It’s looming quickly on the horizon: that Q4 rush, the one-two punch of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Even though Q4 approaches quickly, you’ve been tuning your site for months to get it to peak performance. For this last-minute tuning, we offer a few tips for an ecommerce performance testing checklist to help you get the most out of the final sprint.
Tweak Your Baselines
Maybe management has dropped in a few new requests at the last minute. Or maybe a service has updated its interface and API. No matter what it is, something’s bound to happen to your meticulously tested ecommerce diste.
You may not have time to delicately fine tune performance: instead, you’re going to have to make some quick judgments about what acceptable site response entails.
The generally accepted wisdom says that under two seconds load time/response time is acceptable. Over two seconds: that’s where the biggest user-abandonment cliff happens. Over two seconds means fewer users, fewer sessions, and lost revenue.
Ideally, page load times under one second are the best, and minimize any of those undesirable results, including lost revenue.
Load Test More Frequently
As these peak periods loom, odds are you’ll be hustling to finish the final sprints. You might even be rushing to wedge in a few more features or last minute service integrations. All of that means you need to load test more frequently than normal, even if you have a unicorn-rare achievement and have managed to feature-lock your site in plenty of time for adequate testing.
You may even want to run tests more than once per day if you’re pushing code to production more frequently than that.
Why? The more you test, the more likely it is that you’ll catch issues earlier. You’ll catch problems “upstream” before they can become major performance leaks.
Try Less Common Scripted Behaviors
As you get closer to your big deadlines, don’t be tempted to rely entirely on your standard load testing scripts. Yes, your well-crafted scripts cover the majority of use cases. Yes, you’ve customized your scripts to show average user behavior.
But average user behavior isn’t what causes the biggest surprises during peak traffic times.
Create some scripts that test less common behaviors. Those less-common behaviors might include removing items from the cart repeatedly, using the browser “back” button during the checkout process, backing out of a cart or checkout, adding a discount code at checkout and then backing out, and so on.
Don’t overlook testing for failed API calls, slow or non-existent service responses, and so forth - those third-party integrations can trip you up when you least expect them.
Try this ecommerce performance testing checklist to optimize your site - and let us know how we can help.
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