Online shopping (or online commerce) has now become a global phenomenon, owing to the increased mobile and internet penetration. Consumers are now able to shop even when they are on the move!
As per reports, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 7.9 percent. The growth is not only limited to the B2C segment but a phenomenal growth is also observed across the B2B segment. The global e-commerce industry is expected to be a mammoth $6.2 industry.
The load on e-commerce websites and mobile applications rises exponentially during the peak seasons (e.g. shopping festivals, yearend sale, etc.). A large number of simultaneous sessions (during the peak seasons) could also lead to a huge load on the server.
Hence, performance testing of the e-commerce website and application becomes an absolute necessity to ensure stability of the website and app under different load conditions.
In this blog, we look at the integral aspects of load testing from the lens of an e-commerce business owner. Since top-notch performance at heavy load is important, it is recommended to partner with a load testing services company in case you do not have in-house expertise in load testing.
What Is Load Testing?
Load testing is a type of performance testing that simulates real-world scenarios on the website and application. This category of testing helps in monitoring the system performance at different load levels.
The pattern of system behavior at varied loads provides a birds eye-view of the system’s performance. The performance and system resources are monitored based on the high demand of the end-users.
At the end of a load test, your QA engineers and testers would have detailed information about the system performance under peak loads. Corrective actions aid in improving the agility and stability of the SUT (system under test).
You need to choose from the list of best load testing tools to give shape to your load testing strategy.
Questions To Consider For Load Testing Of E-commerce Websites
As an e-commerce business owner, the critical question that you need to ask is “What factors need to be considered when building a formidable laid testing strategy”? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question since the overall strategy largely depends on the size, scale, and traffic to the website (and application).
Also Read – Why Load Testing Is Important For Your Website?
Keeping these varying factors aside, here are some of the critical pointers that should be considered when building a load testing strategy:
- Is the server configuration proper for handling peak traffic?
- Does geo-location(s) have any issue on the website (and application) performance?
- Are the website design and other aspects designed properly to handle peak traffic?
- What is the average response time for different user paths?
- What is the average response time for different transactions on the website (and application)?
- Is the website (and application) design and interface optimized well for handling localized requirements?
- What are the different points of failures when there is an enormous increase in the number of users, orders, products, and more?
- How to track vital health parameters like CPU usage, Disk usage, memory leaks, network limitations, etc?
Whether it is horizontal or vertical e-commerce, the website must be built to handle peak traffic; that too without any deterioration in the product experience. Whether it is the customer facing website or the admin-side website; all the modules in the respective areas must be tested thoroughly for load testing.
Benefits of Load Testing of E-commerce websites
Load testing of e-commerce websites tests all the integral modules that comprise the website in a thorough manner. Many e-commerce companies also partner with QA vendors (e.g. KiwiQA) that have expertise in providing varied load testing services to a wide range of e-commerce clients.
Here are some of the essential features that are tested as a part of load testing of the website:
1. Important User Paths
E-commerce websites consist of complicated user flows that need to work seamlessly to realize higher conversion rates. The pages for user registration, login, product showcase, shopping cart, checkout, etc. should work flawlessly at different loads.
Testing these critical user paths under different load conditions will help in identifying the potential issues that might be dampeners for higher conversions.
2. Inventory Management
Inventory (or SKU – Stock Keeping Unit) is the backbone of any e-commerce website. Sellers on the e-commerce website add products to their store (on the site) using the inventory management software.
Whenever items are uploaded by the seller, checks must be in place for ensuring that duplicate records, incorrect details, etc. are not a part of the product. Take the case of a store (or seller) that has only 100 items for a particular product in the inventory but an order of 200 orders is placed at the same time. This can cause a huge issue since the seller has only 100 items in the inventory. Load testing can help in detecting and resolving such issues.
Time spent on the site is an important metric for any e-commerce website but conversion (or sale) brings them revenues. Many e-commerce companies provide the customers with different payment options (e.g. debit card, credit card, etc.), along with providing them options for choosing their preferred payment providers (e.g. Amazon Pay, Google Pay, etc.).
Load testing of a simultaneous number of transactions should be performed for their own payment gateway as well as third-party gateways. This ensures that there is minimal friction in the buying process, which eventually helps in improving the conversion rate.
4. Back-end integrations
E-commerce systems are complicated since there are simultaneous interactions with a number of modules like shopping cart, payments, inventory management, invoicing, logistics systems, etc. Under heavy load, any of the modules (that are not thoroughly tested) can falter in performance.
This makes load testing of back-end systems like invoicing, logistics, etc. an integral part of the stability of the e-commerce website.
Apart from load testing of the above mentioned components, you should load test modules (or components) like e-mail messaging, third-party services, APIs, and SMS (and/or other messaging systems).
Also Read – Why Testing Is Crucial For E-Commerce?
Load testing of e-commerce websites and applications should be taken on a high priority from the beginning of the project. It helps in improving the stability, reliability, performance, and scalability of the e-commerce website.
Once these factors have improved, the overall experience leads to increased time spent on site and higher customer stickiness. All these combined factors increase the chances of customers purchasing from the said website. Each sale on the site eventually helps in improving the conversion (and profits).
Since load testing is so important for e-commerce business, the owners of the business should partner with a proven QA vendor like KiwiQA that has helped multiple e-commerce companies reach massive scale through their e-commerce testing services.