Developing an e-commerce web site and the importance of testing before going live.
60 point checklist for launching e-commerce solutions test your site before going live
A vital part of e-commerce web development and design is testing your site before it goes public. After all, you don’t want to publish a malfunctioning site that doesn’t resize to ever changing screen sizes or doesn’t work at all. E-commerce websites have to be fast if they are to be effective. However, they also have to be robust. Site testing is, therefore, important, and it should take place on an ongoing basis.
Technical tests are not the issue here, this should have been taken care of by the developers – we are more concerned about testing the actual content, functionality and discuss some design and SEO. Is the social networks bar displayed on each page? The more we think about content consistency, the more questions arise about what and how to test on an e-commerce website. We excluded shopping cart functionality in the checklist as there are too many open source and custom built solutions available.
To create an understanding of how much is involved in testing your site before launch, we have created a 60 point checklist for launching e-commerce (or any other) web solutions. This article includes a Google slideshow presentation below and covers 60 must do’s before you launch your website. You can view the presentation at the end of the article or download the PDF version here.
Your e-commerce site will be used directly by your customers and new prospects. There is no human interface to respond when things go wrong. Customers can be put off your e-business offering for a host of reasons, such as design, ease of use and speed of response. They are likely to desert you straight away and find another e-supplier at the click of a proverbial mouse if they are dissatisfied.
Some public distrust exists when it comes to the security and ease of use with e-commerce websites. Poor performance of some of the biggest players was the resulting bad publicity in the news. Either the pressure to get to market quickly has caused cutting corners or the developers simply didn’t recognise the risks and failed to test adequately. Whichever is the case, you have got to go that extra mile to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
Down to e-business lets discuss the content of your website. Your website is an online extension of your business so your content should support your business values. Your content should be easy to read, with quick to access and should be checked for spelling and grammatical errors. To avoid legal fees, it is important to check the rights to images, fonts, and other content to ensure they have been properly licensed and/or cited.
Secondly, we talk about the design of your site and how it should be responsive and beautiful. Don’t forget that your site should be designed for fast browsing experience. Your e-business and design should be in line with your brand and it is appropriate for your target group and that it displays well across multiple devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets and a wide range of smartphones.
Then we’ll run through the functionality checklist of an e-commerce website that needs to be tested. Your website may not have all these items, or indeed may have some not included here.
After that, we discuss SEO, analytics, security and back ups and finally, we give you some extra tips on post launch checks you can do to ensure optimal functionality and success of your website.
No doubt that testing e-commerce websites is challenging and requires a lot of skill. This article covers just the tip of the iceberg of all the relevant test cases that can be executed when testing e-commerce websites and it can be used as a starting point.
E-commerce success factors
- Advertising and incentives – targeted web page advertising and e-mail promotions, discounts and special offers, including advertising at affiliate sites.
- Look and feel – attractive web storefront, website shipping areas, multimedia product catalog pages, and shopping features.
- Security and reliability – security of customer information and website transactions, trustworthy product information, and reliable order fulfilment.
- Performance and service – fast, easy navigation, shopping, and purchasing, and prompt shipping and delivery.
Things that annoy customers
- Bad graphic design – graphic design is the very first thing that customers notice about a site.
- Poor customer service – this is another thing that can really annoy customers.
- No option to filter results – you will make the process of finding things for your customers an uphill task.
- No search option – without search option, you are actually taking a big risk and testing customers’ patience.
- Forcing log in to make order – this is one of the things most hated by customers.
- Weak security – websites that have low security standards
- Typographical errors – typos can really annoy your customers. Avoid them by checking your content over and over again.
Make sure that your e-commerce web design has none of these mistakes. In order to get the best results from e-commerce web development, hire only a reputed and credible e-commerce web design company. They guarantee quality results within a stipulated time period and ensure that your e-commerce site is perfectly professional and user-friendly. With all these features, you can rest assured that your e-commerce website will do phenomenally well and will be there in good books of customers.
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