Every year, e-commerce websites are growing with a compounding rate of 7.9%, and it will soon become the de facto standard for shopping. E-commerce websites and businesses are innovating constantly to shift more and more customers to online shopping, and as customers arrive in flocks, you also need to scale the systems. Without good eCommerce performance, you may find it hard to increase your business and become the market leader. Good performance comes with performance optimization, and to do that, you need to carry out load testing on your apps. If you are an established eCommerce player, you may have your technology team with various testers and engineers. In that case, you can easily adopt load testing in your development process, and you can scale your applications easily. But if you are just starting out in the business, you may want to utilize load-testing services for e-commerce websites. These service providers have experienced load testers, and they can be hired at fractional costs rather than having a full-time eCommerce testing team.
In this article, we will discuss the questions to ask yourself when load testing your applications and which are the things that you should test thoroughly for building successful eCommerce websites.
But before that, let’s understand what load testing is.
What is Load Testing?
Load testing is a testing process where your software products are exposed to continuous traffic spikes and loads that are similar to real-world scenarios. This testing helps development and deployment teams understand whether their developed infrastructure can work well under real-world user loads without slowing down or not.
Having a brief idea about load testing, now you should know the questions to ask yourself when load testing.
Questions To Ask Yourself When Load Testing for E-Commerce Websites
If you ask these questions, you will get a better understanding of the load testing process and which things you should focus on to scale your website for success.
- How does your website perform under heavy load currently?
- Are your transactional databases performing well for order-related transactions?
- What is the average user response time for each request under heavy load?
- What is the maximum resource utilization under heavy loads?
- Do you have a single point of failure in your system?
- How are different components of the system coupled?
- How many requests fail during each peak load session?
- How quickly can your application scale?
Once you ask these questions to your teams, they can start figuring out the things you should focus on during the testing process. Asking these questions before beginning the testing will ensure that you plan the tests correctly and get the right insights.
An e-commerce app has multiple components that work together to deliver a delightful customer experience. If you want to have a proper result for your website performance, you should test all the components. So, let’s find out the components in the next section.
Things to Test Thoroughly During E-commerce Performance Testing
All Application Features
E-commerce websites have various different features, and all of them are used by users when moving across your websites. Features like searching, sorting, filtering, wishlisting, maintaining a cart, etc, are the most used features in the eCommerce sector by any visitor. Many times, searching, sorting, and filtering operations take a lot of time as they are directly done on the backend through SQL queries in the database. If the queries are not optimized, they can become a bottleneck for users.
Users may not get the correct results, and this will make them leave the website thinking that you do not sell that product. If you are scaling your eCommerce website for success, the first thing that you should check is that all your application features work perfectly under all load settings.
Payment Gateways and Integrations
No matter how big an eCommerce vendor you are, it is likely that you’ll use a payment gateway or integration to collect payments for your orders on the website. As this thing directly relates to money, it is vital to test it thoroughly. You should not leave out any small bug in this feature. To test your payment gateway and integration setup, you should try to process a large number of payments and orders in a short time to understand the scalability of your system. If you find any issues with the payment gateway or integration, you should get it fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, the bug can be exploited by others for unlawful benefits.
Inventory Management System
An inventory management system is another important thing to test thoroughly when you are doing performance testing. When you scale your application, your inventory management system will live across many different servers, and there needs to be a sync between all these servers to ensure that you showcase the correct products. You can load your servers with multiple orders and cancel and return requests that are directly related to your inventory management system to test its security and robustness. If your inventory system shows the correct count and always presents updated information for each request, you will have very few problems in scaling the system whenever there is a need.
If anything is already available as a third-party integration, it is always better to use that and not spend time redeveloping the same application or service. When you follow this approach, you will have many third-party integrations in your websites, and you need to test their scalability before launching them in a production environment. Third-party integrations may become bottlenecks if they are not configured and tested properly. Hence, always give ample load to these integrations and push them to their limits to know their scalability.
E-commerce websites have to send notifications to customers regarding orders, payment, etc information. Many times, the OTPs are sent to verify users through the notification service. When looking to scale your eCommerce website, this notification service needs to be load-tested for its performance. You may send OTPs to your customers, but if they don’t receive them under a specific time limit, the OTPs might expire, and then the user may face issues.
So always test your notifications service to be prepared for any sudden burst in traffic and handle it properly.
While website scalability for e-commerce is not easy, it is not impossible either. With the right things to test and a great infrastructure, you can easily test and scale any eCommerce application.