure proper processing.
Test for the secure handling of payment details.
Simulate failed transactions to verify that appropriate messages are displayed.
Ensure that transaction records are accurate and reflect in the user’s account.

User Registration and Account Management: Users should find it easy to register, log in, and manage their accounts. Test for the ease of account creation, login/logout functionality, password recovery, and the management of user profiles, including updating personal information and viewing order history.

Test the registration process for ease and validation checks.
Verify login/logout functionality, including with social media accounts.
Check the password recovery process for security and functionality.
Test the ability to update personal information and view order history.

Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, ensure your eCommerce site is fully functional and aesthetically pleasing on various devices. Test for responsive design, touch interactions, and mobile-specific functionalities.

Use tools to simulate various mobile devices and screen sizes.
Test touch interactions such as swiping through product images or menus.
Ensure text readability and button usability on smaller screens.
Verify that mobile-specific features (like hamburger menus) function correctly.

Security: Beyond payment transactions, the entire eCommerce site must be secure against vulnerabilities. Test for common security threats, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

Conduct vulnerability scans to identify potential security issues.
Test for SQL injection vulnerabilities and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
Check SSL certificate validity and configuration.
Verify compliance with data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA).

Performance and Load Testing: Your eCommerce store must perform well under different loads. Test loading times, responsiveness, and the ability to handle high traffic volumes, especially during peak shopping times.

Use tools to simulate high traffic and analyze site performance.
Test page load times under various conditions.
Identify and resolve any bottlenecks that cause slow performance.
Ensure stability of the site during peak traffic periods.

Cross-Browser Compatibility: Ensure that your eCommerce site works seamlessly across different web browsers and versions. Test for visual consistency, functionality, and performance on browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

Test the site on multiple browsers and their versions to ensure consistent behavior.
Verify layout, fonts, and images display correctly across browsers.
Check for any JavaScript or CSS compatibility issues.
Ensure forms and checkout process work seamlessly on all tested browsers.

Customer Service and Support Pages: The clarity, availability, and functionality of support pages, including FAQs, contact forms, and live chat options, should be tested to ensure customers can easily seek help and find information.

Verify the functionality of contact forms and submission confirmations.
Test the usability and accuracy of FAQs and help sections.
Ensure live chat options (if available) are functional and responsive.
Check the visibility and accuracy of contact information.

Email Integration and Notifications: Test the reliability and format of automated emails for account registration, order confirmation, shipping updates, and password resets to ensure they are sent correctly and contain accurate information.

Confirm that automated emails for account registration and order confirmation are sent promptly.
Test the format and content accuracy of automated emails on various email clients.
Verify email links (e.g., to track orders) work correctly.
Ensure password reset emails contain correct instructions and are secure.

Social Media Integration: If your store is integrated with social media for sharing products or login purposes, ensure these features work correctly and efficiently across different platforms.

Test sharing features to ensure correct product links and images are used.
Verify the functionality of login via social media accounts.
Check that social media feeds (if embedded) display correctly.
Ensure that any social media promotions or discounts apply correctly.

Accessibility: Test for accessibility compliance to ensure users with disabilities can navigate and use your site effectively. This includes keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, and adherence to WCAG guidelines.

Use accessibility testing tools to check compliance with WCAG guidelines.
Test keyboard navigation for usability without a mouse.
Verify that alt text is provided for images for screen readers.
Check color contrast ratios and font sizes for readability.

Crucial For eCommerce Solutions Types of Testing

To gain desired results and deliver to end-users an e-Commerce solution of sky-high quality, it is essential to use a holistic approach. The whole set of tests should be thoroughly carried out. Besides, when it comes to large-scale online shops, automated testing is introduced to optimize the whole QA process while being complemented by manual testing.

In terms of testing types, the following ones deserve particular attention:

Functional testing

Functional testing focuses on the work of functionality. While the set and number of features may vary from an e-store to an e-store, there is a range of common functionalities. So a suite of functional tests should cover the following core functionality: sign up, sign in, product search, filters, sorting, shopping cart, inventory management, recommended products, checkout process, payment processing, order confirmation, order tracking, refund, etc.

GUI testing

Buyers interact with an eCommerce solution using a graphical user interface. Therefore, it is crucial to check GUI elements (e.g. buttons, icons, menus, toolbars, text fields, checkboxes, and more) for availability, overlapping, size, color, location, clickability, functioning, etc.

Cross-browser testing

To ensure great work of an online shop and an awesome user experience regardless of the browser type (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari) and its version, cross-browser testing is conducted as well.

Accessibility testing

This type of testing ensures that an online shop can be easily used by people with disabilities like those suffering from blindness, deafness, and cognitive or physical problems. A QA team checks whether an eCommerce website is compatible with diverse assistive technologies.

