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· 4 min read
Leon Lau

Valido ecommerce tests frequency

How frequently should I visually test my ecommerce? Short answer: as much as you possibly can. Long answer: it depends. You should consider a minimum of once daily to a maximum frequency of every 15-30 mins.

What factors should I consider to decide the frequency of my visual tests? Let´s start from the scope / objectives of your ecommerce tests. There are 4 main ones to consider for any ecommerce (regardless of size):

  1. Check that campaign & catalog changes have been applied as expected
  2. Validate that the latest features have been deployed as expected
  3. Review commerce platform configurations so that they are properly applied
  4. Test the ecommerce customer flows and UX are working as expected

With all of the above objectives, you should consider how frequently your online business is updated, with respect to:

  1. the catalog
  2. the marketing content
  3. the back-end code, the user interface (UI), and/or the customer experience (CX)
  4. the various platform configurations (stock, shipping charges, jurisdictions, taxes, etc.)

Example 1: Test execution of once per day This frequency is appropriate for businesses which update their ecommerce less than once a week. These updates could be seasonal changes related to catalog and stock availability. The business may run a few campaigns per year, but configuration changes such as shipping, taxes, jurisdiction and the code are very rare. Generally the business has a stable ecommerce platform that is never under stress, and dependent on very few (if any) external services. Visual errors may cause high bounce rates and low conversion rates, however the business may deem it acceptable to be aware of such errors within 24 hours.

Example 2: Test execution every 6 hours This frequency is generally suitable for businesses which regularly update their online store, and also has a complex ecommerce infrastructure with coordination of external services. Continuous changes are made to the catalog and the stock availability. Frequent campaigns and marketing content updates are likely to involve changes to multiple web pages. The business may also need to update the store configuration and deploy new code at least once a month, possibly for multiple countries. There is an observable trend of visits and sales during the day.

An unexpected change or a UI/CX error can cause high bounce / low conversion rates, also eventually affecting the brand reputation. It is acceptable from the business standpoint to be aware of and to escalate the issue in less than 6 hours.

This test frequency usually requires a dedicated team to monitor Valido at least 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Example 3: Test execution every hour (or greater) This test frequency meets the demand of enterprise businesses which update their online store at a high frequency, due to its complex infrastructure, interactions with external services and integrations with best-of-breed applications. Continuous changes to the catalog and the stock availability are made by dedicated teams. Frequent campaigns and marketing content updates occur on different pages, across different languages and country sites. Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is a common practice, with the likelihood of weekly code deploys. There is a recognizable pattern of visits and sales throughout the day and the various periods of the year.

An unexpected change or a visual error causes high bounce / low conversion rate. The business deems brand trustworthiness and reputation as a key focus of its business, therefore UI/CX errors should be escalated ASAP.

This test frequency requires a dedicated team to monitor Valido 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How can Valido help? When you create a new test in Valido, the frequency appears in the configuration options:

Chose the frequency in the wizard second step

However, creating and executing the test alone is not sufficient to meet your visual testing goals. You will also need to properly review the changes when Valido detect them. If you are unable to manage it all on your own, we at Valido can help you take care of it. In fact, we have a dedicated 24 x 7 support team that can handle the configuration, execution, and monitoring of your visual tests.

Are you interested? Contact us.

· 3 min read
Leon Lau

Valido Testing ecommerce flows

What is an ecommerce flow? An ecommerce flow is defined as a behaviour or a series of user behaviours by the end user, in order to achieve a specific purpose within the online store. Sounds technical? It really isn't. Examples of ecommerce flows include user registration, login, checkout, catalog navigation, keyword search, etc.

Do all ecommerce websites use flows? We can definitely say that 99% of online retailers share the same flows. They may have different forms of UI interactions, however it is very likely that they have similar if not identical ways to:

  1. navigate from the home page to a specific product
  2. select and view the characteristics/specifications of the product
  3. add the product to the shopping cart
  4. start the checkout process
  5. finalize the order
  6. register
  7. view the order history and so on.

What is a behaviour? A behaviour is composed of one or more user actions within a specific ecommerce page. Typical behaviours that occur in sequence within an ecommerce flow are: Go to product listing page, navigating to a product detail page, add product to the cart, go to checkout, confirm shipping details, review payment details, make payment.

What is the difference between a behaviour and an action? An action represents a single concrete user interaction (such as a click of a button) A behaviour is generic, whereas an action is very specific. For example, "add to cart" is a behaviour that can be applied broadly across any online store. Whereas an action such as "select size of the product" or "click on the Buy Now button" are concrete actions that cannot be broken down further. In this example, these actions make up the behaviour of "add to cart".

