30 Days of Ecommerce Testing Day 17: Most important parts of E-commerce website

I’m a day behind here, and I didn’t see any posts from anyway, so I’ll get it started.

I looked at a few posts about e-commerce website design. Here’s one with 8 design principles:

  1. Apparent, consistent branding.
  2. Audience targeting.
  3. Competitive differentiation.
  4. Usability.
  5. Intuition service.
  6. Accurate descriptions.
  7. Minimalism.
  8. Visible, compelling calls-to-action.

More details are on the article, but I wanted to use this as a springboard, since these aren’t about “parts” per se.

But the first thing that comes to mind is…the first thing. That is - the landing page. It should be simple, and should load quickly. (And, personal note - for the love of all that is good and holy please do not embed music or video).

The second most important part I think would be the shopping card. Nothing happens without a cart. We have talked previously about testing shopping carts, and I’m still very intrigued by the idea of funnel analytics.

Lastly, there’s how we get from the landing page to the cart - i.e. everything in between. Let’s make sure there are no broken links, images work correctly, and any user interaction behaviors are working as expected.

-Dave K


I went and did the twitter thing :slight_smile:


This question feels fairly open, especially as we already talked the structure of a Web shop through quite comprehensively on multiple days.


Shops are not the only type of ecommerce websites out there. Depending on the type of the service offered, different structural elements may be the central point.

Example: online banking.
Accessing and managing existing assets (the bank account, saving accounts, loans taken, investments etc.) is much more important than new things for sale. Obviously the bank will want to upsell but when the customer cannot reliably use the main functionality, it’s a massive deal breaker in more ways than one.

Example: custom-designed goods such as wedding invitations.
Communication channels and data exchange or collaboration tools between the customer and the designer are much more important than in a regular shop.

Example: push content such as an online course delivered via e-mail (I swear I’ve still seen some as recently as last year!).
There is often little in terms of presentation or it’s just a typical blog. The push mechanism, scheduling and possibly communication channels between the instructor and the participants are key.

Example: tax or social security filing.
Not much in terms of presentation here but if supported, integration with other state service and an API for interfacing with popular bookkeeping software would be central. Validation is crucial, wizards important if offered. Also a good overview of filings made with a legally valid receipt feature and a document export feature.


Customer accounts: addresses, means of payment, preferences.
Products: unstructured descriptions, images and other multimedia, comparable/searchable/filterable specifications.
Reviews: both unstructured comments and quantifiable (stars, but also “The sizes of these dresses are small / large / as expected”), possibly images.
Commercial analytics data, e.g. typical order value, products bought together, most and least popular categories and products, A/B test results.
Performance analytics data.
Usability analytics data.

A minirant on content here: as testers we may or may not be involved in the phase where actual content is displayed rather than some lorem ipsum tailored to various test conditions.
Pity because a lot of the descriptions just beg for someone with a decent command of the language to look over them, and it’s not like there are no proofreaders and editors out there whose job is exactly like ours but for language :frowning:

Non-technical factors

But not everything can be ensured in the technical way alone. Often as testers we get to work with placeholders and obviously the human elements of the process / user experience will not be under test from us. But it can very well make or break the success of an ecommerce website.

Finally and as a side note, not a testing suggestion: if the goods offered are unique or of really special quality (think local, organic or with a special emotional meaning), customers will suffer through a lot and jump through a lot of hoops to get the shopping done :wink:


Some days late but I didn’t give up! So the most important parts of an e-commerce website are:

  • User data: either the log in page and how is it going to store the data. Here is really important as well to protect the user’s data, confidentiality. Moreover is important for keep the user’s data in the website so as to prevent any fraud.
  • Accessibility on the Payment methods: It is really important for an e-commerce website to provide a stable platform. With the stable platform, all the payments methods should be allowed in order to provide a safe payment to the end-user and in order to fulfill the purchases laws (such as refunds, chargebacks and etc etc).
  • Accessibility on all kind of devices: Nowadays almost all the clients prefer to do a buy in a mobile phone instead of a laptop or computer because it’s easy and fast. So it is needed a huge variety of devices in order to get the users into the website.

I would say most important is the ability of the user to find what they are looking for.
Secondly, the payment functions because no business can afford the calculations going wrong!


more twitter thing :sweat_smile:

Day 17 https://wp.me/p9EXXo-5o

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