In such a way you can not only enlarge the number of prospects but also ensure compliance with important regulations like WCAG, Section 508, ADA, etc. Depending on your target market, these may be usual recommendations or even compulsory legal requirements.

Performance testing

Under any conditions and loads, a decent online shop should work like a Swiss watch. To provide such work, a set of performance tests should be performed. It includes load testing, stress testing, volume testing, scalability testing, and spike testing. Performance testing is a must not only before a new release but also prior to promotion campaigns and mega sales. This way, you will be sure that increased traffic will not cause website downtime.

Database testing

A database plays a crucial role, and thorough database testing is crucial for eCommerce products. It checks the DB’s schema, tables, and triggers, ensuring data integrity and consistency.

Security testing

The negligence of security can cost an eCommerce business money, customers, and reputation. To identify and prevent potential security vulnerabilities, threats, and risks a whole scope of security tests needs to be executed including vulnerability scanning, security scanning, penetration testing, risk assessment, security auditing, ethical hacking, and posture assessment.

Usability testing

Usability testing is executed with the aim to ensure a smooth and pleasant buying experience. A focus group checks an online store to make sure that it is intuitive, easy-to-use, and super user-friendly, and that there are no ambiguities or difficulties at any point of a user flow.

As you see, to get prosperous, an online shop requires a lot of testing efforts. A great variety of tests should be performed to check it inside out and ensure great quality. We have shed some light on the main testing types for eCommerce websites. However, when it comes to mobile eCommerce apps, attention should be paid to some additional aspects.

Benefits of eCommerce Testing

Reiterating the importance of eCommerce testing, the benefits extend beyond just a bug-free shopping experience to include:

Enhanced User Satisfaction: By ensuring the platform is intuitive, fast, and reliable, businesses can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Increased Conversion Rates: A seamless user experience directly contributes to higher conversion rates and average order values.
Cost Efficiency: Early detection of issues reduces the cost associated with fixing bugs post-launch, which can be significantly higher.
Brand Reputation and Trust: Providing a secure and efficient shopping experience enhances brand reputation and builds trust among customers.
Market Competitiveness: Through continuous testing and improvement, eCommerce platforms can stay ahead of market trends and competitor offerings.

Challenges of eCommerce testing

Challenges in eCommerce testing are inherent to the nature of online retail platforms. These challenges range from the integration of numerous third-party services to ensuring compatibility across an ever-expanding array of devices and browsers. Moreover, the complexity of eCommerce functionalities and the critical need for robust security measures add layers of difficulty to the testing process. Understanding these challenges is crucial for developing effective strategies to overcome them.

We would not say that the stated below aspects of eCommerce testing are challenges, we would rather consider them as its peculiarities:

eCommerce solutions based on Shopify, Woocommerce, or other CMS are created within an extremely short period of time, but they usually have multiple integrations with different third-party services. Such a great number of integrations requires significant testing effort, as each of them should be carefully checked for smooth and secure communication and interaction with the eCommerce website.

Integration testing becomes crucial as eCommerce platforms rely heavily on third-party services for payment processing, inventory management, shipping, and customer engagement. Each integration point represents a potential failure zone, requiring comprehensive testing strategies to ensure data flows correctly between systems and services operate smoothly together.

New devices, as well as versions of browsers, appear very frequently. Therefore, a QA team must continuously uncover newly-appeared device-OS-browser combinations and check whether an eCommerce solution is compatible with them. Whenever tests fail, a development team must undertake corresponding optimizations.

Responsive design testing, which assesses the adaptability of an eCommerce site's layout across different screen sizes and resolutions, is essential. This includes verifying loading times, functionality, and visual consistency to prevent alienating users on any platform.

eCommerce websites usually provide users with a lot of functions. Therefore, for testers, it can be rather challenging to isolate every function and user scenario, especially at the initial testing stages.

The diverse functionalities offered by eCommerce platforms, from personalized product recommendations to dynamic pricing models, introduce complex testing scenarios. Testing must cover a vast array of user paths, including various customer segments, promotional offers, and loyalty programs, to ensure each feature functions as intended under real-world conditions.

Taking into account the fact that as a rule, eCommerce websites store the financial data of their numerous customers, they are often considered to be a great goal for hackers.

Given the attractiveness of eCommerce sites to cybercriminals, especially those storing sensitive financial information, adopting a proactive stance on security is imperative. Employing ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities, conducting regular security assessments, and adhering to stringent data protection standards like PCI DSS can fortify an eCommerce platform against breaches.

Accurate and comprehensive security testing requires special skills and considerable effort.


The eCommerce business is gaining momentum due to high demand and in spite of severe competition. Testing is what any online shop needs in order to acquire and retain a great number of customers. The thing is that eCommerce testing ensures high quality and outstanding service that all shoppers expect. For this purpose, tests of the most diverse types are carried out. If you do not want to lag behind but wish to stay ahead of the competition, engage professional software testing services and let professionals establish a sound QA process.


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