Testing the ecommmerce flows through visual UI testing Visual validation is not merely about checking the user interface when a webpage is loaded. In particular for ecommerce sites, it is also important to verify that the user interactions return the expected visual results. Therefore, visual tests will also validate the correctness of each ecommerce behaviour from the functional point of view, in addition to the UI display.

How can Valido help you? Here are typical examples of testable flows in Valido:

  1. Catalog navigation, expected result: the catalog is available, loads correctly, and returns the expected products
  2. Registration, expected result: the user can complete the registration without any issues
  3. Viewing the stock of starred products, expected result: the stock is available as expected and is buyable
  4. Checkout, expected result: the correct product quantity, price, discounts, subtotal, shipping charges are displayed, and the user can make the purchase successfully

With Valido, ecommerce flows can be tested - without any additional effort - for multiple countries. This allows you to have full control of the distinct ecommerce flows, while verifying the different regional UI behaviour & actions at the same time!

Valido’s Session Summary View allows you to instantly review the status of an ecommerce flow and all the behaviours and actions that it comprises of.

Ecommerce flow tested in Valido

· 3 min read
Leon Lau

Valido Testing ecommerce multiple countries

Selling online in multiple countries Nowadays it is very common for an ecommerce to sell in multiple countries. For leading brands, this level of personalization is critical, whereby the customer experience and site features are tailored to the local law and culture.

The need for greater personalization with multiple country sites Some ecommerce sites consist of a single international store, where the only level of personalization offered is the option to change the currency and language. There are however the other (and more common) cases, where there are several stores within the same umbrella (with distinct url slugs) representing different markets. These different market stores provide a higher level of personalization, such as:

  1. application of national or regional laws
  2. respective tax and jurisdiction configuration
  3. payment methods available to that market
  4. warehouses and shipping options
  5. customized catalog
  6. Market-specific campaigns
  7. Time zone-specific promotion periods The list goes on. At the end, each market can have a very personalized experience that is different from the other markets for that ecommerce.

Do you have full control of the visual UI experience for the different markets? With a powerful ecommerce platform, it would be easy to create a new country site, for example personalizing the catalog, assigning specific warehouses, personalizing marketing content, differentating the price rules & promotions, and even create new payment methods specific to that market. The problem comes from not having a full control of the changes that are happening for the different markets on a daily basis. Sometimes businesses struggle to manage these changes because they are constantly just checking to make sure that everything is fine on production site instances.

How can Valido help? With Valido, you can define a different/personalized validation flow for each country site UI, or re-use the same one if you expect the same visual customer experience across all the sites. Valido provides you complete control of the visual testing of the different countries, eliminating the effort of manually checking every single page for countless of hours.

Valido’s Session Review allows to test your ecommerce flows for multiple country sites and check the results instantly:

Different ecommerce countries reported in Valido

The test configuration can be shared and applied for multiple countries just with one click:

Shared configuration of the test for multiple countries in Valido

The Valido Dashboard’s map will instantly review the validation status of each country.

Map visualizaing ecommerce status of each country

And of course the data can be filtered accordingly based on the already configured countries / region:

Map visualizaing ecommerce status of each country

· 2 min read
Leon Lau

Viewport Desktop and Mobile

What is a viewport of an ecommerce? A viewport is the screen area of a specific ecommerce webpage, visualized by the browser, which is visible to the user.

Is it important to take the viewport into consideration when testing / validating the UI/UX of an ecommerce store? Yes, of course! The viewport reflects the real user experience, meaning his experience is shaped through the lens of the viewport, whether a seamless experience or one that is filled with UI errors / unexpected behaviors.

What about the content outside the user’s viewport? They should be of concern too! Validating just the viewport can be an underestimation of the user experience, and should be part of proper ecommerce testing and validation. Valido, unlike most visual testing platforms, allows the validation of UI elements outside the current viewport.

Do you have any example? Let´s take the checkout. Especially modern checkout focus the attention on the Let's take a look at the checkout process. Modern ecommerce checkouts in particular tend to put focus on the mobile experience. However, despite the likelihood of being optimized and fully responsive, it is almost impossible to show all the important information on relatively tiny screen sizes that mobile devices come with. Hence, it is very common for them to have a scroll or other navigation features, to allow users to view the checkout information in its entirety.

  1. cart items with prices
  2. shipping options
  3. payment options
  4. and so on ... Focusing on just the user’s viewport at a particular point of time, prevents the testing and validation of the entire page and all the steps (most important one being the payment options).

How does Valido fill this need? Valido is able to perform full-page validations by scrolling the entire page, and not just the current viewport. This unique feature of Valido guarantees a proper and complete validation of pages associated with an ecommerce.

Here’s an example of a full-page validation for a desktop site. Whole page Valido differences

As you can see, the visual differences detected are not just of the viewport (the content visible to the user at a particular time) but are for the whole page.