During the next 12-18 months, a massive 3 out of 4 major businesses plan to switch content or change ecommerce platforms. So why is this change happening? To put it simply, users expect change to happen and it’s a company’s responsibility to stay on top of user expectations. As programs continue to develop, users expect more from their favoured websites and this often means trends become quickly outdated, or ahead of the curve programs become too expensive to maintain. Thus, re-platforming begins.
Re-platforming boasts an expected increase in revenue, traffic and provides a competitive edge to your ecommerce website. But it doesn’t come without its complications. Problems with broken links, conversions or site architecture can result in loyal customers losing trust in your site and choosing to shop elsewhere. Research shows that 69% of decision-makers claim that customer experience was negatively impacted during the re-platform process.
Having a well thought out re-platforming plan can help reduce the number of site inconsistencies and issues. But with every change, new underlying bugs can develop. One way to prevent large amounts of unwanted and underlying bugs is to incorporate broad and extensive web testing practices into your re-platforming process. Doing this will provide your users with a frictionless transition, that won’t affect your sales or user trust.
To help we have outlined 10 re-platforming areas that you need to test during your ecommerce platform transition.
Architecture & Integrations
The objective of testing during re-platforming is to ensure navigation such as menus, sub-menus and internal site links are self-explanatory and provide fluid functionality to the user. Failure to do this could lead to page abandonment. In fact, evidence shows 79% of online shoppers who experience functionality issues with a website said they wouldn't return to the site again.
Cross browser testing identifies any incompatibility issues between your platform and browsers. Don’t fall into the trap of only testing current browsers. You should also be testing on alternative and older browser versions to reach all potential visitors effectively.
Utilising a range of devices and testing them all provides seamless coverage across desktop, mobile and tablet platforms, and highlights any problems.
Tip Google Analytics can help you analyse the most popular devices and browsers accessing your website. For instance, during 2016, 574 devices were released, 11 by Apple and 8 by Sony, but which ones did your users use?
Load Time & Performance
Ensure your site is attractive to search engines and can handle large traffic influxes at peak periods, without affecting load time and site speed. The last thing you want is a crash during a peak sales window. Remember, a one second delay in page load time means a 7% loss in conversions.
Critical Conversion Points
Make sure all your critical conversion points and payment gateways receive heavy testing rounds. These are key to the customer experience and ensure no loss of sales or conversions during your re-platforming process.
Localisation errors are unsurprisingly one of the key areas of concern with customers selling to multiple different countries. Global customers want to feel like your website is personalised to them and their needs, not just your countries needs,
Remember to check: language difference, time zones, postcodes, currency, pricing & taxation.
Forms and Submissions
Ensure all forms or actions taken function correctly and do not cause any delay for customers or notification errors. If these are not tested thoroughly, you could be missing out on valuable customer information, which could be utilised within your sales and marketing strategies.
Broken Links & Error Pages
Frequent errors can be a source of frustration for users and create an unnecessary loss of sales and bounce rates. But, it’s not just users that get frustrated, Google does not properly index websites that include broken links, which could result in a loss of traffic and ultimately, revenue.
Aim to test your usability with real-life users who reflect your target demographics. This will not only provide real-life customer journeys but will also supply a basis to begin adding to your user profiles. Usability items also include navigation, site architecture and customer journey.
Ensure passwords, authentication, cookies and confidentiality are tested thoroughly. Security of a website often includes credibility to users, so without these areas being tested prior to a re-platform, visitors may have issues placing their trust in your website. 51% of consumers do not purchase from sites on mobile devices when they do not feel comfortable inputting their payment details.
Most companies place the job of re-platform testing on to developers. However, developers are not testers. Developers are vital to your re-platforming project but will not be able to perform extensive testing programmes due to experience, resources or time. Because of this, testing suffers and the quality and performance of the new website or application are impacted.
Instead, get the testing specialists in. A specialist with a community of testers across the globe can ensure your new platform will be tested across all devices and browsers within a short time period. Choosing a testing specialist who has a portal, means your developers can see where issues lay, how critical they are and which browsers are being used the most. This not only helps your re-platforming now but also gives you a more in-depth representation of your buyer persona, which you can utilise in future marketing and sales projects.