4 Ways to Keep Your Ecommerce Store Ready at All Times
Kate Pioryshkina is Ecommerce Technology Observer at Iflexion
Online retailers are growing constantly and need to get ready for a massive influx of traffic. As customer expectations and market standards are higher than ever before, it’s critical to ensure quality and high-performance at all times.
In the first half of 2019, as much as 82.24% of online retail orders from around the world were abandoned
. This makes it vital for ecommerce platforms to maintain high-performance standards to ensure enhanced customer experiences and negate shopping cart abandonment.
According to the Amazon Pay team
, online sales in both the US and Europe totaled $738 billion last year. But the average enterprise-level online store had as much as 39 common usability issues in their checkout flows. If these issues had been resolved, that could have translated into an increase of 35.26% in conversions, or the recovery of $260 billion worth of lost orders.
So how can ecommerce platforms resolve these issues and boost revenue?
Perform an online store audit
Engaging in regular audits of your platform will help identify what works and what doesn’t. It’ll also help you ascertain what you can do better.
For example, you have to review your user interface (UI) and checkout flows against your target personas. Is it meeting their expectations? More often than not, the answer will be “no.”
Upon completion of an in-depth investigation, you’ll find that some things don’t work as well as intended. Sometimes conflicts and errors can come up with application updates and so on.
So the mantra in the ecommerce game is “testing, testing, and testing.” Test everything!
According to QA and testing consultants at a1qa, if you’re running a major operation with thousands of products, it might also help to run internal and external testing exercises to identify every possible bug in the system.
1. Functional testing
Functional testing involves testing the core areas of your UI that visitors interact with. These can be anything from customer authentication, product pages, categories, search, shopping cart, and more.
When you start testing, for example, you might notice that the product description doesn’t load on Google Chrome, or you might find that a product search didn’t filter the results accurately.
By simulating customer browsing, search, and checkout journeys, you can experience what visitors experience on your platform. This will help you figure out if everything is working as intended.
2. Usability testing
Usability testing is critical to user experience (UX). In today’s fast-paced shopping landscape, usability testing is at the heart of successful business models. This is because even a delay by a fraction of a second could lead to millions in losses.
Let’s put this into perspective. In 2018, Alibaba’s Singles Day sales smashed ecommerce sales records by achieving $1 billion in sales
in just a minute and 25 seconds.
That’s over a $11 million in sales in just one second!
So it’s now vital for ecommerce vendors to take a proactive approach to make sure that there’s no room for error or latency.
If there are additional steps, features, or pages that might hinder great customer experiences, usability testing will pinpoint what needs to be tweaked.
For example, it’ll be critical to make sure that the checkout process is highly user-friendly and easy to navigate. If there are some unnecessary fields in the checkout process, get rid of it to make the experience as painless as possible.
While you’re at it, you can consider adding a guest checkout option if you haven’t already implemented it. This is because one in five users prefer it, and not having this option could lead to shopping cart abandonment.
3. Performance testing
Performance testing is key to validating speed, stability, and scalability of an ecommerce platform. This way, you’ll ascertain if it’s meeting your performance objectives such as response times.
Performance tests will let you know the number of requests that can be submitted per second, the length of time between a click and product display, and the number of transactions that can be handled every minute.
There are different types of performance testing that suit ecommerce platforms:
- Capacity testing to determine how many users the system/application can successfully handle
- Load testing to find out if the system can manage the expected number of transactions under both normal and peak load conditions
- Soak or endurance testing to ensure that the shopping platform can handle a high traffic load for a prolonged period
- Spike testing to see how the system behaves under a sudden increase of load or active users on the platform
- Stress testing to understand how the ecommerce application will behave once the load is increased beyond the system’s design expectations
- Volume testing to determine if the database can handle high volumes of data)
As you can see from the list above, these performance tests help online retailers cover all bases and prepare for the festive “shopping” season.
4. Security testing
Data breaches are on the news almost every day. To keep your brand out of the headlines, rigorous security testing will be needed to identify whatever was missed during the build.
To prepare for the worst, it’s best to engage in white-hat, or ethical, hacking. In this scenario, SQL injections can be leveraged to find and resolve security issues.
Security is critical to building trust and maintaining brand loyalty. So it’s essential to make this a core part of your business culture.
If you engage in thorough testing of your ecommerce website now, you’ll have enough time to identify and rectify bugs and bottlenecks in the system. In fact, it’s vital to implement a culture of continuous testing to not only boost sales but also maintain brand value and relevance.
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