eCommerce Testing: best practices for higher conversions

Best practices for testing ecommerce platforms.

Table of Contents

For most retail businesses, the holiday shopping season is typically the most important period of the year to earn revenue. In some cases this is also when they get the most of their yearly revenue.  To do this though, a seamless user experience is key. When a small inconvenience in the order flow, the uncertainty created during checkout, or a slow website could lead to the customer abandoning their shopping cart, it’s important that your system is tested before the shopping season starts.

With that important statement in mind, this article will give you an overview of the most important parts of your eCommerce website to test before the holiday shopping season starts, and areas to focus on generally.  We will start with functionality and performance-related elements. Many businesses who’ve recently made the transition to a webshop are using services like Woocommerce or Shopify. The fixes for issues stemming from those solutions are front-end or content related, which means even a pretty minimal development team can resolve them. Back-end related issues are a lot more specific to the back-end being used, so we will not talk about these at length in this guide. However, if you want to know more about changing eCommerce back-end systems for example, have a look at our Hunkemöller case study

Testing Webshop Functionality

Even if your website looks like it is working correctly and you are getting orders in, there are still things your business can improve on. This is actually an important part of testing your webshop as it has to do with conversion rate optimisation (CRO). In non-marketing speak, that is, ‘improving the percentage of visitors that purchase on your website.’ Things such as improving page load speeds by two seconds could improve sales by 60%.

An eCommerce website can very quickly go from a simple idea (selling a few items online) to quite a complex system; getting people to buy, setting up a CMS, integrating a CRM, and automating the ordering process. As the market continues to innovate and change, so will your business and your eCommerce site. With all these systems working together and depending on each other, the impact of a small error could be huge. When you have one store and four different systems running on it, only one small technical bug in one of the systems could cause huge problems, such as payments failing.

Luckily there are lots of precautions that could be taken to ensure a great website experience for your visitors and higher sales for your business. With this in mind, we will explain some of the important areas to test.

We’ve tried to explain these areas with the focus on things that small eCommerce teams can improve themselves, but please remember that you don’t have to do this by yourself if you feel overwhelmed or that you don’t have the technical understanding to do it yourself. spriteCloud’s software testers are experts in testing eCommerce platforms, in fact, it’s one of our core disciplines. 

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Your Homepage is likely the a page users will often see, it is the digital equivalent of a storefront. Here users get a quick idea of what you sell, see any promotions or deals you have going on, and it provides links to other pages located elsewhere on your site (category pages).

On this page, you should make sure all visual elements are correct and all links out from this page are also working. Basically, you need to click everything (yes, everything!) and verify that it works properly. You wouldn’t think twice about fixing a broken door or window, don’t let the digital equivalent hold you back.


Category Pages

Your eCommerce website’s category pages are perhaps some of the most important pages to your business. This is typically where users will spend the most time sorting through your various products, and it is also where (assuming you’ve done your SEO correctly) users will land on your page after searching for the desired product (think “black leather shoes”).

This is also where your eCommerce system gets very complex from a functionality standpoint. 


On this page, you will typically find a list of products with information such as the product name, price, colour and size options, and availability. You will also see some way of filtering the products based on various elements like size, colour, material, style, etc. This information needs to be entered correctly into the eCommerce backend and checked for accuracy. All of these factors need to be tested and it will take some time. Test by filtering the products in different ways and see if any irregularities crop up. You should also choose a random product and see how long it takes to find the product using the filtering options. 

These elements have become expected from legitimate eCommerce platforms which means that if they are missing on your site, you stand a chance of losing a lot of business.

Product Detail Pages

While your category pages help users find the right products, your product details drive sales. 

It is very important that these pages are working correctly and that all the information is accurate. Also, because this is where users select colour, size, etc of the product and also add them to their shopping cart, this is one of the most important places to check for functionality issues, such as if your stock levels reflect on the product page.


Does selecting a different colour or variation of the product update the images? Are the prices and any discounts displaying properly? Can the product be added to the shopping cart? 

These product details pages should also be tested by checking the following elements:

  • the product title and code (SKU #), 
  • product images, product description,
  • displaying related or recommended  products, 
  • changes in inventory levels,
  • adding a product to a shopping cart, 
  • full body view of the product, 
  • reviews and ratings displaying for the correct products.