Testing is an absolutely crucial activity in the successful operation of an ecommerce. It helps in evaluating and assessing the features and functionalities of an online store, to make sure that it works as expected for both the business and the users. There are several factors to consider when testing the quality of an ecommerce website, such as security, speed, and usability. Nevertheless, there is one that encapsulates all these areas: Ecommerce UX testing.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll delve into the world of ecommerce user experience (UX) testing, what specific areas it focuses on, the benefits and challenges of such testing. We will also investigate the tools and best practices that can help online businesses to easily kickstart their UX testing journey, minus the complexity. Let’s begin!
- What is Ecommerce UX Testing
- Types of UX Testing for An Ecommerce Store
- Challenges of Ecommerce UX Testing
- Best Practices in Ecommerce UX Testing
- Wrapping Things Up
What is Ecommerce UX Testing
Ecommerce UX testing is the process of evaluating the website or web application for any issues that can cause an impact to the user experience. The primary objectives of UX testing are to ensure that:
- The website’s behaviour in its interaction with users is as intended and meets the requirements set by the business owner.
- Errors that impact the user experience are detected and isolated as quickly as possible.
- The website’s features and functionalities maintain the quality and reliability needed for users to have a friction-free shopping experience.
Types of UX Testing for An Ecommerce Store
It is important to note that there are several types of UX testing for ecommerce applications. While these testing types each belong to a specialized area in quality assurance, we will explain how each of them is related to the assessment of the user experience.
Functional testing is basically the evaluation of a website’s functionalities in the area of basic usability. To put it simply, this testing ensures that a user’s input on a particular website feature produces an expected output. For example:
Account registration (Feature) + Login username and password (Inputs) = User is registered so long as the inputs are valid (Output)
Visual testing, in simplest terms, is verifying that everything appears correct, or as intended. It consists of:
- Making sure that everything that we want on a page of a website is actually there.
- Making sure that everything we don’t want to be there is not.
- Making sure that the visible output of the website is as intended by the businesses and for the user.
If you want to learn more about how visual testing is performed and why it is important for online businesses, this article may interest you.
Browser Compatibility Testing
There are several browsers available on the internet, and each of them behaves differently. Browser compatibility testing ensures that your users have a seamless experience on your website across various browsers. Although testing one’s online store with all browsers is not practical, test automation can be used to validate it with the most popular platforms to assure proper operation.
When it comes to the user experience, availability testing plays a critical role because it tests whether your online store can be accessed by users at any time. This consists of checking for denial of service attacks and identifying possible errors such as server delays.
Usability testing is all about getting real people to interact with a website, app, or any other product, and observing their behaviour and reactions to it. In the case of an ecommerce website, usability testing is done either through moderated user test sessions, or with tools such as session recordings. The goal of usability testing is to identify areas of confusion / pain points in the customer journey, in order to highlight opportunities to improve the overall user experience.
Performance Metric Testing
Page speed performance can make or break your ecommerce business. It plays a significant role in the overall user experience. There are internal and external factors that are involved in an ecommerce page speed performance.
Example of internal factors (entirely dependent on the web app itself):
- Server configuration
Example of external factors (generated as a result of user interactions):
- Transactions per minute
- Requests per second
Here is our recommended way to test and monitor for the most important web performance metrics.
Accessibility testing involves evaluating a website to ensure that it accommodates individuals with disabilities, including visual, hearing, cognitive, and motor impairments. You can learn more about accessibility and how to test it here.
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Challenges of Ecommerce UX Testing
Ecommerce UX testing presents unique challenges that businesses must address to ensure a flawless user experience.
Managing end-to-end UX testing as an ecommerce business grows is a formidable challenge. The complexity of introducing multiple changes simultaneously necessitates thorough test coverage, effective coordination across teams, and comprehensive regression testing. Managing relevant test data and converting it into actionable insights for the business add to the complexity. To address these challenges, a structured test strategy, robust test plans, and efficient automation tools are vital.
Mobile Responsiveness and Cross-Browser Compatibility
Ensuring a consistent user experience across multiple devices / resolutions / browsers is a significant challenge. Browsers in particular can interpret code differently, leading to discrepancies in how your website appears and functions. Testing your ecommerce platform for mobile responsiveness across various configurations is essential, but is often costly and complex.
Ecommerce sites often rely on third-party integrations for various functions such as page optimization, CMS features, payment processing, shipping, and more. These integrations can introduce compatibility and other performance issues, and are not always so easy to isolate. Ensuring that all third-party services work smoothly with your platform is essential for a streamlined user experience.
Best Practices in Ecommerce UX Testing
Now that you know what types of UX testing to perform, how can you enhance your efforts and reduce the complexity of the testing process? Here are some tips and best practices to consider when performing UX testing for your online store.
Comprehensive End-to-End Testing
Don’t limit your testing just to individual pages. Evaluate the entire user journey, from landing on your site to completing a purchase. Understanding the complete customer experience helps you identify and address pain points more effectively.
International Market Testing
If your ecommerce business serves multiple markets, ensure you conduct market-specific testing. Different markets may have unique preferences, regulations, and requirements. Validating the user experience according to each market’s needs can significantly improve conversion rates.
Beyond the Viewport
While viewport testing is crucial, remember that the user experience extends beyond what’s visible on the screen. Validate visual and functional elements outside the user’s immediate view, as these can impact user satisfaction. Valido App, for instance, empowers you to verify elements beyond the viewport, enhancing your testing accuracy.
Test Automation Tools
Embrace test automation tools like Valido App to simplify the creation and execution of tests. These tools not only save time but also enhance testing accuracy and coverage, making it easier to identify and resolve issues that affect user experience.
Wrapping Things Up
Ecommerce UX testing is essential for delivering a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience to your customers. Therefore it is crucial to carefully consider the specific requirements and needs of your organization such as tools, processes, and resources.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro in this space, understanding the nuances of UX testing and leveraging test automation tools like Valido can make a significant difference in the success of your online store.
By implementing the best practices above and utilizing the right testing tools, you can ensure that your UX testing efforts are not only efficient but also yield tangible results in the overall success of your business.
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Digital UX, writing about the latest ecommerce trends.