Nowadays due to booming Ecommerce, performance factor is more crucial than ever. To maintain both brand value and revenue ecommerce companies need to provide shopping experience which is fast, secure and reliable. Fast experience with rich content is an important task. More loading time majorly contributes to page abandonment and user conversions as users are less tolerant towards performance issues. Software performance testing is a nonfunctional testing type which plays a vital role over successful business and reputation of an organization.
To understand the vitality of performance testing for successful business let’s take an example of heavy discount period such as Black Friday in ecommerce application. Business owners (marketing /sales persons) publish the advertisement on TV, Radio, emails and SMS notifications etc. to make users aware about the offers which are going to be held for limited durations to have their sales index up. A large number of users will throng the application/website to avail lucrative offers. Users will be engrossed in shortlisting goods, adding them to cart and payment activities for long time.
If a user faces large response time to load the page or adding items in cart or issues in payment procedures (white page, transactions cannot be processed), it gives an unpleasant experience with the particular app or website. Due to all these frustrating experiences people lose faith on the application. These kinds of unacceptable experiences increase user conversion rate and may benefit competitor’s business. Also, this news will spread in no time due to online rating/reviews options available in cyber age which will impose negative impact on new buyers. So, buyers’ visits will decrease and hence business ROI will get impacted.
Due to all these issues, even smart business strategies will not lure customers, unable to add desired benefits and sales will get down. Response time plays critical role for ecommerce business. Response time is inversely proportional to business success factor. Black Fridays’ are crucial for business owners. Since large number of users will be accessing the site for long duration of time so this may lead to memory leakage and user will undergo unpleasant experience. This is exactly what usually happens to major ecommerce sites. In order to combat rivals, more lucrative offers given to costumers will be fruitful only if user can complete the purchase activities impeccably. If we want to have benefit out of this, then application should be able to accommodate large number of users without losing quality attributes. In order to keep the customers engaged in our website, response of the application should be reasonable and well-maintained. Also, page loading time is equally important for search engine rankings. Slow response will drive the customer away from the website and contribute to the conversion rate. Read the blog: Best practices for Testing Web Applications
Can we get rid of this kind of problems? Answer is, YES!
Performance testing is the best solution! If there exists a legacy website, then we can get an idea about number of users, else we can find out the limit that our website/app will support using performance test. Application should be able to handle anticipated user load for long durations without any errors or exceptions. Performance factor should be considered from the beginning phase of software development cycle so that architecture and other factors can be designed based on the current and future growth of the business. But in reality, performance testing comes into picture very late and also very less time is allocated for performance testing, which just worsens the situation.
Performance issues detected late in SDLC costs high on budget and are more difficult to fix. Below are some tips to ensure best performance of your application.
- Targeting for the best performance output, performance suite should be executed using performance testing tools (e.g. Apache JMeter, BlazeMeter, HP LoadRunner, NeoLoad, Visual studio load test tool, LoadImpact, Rational Performance Tester etc.) in the environment which is replica of production environment.
- Do not leave performance testing for the last week before go-live. In this case performance bugs have creeped till production which may be difficult and costly to fix. Create a test strategy for a successful performance test by considering factors such as - user behavior, how user interacts with site, average concurrent users, application area where most of the users are engaged, geographic location from where maximum traffic is expected.
- Database is heart of any application. So, all critical transactions should be watched and optimized
- Make sure the application handles peak load during peak hours. Run load test scenarios in realistic conditions on production environment. Also, all types of performance tests should be run completely with load test, stress test, spike test, endurance test, and isolation test to remove all performance related issues beforehand. Before announcing new offers on your ecommerce website, most critical transaction and pages should be examined and if problems like slowness, memory leak etc. are encountered then these should be fixed before rolling out offers as they will impact end users and hence business.
- Monitor all components of the infrastructure (all servers, load balancers, databases) regularly, as part of health check of application/website.
- Endurance tests should be performed since ecommerce applications/websites are accessed by users for long durations. Due to programming bugs, memory leak can occur which can lead to increase in memory use and sudden system crash.
- Use analytics tools to find out most visited pages by the users and real user trend to access website or application. Based on this information keep on improving performance test suite for better efficiency.
- Check performance considering different geographic locations so that customers coming from different locations have good experience while accessing.
- There can be cases where response time will be high. In order to present it well and not waste user’s time, there can be some message displayed (For example: Transaction is in progress and may take some time to complete”) on the website.
An E-commerce application is a system of complex processes which require thorough understanding and expert-level testing. Performance testing is a top-priority in this domain because a drop in performance of your website can make you lose thousands of customers. Think about it!
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