The sheer amount of time, effort and money devoted towards creating your ECOMMERCE site warrants a comprehensive testing process to ensure that there are no last-minute glitches before the launch. The following 10 checkpoints are crucial to the testing phase of your ECOMMERCE site.
1. Site Performance: Imagine a situation where you have painstakingly designed a brilliant looking site, but ignored the performance factor all along. One fine day towards the end of your project, just before launch, you decide to test the performance of the site and you realize that you will need to redesign your site in order to achieve the optimal load time. To avoid such a nightmarish experience, it is recommended that testing your ECOMMERCE site’s performance remains one of your top agendas from the very beginning. After all, your conversion rates (which are determinant of your profits) are affected by your site performance more than anything else.
2. Proof Reading: With ECOMMERCE, first impression is usually the last impression. Even the best content can become a complete turn-off for your visitors if there are typo errors, punctuation errors and grammatical mistakes. Today’s consumers spend more and more time online, hence their ability to spot even minute mistakes in your content, is extremely high. So unless you want to settle for a mediocre site, spend ample time proof reading your entire site. It definitely requires patience, but is completely worth the effort.
3. SEO and Link Building Check: You can use several tools like LinkTiger and Firefox Link Checker to ensure that your links are in order. Your SEO check should ideally include verifying that the URLs of your web pages are properly structured, Title Tags are well-phrased with apt keywords, unique Meta text is formulated for each web page and your sitemap is correctly made.
4. Browser Compatibility: This is highly recommended to widen the reach of your business. If you cannot afford paid testing, you can use free tools like Browser Shots to check that your ECOMMERCE site is seamlessly functioning in the latest versions of all major browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
5. Mobile Phone Compatibility: Global Smartphone sales have overtaken PC sales in the last financial year, and mobile phone browsing is set to overtake desktop browsing very soon. In this scenario, the importance of mobile phone compatibility testing is very obvious. There are a number of online mobile phone compatibility testing tools like Gomez, CrossBrowserTesting, DeviceAnywhere and BrowserStack that can help you in this regard. A Mobile Emulator is a device which duplicates the functions of your website on the operating system of the mobile phone to adjudge the compatibility. GoMoMeter, iPhone Tester and Screenfly are some common examples.
6. Social Media Configuration: Social Media Platforms are exponentially growing as a crucial means to obtain and nurture leads, increase sales and build a positive brand image. It is therefore important to check the effectiveness as well as correct location of social media links, buttons and icons on your site.
7. Analytics Check: Once your site is functional, you will be requiring a lot of statistics for effective marketing. It is therefore important to review your analytics set-up before site launch.
8. Page-wise functioning: Referring to your sitemap, jot down a checklist of all the pages on your website- the main pages, the product category pages, FAQs, Terms and Conditions, Customer Feedback, Merchant Sign-up and so on and so forth. Ensure that the functionality of each and every page is checked manually before the site goes live.
9. Checkout Process: This process requires special mention because this is where most ECOMMERCE players tend to lose the game since most users abandon their shopping carts because they find the checkout process too convoluted or slow. Test each and every aspect of the checkout process in detail. See that the final payable amount is being generated correctly, with the proper breakup of product cost, shipping charges and taxes as applicable. Test-use each and every payment option that is being offered on your site to check whether it is properly functioning or not. Also make a false payment, and check whether it is being accepted or not. Similarly, check the effectiveness of the order cancellation and refund process as well.
10. Other Features: Last but not the least, test all other features of your site like the search tab, live-chat feature, “request for quote” section, any downloadable forms and so on. For systems that send automated e-mails and SMS’s on registration, order placement, shipping etc, do remember to thoroughly verify the emails and messages being sent.
Testing has no limits
Proper testing is a mandate for the successful launch of your ECOMMERCE site. Although you cannot draw boundaries to the scope and frequency of testing (usually, the deeper, the better), you can certainly chalk out a systematic and comprehensive testing plan, ensuring that you don’t leave any area untouched.