6 Software Testing Essentials For Better E-commerce Portals

February 12, 2019

Are Website Glitches Knocking Down Your Sales?

So, you have an e-commerce portal with payment gateways and shopping carts. Not to forget, you are looking after an extensive set of features like product catalogs, customer data, marketing automation and lots more. This calls for some stringent software testing!

Running an e-commerce portal can be frustrating especially if your website is vulnerable to glitches and doesn’t perform up to the mark. Some of the most common problems eCommerce portal owners come across include:

  1. The failure to satisfy online customers due to overly complicated product categorization and a search panel.
  2. The ability to handle scalability of customer and shopping cart data.
  3. Problems in handling payment processes
  4. Difficulty in managing and verifying customer profiles and transaction reports
  5. Problems in optimizing the sales funnel
  6. Difficult in identifying and running marketing campaigns on the portal
  7. The inability to maintain website standards across different platform, geographical regions and ‘smart’ devices.

The good news is that you can implement software testing of your eCommerce portal to eliminate functional flaws. You can also check the performance and usability of your online portal and at the same time optimize the ‘customer appeal’ of your website.

Why should you test E-Commerce websites?

Sometimes you would make a minor change to your online portal and later find out that the entire content is poorly formatted.  Perhaps the worst nightmare for eCommerce owners is when shopping cart changes trigger security alert and the customers are forced to run away.

More and more customers today are using mobile devices to access online shopping portals, and this is exactly the reason why you should invest in a separate mobile responsive website with device friendly templates and HTML coding. eCommerce problems can also appear due to changes in the versions of the Android/iOS operating systems and the variety of screen sizes and mobile devices.

Remember that you should test your eCommerce portal for:

  1. Changes in content – headlines, promotional banners, and slider images
  2. Differences in formatting
  3. Changes in a shopping cart, secure checkout
  4. Addition or removal of links and promotional marketing campaigns
  5. Modifications in site navigation or template
  6. Adding promotional coupons, and discounts
  7. Adding, removing or modifying landing pages and product category pages
  8. Upgrading the operating system or app software
  9. Changes in the Login process
  10. Adding new ad campaigns

Checklist for Testing E-commerce Websites:

Some of the critical elements that need to be testing when you are the owner of an eCommerce website are as follows:

1. Homepage

Your homepage will have a lot going on. Make sure you check the interval at which images will be refreshed and whether the banners/images can be clicked on. Also, the page should load fast and the rest of the content should be viewed correctly across different browsers and screen resolutions. With lots of scripts running on the pages these days, ensure that the images and content are loading fast enough and rich media does not hamper the user experience

2. Search Bar

Search algorithms are important for the success of the eCommerce platform. Your customers should be able to search for products or specific brands or something more specific. More importantly, search results must be relevant.

The most important and relevant features that need to be tested are sorting, filtering and pagination. The search results page should:

  • Display relevant products
  • Display product image, information, price and maybe customer ratings
  • Number of products per page according to the requirement
  • Results must be sortable based on the typical fields like price, ratings etc.

Pagination checks that all items displayed on a page are different from the previous page. Remember, there should be no duplicates. If there are any ad-based items inserted in the list for promotions, they should be aptly marked so.

Filtering should allow customers to select 3, 4 or 5 different options from your drop-down menu.

3. Products Information Page

This is the most important page which determines whether there will be a sale or not. The product detail page has an image of the product, product specifications, reviews, shipping options, delivery information, check out options, promotional details, stock information, and color variations available. All this information must be correctly verified and should match the correct backend systems related to logistics and stock, also the promotional and current offer running should display on the correct category items.

4. Shopping Cart

The shopping cart can decide the fate of your sales. In fact, this is the stage before the customer commits to the purchase. You should test the following scenarios:

  • How customers can add items to the shopping cart and continue shopping?
  • The total number of items in the cart should get incremented as the customer continues to shop
  • Total price, the number of items and their totals should be displayed clearly in the cart.
  • Any taxes and shipping charges available should be displayed in the cart
  • Cart total should reflect all additions/changes a user makes – for example adding items to the item, removing items
  • Shopping cart page should have the option where customers can proceed to checkout and choose their preferred shipping option
  • The cart should allow customers to apply coupons, calculate discounts
  • There should be an option titled “don’t check out.” In this case, customers can close the website and come back later to complete their purchase.

5. Payment/Purchase

Payment page should display different payment options and whether users can simply check out as guests. There must be a separate sign-in for returning customers and new user sign up. If you are storing credit card information, perform security testing and make sure the login session has a specific time threshold. If your session does expire, make sure the user is timed out completely. Any failed transactions are appropriately reported, and any financial transactions should be reversed in such failure cases. The payment history should also be available in the account history and should be verified too.

6. Post Purchase Testing

This involves testing actions users can do after placing their order. For example, they should be able to change their order or review order history. Customers should also have the option to make changes to their user account if applicable.

Other functionalities that can be tested as part of e-commerce platform include recommendations, the database of product, warehouse system and contacting customer care.

To summarize, each feature of an e-commerce website needs to be tested to make sure it is correctly implemented. Moreover, as the business owner, you should perform routine checks so that your website keeps running smoothly. Looking for a software testing partner to help you set up a robust and fully functional eCommerce site? Reach out to us and let us help you in your e-Commerce endeavors.


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