E-commerce Performance Testing: Are You Really Ready for Black Friday?
Performance testing is crucial for any e-commerce business that wishes to not only keep its credibility during the holiday season, but also maximize revenues and keep customers happy.
The past few years have seen a surge in online shopping. And the global retail framework has embraced it as an essential aspect of doing business. One of the main reasons for this growth is the increase in internet penetration, which has made the need for the retail sector’s digital transformation to be expedited. Online shopping is exploding and will continue to grow significantly.
A recent survey shows that 77.2% of America’s population sold their goods via e-commerce stores. Experts project this percentage to hit 82.2 by 2024.
It’s not only in the US market that we have seen this boost in e-commerce. The whole world has taken on the trend. 2020 ended with a global e-commerce sale of $4.28 trillion, which is estimated to rise to about $5.4 trillion in 2021.
What really happens when an e-commerce application crashes?
As seen in many reports and surveys, consumers prefer online shopping. It’s especially true during the peak holiday season. As a business owner, the last thing you need, therefore, is an inconvenience, even the slightest, to your customer due to a failed e-commerce application. You must keep it in check at all times and fix any errors as soon as possible.
The upcoming holiday season comes with several concerns for business. Aside from usual app problems, frequent crashes are another major worry.
We have seen numerous examples of the negative impacts an e-commerce app or website crash can have on a business. It can irreparably destroy credibility and revenue channels. A good example is the 30-minutes Amazon site crash of 2013. This incident caused a loss of $66,240 per minute. Another instance happened with the Costco website failure that cost the company a loss of around $11m.
Is performance testing the answer?
An e-commerce application is a complex platform. It has multiple features, including payment options, search options, cart, and product details. Each of these functionalities needs to work efficiently for the best user experience.
This requires a business to conduct thorough performance testing to evaluate whether or not the application will handle a sudden surge . QA is crucial in highlighting performance-related problems, after which you can handle them effectively. This ensures a smooth performance of the platform, a positive customer experience and last but not least – protecting your brand’s reputation.
Which factors to consider for optimal e-commerce performance?
There are several essential things that businesses must consider regarding their e-commerce applications to ensure consistently great UX:
Load testing of key user flows
User flows are crucial to every e-commerce application and site. Businesses must ensure they function properly for smooth navigation.
Key user paths include login page, registration page, products, checkout, shopping carts, and similar pages. These user paths must be verified and validated before launching the application.
However, it’s hard to get it all right at once. A sudden increase in user traffic can be overwhelming, which is why you also need QA to test the performance of these pages under different load environments.
Performance testing is an effective way to get that done without missing anything. A business can identify potential areas that need remediation and work on them immediately in preparation for the peak season.
Cloud-based performance testing
E-commerce applications today rely a lot on cloud computing. It enables businesses to offer high scalability and smooth simulation of customer activity without requiring additional hardware. As a result, they get smooth operability, and a cost-effective and easy performance check.
Conducting performance testing in the traditional setup is quite expensive, which is why most e-commerce platforms don’t even consider it. Besides, it can be inconvenient and complex for an organization to run performance testing in diverse geographical locations.
This is why adopting cloud technology is the best solution, as it lets businesses conduct performance checks for different locations using a simple setup.
We are living in mobile-first age where consumers depend highly on their mobile devices. A business that does not have a well-performing and well-designed mobile experience is considered not serious enough. It’s not enough to have . A less than perfect app that crashes often can cause more harm than good to a business.
For this reason, performance testing is necessary for mobile apps, just as it is for websites. This assures better performance when the peak season begins.
Note, however, that testing mobile applications performance from web apps. Whether you are trying out the tools or creating testbeds, you will have to follow a different method of performance testing mobile apps.
Load testing payment systems
Every successful e-commerce platform must promise and deliver a smooth payment system. If the payment page causes potential customers to exit, then a business’s investment efforts are futile. Non-responsive gateways during peak traffic seasons can damage the credibility of a business. An e-commerce business will need the payment page to work smoothly during this time more than ever.
Whether it’s a shared or hosted payment gateway, load testing uses a high frequency of simultaneous transactions. This is to make sure it does not crash when the traffic gets hot.
Performance testing is crucial for any e-commerce business that wishes to not only keep its credibility during the holiday season, but also maximize revenues and keep customers happy. It helps the business highlight potential issues in the system and these days it could mean the difference between a popular and successful business and a failing one.
However, this is not a process that just anyone can do successfully. It calls for high levels of technical expertise and understanding of performance testing tools, methodologies and best practices.
Many e-commerce service providers may not have the right skills for this task. It is better to seek the services of experienced engineering professionals that understand how performance testing works.