Online commerce (or e-commerce) has taken the entire world by storm, with the online shopping boom penetrating even the emerging economies. Mobile internet penetration can be considered as one of the major driving factors of this growing trend.
When we refer to online buying and selling of goods (or items), it not only applies to the B2C (Business to Consumer) market but also applies to the B2B (Business to Business) market. As per reports, Australia is the eleventh-largest e-commerce market in the world.
The overall e-commerce revenue of the Australian market is expected to reach $32.3 billion by 2024. The growth is not only limited to the digital-first online businesses but it has coerced brick & mortar stores to shift online. However, maintaining an e-commerce store is not an easy task since there are tons of technical complexities in the entire chain. Apart from inventory, supply-chain, and other challenges; the development & QA teams need to ensure that every aspect of the website is functional all the time.
Though a lot of thrust should be given to the product development, an equivalent amount of importance should also be given to the testing of the e-commerce website. An e-commerce testing company that has expertise in providing testing services to online commerce companies can be a huge value-add in the process.
The reason is that there are major challenges in making the most of automation testing when it comes to e-commerce websites, the major ones are listed below:
1. Seamless Communication Across Teams
Just imagine the scale of testing being performed by the e-commerce behemoth Amazon! The complexities of testing an e-commerce platform grow exponentially with the DAU (Daily Active Users) and MAU (Monthly Active Users) on the site.
This is where communication between different teams (i.e. product, development, testing, etc.) plays a vital role in the entire process. Along with using the right set of automation testing tools, it is essential to integrate the same with CI/CD pipelines (e.g. Jenkins) and project management tools (e.g. Jira).
This ensures that the developer changes are tested on the Staging server before being deployed on the Production server. Integration with a project management tool ensures that the bugs being discovered during the testing process are assigned to the right development teams.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds! When planning to test e-commerce websites, it becomes essential to maintain a smooth flow of information between teams so that discovered issues can be closed at a quicker pace.
2. Availability Of Multiple Integrations
Many e-commerce website owners use CMS (Content Management System) and/or ready-to-use e-commerce platforms (e.g. Shopify, Magento, etc.) to build their e-commerce store. The availability of ready-made shopping templates enables the website owner to go live in the shortest possible time.
These e-commerce platforms provide third-party integrations to manage tax calculation, enable gift cards, manage online payment, and more. There must be a seamless integration between the third-party providers with the e-commerce store (or app).
Also Read: Why Testing Is Crucial For E-Commerce?
Rigorous performance testing and functional testing using the right automation tools should be used to test the stability of the website. Security testing is important for ensuring that there are no security loopholes when there is an interaction between different systems.
3. Change In Shopping Habits
Consumer behavior is changing with the evolution of technology and the fun part is that none of these can be controlled by anyone. Online buyers have the flexibility of using their choice of devices and platforms for online shopping. For example – Online buyers can use their handheld devices (e.g. mobiles, tablets, etc.) or desktops for shopping online.
The plethora of mobile devices (with different hardware and OS combinations) can lead to complications in the testing of the e-commerce store.
As more & more consumers move online, the complexities involved in automation testing of the online store grow manifold. This is where it is important to study the market segment so that cross-browser tests can be prioritized on devices (and platforms) that are widely used by end-consumers.
A powerful automation testing framework like Selenium or Cypress can be used to achieve this humongous task. Partnering with an e-commerce testing services company that has worked with various e-commerce businesses can help in expediting the automation testing cycle(s).
With changing user behavior, e-commerce business needs to make relevant changes in the functionality and UI/UX of the website. Automation tests should be designed in a manner that changes in the UI do not result in major changes in the testing logic. It is best to use POM (Page Object Model) in such cases since the search for web locators and test logic are loosely coupled with each other.
Cloud-based test automation tools should be leveraged to perform parallel testing on a range of browser and desktop combinations. This will help in reducing the bugs in the product and shorten the overall Time-to-Market (TTM).
4. Changes In The Product and Service Catalogue
Many e-commerce platforms (B2C or B2B) start with a smaller product (or service) catalogue. Depending on the market demands, they either scale in a horizontal or vertical manner. Irrespective of whether it is horizontal or vertical e-commerce, automation testing challenges multiply with the expansion of the product (or service) catalogue.
The expansion essentially means that consumers have more shopping options at their perusal. In such cases, e-commerce website owners can expect a huge spike in traffic on the website.
QA engineers testing the e-commerce store should perform load testing regularly to ensure that the performance of the store is intact even in high load conditions. If you are an e-commerce company in Australia (or elsewhere), there is a high probability that your store will witness huge momentary traffic during the holiday season.
Spike testing should be performed by the QA teams for ensuring that the e-commerce store can handle the sudden spike in traffic. By no means, there should be performance degradation else it could hamper the customer experience.
Online commerce is here to stay since it provides an option for consumers (or customers) to shop from the comfort of their homes. E-commerce was a huge savior when the entire world was battling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maintaining an e-commerce store is a challenging task. Rigorous testing has to be performed from various aspects (e.g. security testing, penetration testing, load testing, etc.) for ensuring that the site functions well in different conditions.
Automation testing using the right set of test frameworks should be leveraged to expedite the test process. Along with this, CI/CD tools and communication tools should be integrated with the automation tool to shorten the time taken to close the bugs.
A global e-commerce testing company like KiwiQA has worked with a large number of e-commerce companies on the testing front. The experienced QA teams at KiwiQA can help in shortening the test cycles of the e-commerce website. This will eventually help the e-commerce company gain customers by providing a top-notch online experience.