3 Test Ideas for eCommerce Sites

I’ve spent a few years of my career testing eCommerce sites and wanted to share a few test ideas, aside from the obvious ones such as add to cart, remove from cart, go to payments page etc.

In the post below, I hope to also help trigger new test ideas for anyone who is working on eCommerce sites or apps.

  1. When you are logged in, add to cart on one device, then check on another device (that you are also logged in to)

Here you are making sure that your activity isn’t just saved locally on your machine. Since you are logged in, I would expect to see changes across both devices.

However, I would check with your team to confirm that this is expected behaviour.

(Here I am applying one of the Consistency Heuristics, here is my post on My Most Used Test Heuristics )

  1. Add a few items to cart, as a guest, then log in

If I added to a few items to cart as a guest, then logged in, I would expect to see the items I added (before I logged in), in my shopping cart.

A few times, when I have been online shopping, this hasn’t worked for me and it’s very annoying.

The site would prompt me to log in, because they would recognise that my email address, in the guest checkout flow, belonged to a user - so I would log in.

Once I have logged in, I would see my shopping cart is cleared and I would have to add all the items back in. Depending on what I was buying, I would abandon my plans (toys for our children - let’s try this again, cookbooks for me - I guess it just wasn’t meant to be)

  1. Use of filters

Generally on a View Products page you are offered some options by which you can filter your selection.

Here are a few of the things I watch out for here:

Checkboxes vs Radio Buttons

If I can choose multiple options in one filter, does it show as tickboxes (or something similar that implies multiple options)? For example: If I’m looking to buy headphones, I would expect to see checkboxes under “Brand” and be able to select multiple brands such as Bose, Sony etc. (Also note that here in the search results, I see all of the headphones that match 1 of the brands Bose OR Sony)

Same thing applies to only having one option, I would expect it to show as a radio button (or something similar that implies you should only select one option)

For more information on Checkboxes vs Radio Buttons, check out this article by Nielsen Norman group

Do filters update?

Sometimes as you apply filters, then other options may become unavailable. I’ve seen some eCommerce sites apply this, when applying some filters, updates the options you have for a few other filters

A few examples below:

a) When I have applied the “Bose” filter, under “Brand”, then I may see that the Price options are updated as there are no Bose headphones that are less than 100USD. Initially, I may have seen this price options: 0-50, 50-100, 100-200, 200-300, 300 and above, but then after the “Brand” filter is applied, I may only see 100-200, 200-300 and 300 and above.

Do you have any other test ideas for eCommerce sites? Let me know on Twitter! @NicolaLindgren