A lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs are eager to launch their website as soon as possible. The enthusiasm is understandable, but beta testing your website before the big launch is a wise move. Once you’ve figured out how to set up an e-commerce site, the next step is to test it. Beta testing helps you work the bugs out of your website before spending time, money, and effort putting it in front of a larger audience. Plus, the insight you gain from potential customers can shift your entire strategy for the better.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for beta testing your e-commerce website:
Find the right audience
First, you’ll need a sampling of your intended audience to try out your website. This probably means you’ll need to reach out beyond your friends and family to find the right group of people.
The goal is to get real data and feedback from real potential customers. Their insight will be the most valuable in launching your store. They’re the ones you’re serving after all!
Make sure you get enough beta testers to provide you with accurate information. The larger the group of testers, the better the data will be.
Test the shopping experience
The bulk of beta testing revolves around the overall shopping experience of the user. This includes many different pages, functions, and actions, so be sure to be thorough and detailed in collecting information.
The main pages you should be paying attention to include the home page, category pages, and product pages. Users should have no problem navigating where they want to go or understanding how the website is organized.
Pay special attention to what users are entering in your search bar. Search queries can better inform your decisions when it comes to categories, menus, structure, and even website copy. Don’t forget to check that form submission pages are functioning properly too.
Test the checkout experience
The checkout path is critical to closing a purchase. By adding items to their cart, your customers are clearly showing interest in purchasing. It’s important not to lose them along the way with a clunky checkout experience.
Be sure to test the functionality of your cart by adding and removing products, adding different quantities of products, as well as closing and returning to the cart. If you offer the option to create an account, go through the process of doing so. It’s important to verify an order will be assigned to the correct account and the user will receive appropriate notifications.
Test payment processing
Without a functioning payment processor, you don’t really have a business, do you? Getting this step right is crucial.
You should test making an actual purchase through your website to make sure your payment processing system is in order. What forms of payment do you accept? Do you offer PayPal? Are you PCI compliant? Be sure to have answers to these questions before you launch.
Test across devices
In addition to the functions of your e-commerce website, don’t forget to test it across different devices and browsers. You never know where your website visitors could be coming from. They might visit your website from the latest smartphone on the market, or from an old computer using dial-up internet.
No matter what, make sure your visitors can enjoy the same quality experience. Your website should be mobile responsive and adaptable to different internet browsers.
By beta testing your e-commerce website, you’re already one step ahead of the game. When you launch your website fully, your users will have a much better experience based on the insights you’ve gained. Your future customers will thank you!
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