Testing Your Shopping Cart: Essential E-Commerce Tips and Strategies

By Maria. On 2017-08-31

One of the most important e-commerce areas to test is your shopping cart. Here, we’ll share some essential e-commerce tips and strategies to help you remove barriers to purchase through load testing your critical purchasing path.

When you’re selling something, whether it’s products or services, the number one rule is to remove as many barriers as possible for the customer to make the purchase. This applies especially to consumer e-commerce during the busy seasons of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season.

When you’re removing barriers to purchase, first consider the critical path for purchasing. What are the things your customers are most likely to do? Test those first - and test the things critical to their buying process.

For example, you might want to test performance around adding one item - and then adding more items - to a shopping cart. Test editing item quantities in the cart. Test removing items from the cart. Test “saving items for later” if you have that capability. And, of course, be sure to test the checkout process. Each of these should perform quickly and smoothly.

One best practice we have seen: increasing performance for users with items in the cart or in the checkout process. Since they have clearly indicated their intent to buy, it makes sense to prioritize their performance. Of the people currently using your site or app, they’re the most likely to buy. If their site performance is optimized, they’re less likely to abandon their shopping carts, too.

Here’s the easiest way to get started: just record a load testing script in the Load Impact load testing tool. (Complete instructions are in this support article), and the easy-to-use Chrome extension in the Chrome Web Store here.)

Use the recorder to create realistic scenarios in any shopping cart through checkout process. You might create a few straightforward scenarios, like what happens when a user adds an item to the cart, checks out, and all goes well. Then, you might try similar scenarios where an item is out of stock, say, or a credit card number is typed incorrectly.

Note that once you’ve recorded each scenario, the recorder will direct you right into the Load Impact app. Once each scenario script is recorded, validate each script. Validation runs one virtual simulated user through the script and ensures the script will execute what you want.

Configure your scenario scripts into a set of load tests, then test this critical path often.

With those critical buying path scenarios and tests in hand, you can quickly set up a set of load tests to ensure your most important customers - your buyers - get the best performance possible.

Happy Testing!