For many companies today, ensuring flawless operation of their e-commerce platform is crucial to the viability (and survival) of the business. Hence, quality assurance (QA) activities of software and testing are an essential element.
There are many benefits that quality assurance can bring to the success and growth of an e-commerce, from visual to functional aspects, as well as monitoring and process automation.
In this article, we will share what software quality assurance is all about and why - if you haven't already - you should enable it for your e-commerce.
What is software quality assurance (QA)?
Quality Assurance (QA) is part of the quality management activities of an organization. According to ISO 9000 Quality Assurance is defined as the part of quality management focused on ensuring that quality requirements are met.
This seemingly simple definition encompasses a deeper conception of quality, as QA has a more process-focused approach rather than a product or final service-focused approach.
In the case of software development projects, a QA or QA Analyst is the professional responsible for ensuring the quality of the software - in which, for example, online stores are built - and preventing failures in it. They are the person in charge of guaranteeing the correct functioning of the product from the very beginning. But also confirming that it meets the expectations of the users who will use it.
In simple terms, if you are the owner of an e-commerce, QA professionals are the ones who will help you ensure that everything works perfectly and that the shopping experience of your customers goes smoothly, with the consequent benefit for the business.
Is Quality Control the same as Quality Assurance?
The short answer is: they are not the same. Software quality assurance helps to verify compliance with all business scenarios and user requirements, as well as identifying all possible issues and errors in software products.
Often, the terms "testing", "quality assurance", and "quality control" are confused or used interchangeably. However, they characterize very different processes, such as:
- Testing, which means the process of finding errors;
- QC (Quality Control), which is the implementation of the testing process as a description of a case, searching and establishing defects;
- QA (Quality Assurance), which is the creation of a control system to prevent errors during the software development stage and reduce the amount of defects in the testing stage. It is the construction of the testing process.
A few years ago, there was a widespread debate in the IT communities about whether developers who built solutions should test and ensure quality themselves. But nowadays, it is clear that software quality assurance and testing require specialized professionals. They can:
- Check all the interactions between different pieces of code and environments that are not part of the program built by other IT professionals;
- In the testing process, they can put themselves in the place of a user for whom a product has been created, which is of great value for an e-commerce.
- The working logic of software quality control engineers is not only based on software creation, but also includes the possibility of its breakdown.
The benefits of enabling quality assurance in your e-commerce business.
After several years of experience with various brands and clientswe can say that including a QA strategy in your business has multiple benefits. Some of them are:
- Improved product quality: Quality assurance helps ensure that software is developed according to specifications and functions as expected. This reduces the number of errors and failures in the final product, improving its quality and increasing customer satisfaction.
- Cost savings: Correcting errors and bugs in software can be costly and time-consuming. By incorporating QA into the business strategy, errors can be identified and corrected before they reach the end user, saving time and money in the long run. This is particularly crucial in contexts of high inflation or other crises.
- Increased efficiency: Quality assurance can help identify and solve performance issues, allowing the software to run more efficiently. This improves aspects such as page load speed, navigation, and overall user experience in general.
- Strengthening user confidence: When an e-commerce website functions properly, customers trust it and are willing to return repeatedly. Incorporating QA into the business strategy helps improve the reliability and security of the software, which boosts user confidence and ultimately helps increase sales.
- Early identification of issues: QA helps identify issues in the software before users encounter them. This allows problems to be addressed in a timely manner and reduces the likelihood of customers experiencing software errors or failures that negatively impact their online experience.
If you are thinking of implementing a quality assurance strategy for your e-commerce business, there are some challenges you should consider:
It is essential to ensure customer safety. Security testing includes code reviews, automated security testing, and manual testing performed by ethical hacking experts.
They are fundamental tests in the implementation of an e-commerce platform. They seek to verify behavior in situations of user and/or process concurrency. They usually include load testing, stability testing, stress or peak testing, and capacity testing.
Integrations with third-party systems and payment platforms:
It is essential to test all site integrations, whether with third-party systems such as payment platforms, product delivery platforms, or links to ads or monitoring systems for the use of statistics.
Ensuring usability and accessibility:
The usability and accessibility of e-commerce platforms are a key factor in attracting and retaining potential customers. The test plan should include usability testing and accessibility testing.
Agility and performance:
Agility in loading online store or marketplace pages and handling its elements is a preliminary and necessary step for subsequent performance testing. Tests should be able to detect those optimizable elements.
All combinations of OS, version, browser, and device should be tested across all platforms. To optimize the testing process, different strategies can be used, such as distributing mobile devices among users or platforms that have device parks.
Performance testing is crucial in the implementation of an e-commerce platform. It should be included, especially before launching promotional campaigns or periods of sales, to maintain the brand image and avoid reputational impact.
Include tests for all tasks that can be performed by users:
The testing plan should not be limited only to product searches and the purchase process. It should include the complete vision of what a user would like to do: searches, comparisons, ease of modifying product properties, checkout process, shopping cart, returns, delivery process and conditions, etc. Ensuring each and every one of these actions is what will provide a complete view of the application's state.
Now is your turn!
You already know that software quality assurance in e-commerce is essential to guarantee customer satisfaction and business success. You also know that including it in your strategy can bring benefits such as a positive and consistent user experience, reducing errors and technical problems that could affect customer trust, as well as eliminating costs resulting from multiple incidents.
The next steps to start with QA in your e-commerce can be the evaluation and selection of appropriate testing tools and platforms, defining a clear and well-structured testing process, implementing automated and manual testing, and training and educating the QA team to ensure the effectiveness of the process. Let's get to work!
If you need help with quality assurance for your ecommerce business, contact us here today. We would be happy to schedule a call to keep moving forward.
Digital Marketing Manager at Orienteed.