We’re well into Q4, and you know what that means—it’s holiday season! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the works.

The holiday season translates to an increase in traffic, conversions, and revenue. In fact, consumers in the US alone spent more than $204 billion on eCommerce purchases during the 2021 holiday season. This year, eCommerce holiday sales are expected to land somewhere between $260 billion and $264 billion.

What does this mean?

It means that you can expect to generate a lot of sales this holiday season.

However, the question is…

Is your eCommerce store ready for the holiday grind?

When the shopping fever hits, you can expect any (or even all) of the following:

  • Spikes in web traffic and a surge of new and existing visitors
  • Increase in average order value and cart size
  • Increase in customer support tickets
  • Higher bounce rates as online shoppers do virtual window shopping

Now, if your store isn’t ready for this amount of activity, you might miss out on a huge chunk of the holiday revenue pie. That’s why it’s essential to conduct comprehensive eCommerce store QA tests before the holiday shopping chaos.

Why do you need to run eCommerce QA tests before the holiday season?

Again, you don’t want to go into the holiday shopping season unprepared. Get all your QA testing done before the major holidays so you can focus on sales and fulfillment during the actual shopping days.

By the time BFCM rolls in, you should be monitoring your record-breaking revenue, not panicking over a wrong email marketing campaign or a promo code that won’t work.

So get your QA tests done early, and you will be able to fully absorb what the Q4 holiday season has to offer.

Do these 5 QA tests before the holidays hit

Here are five essential eCommerce QA tests you need to conduct around two weeks to a month before BFCM hits. That way, you have enough time to edit and tweak accordingly.

Test #1: New user registration process and nurture flow

During the holiday season, expect to get a lot of new sign-ups and new customers—especially if you’re serving some major discounts!

Here’s what you need to understand: getting a user to sign up is not the ending. You need to keep nurturing new customers so you can increase their lifetime value and your customer retention rate.

Did you know that 53% of customer churn reasons include poor onboarding, poor relationship building, and bad customer service? 

To avoid this, your eCommerce brand needs to have a smooth user registration process and then a solid nurture process. If you already have both of these in place, conduct some intensive eCommerce QA tests to make sure that your user registration process is all functional.

Here are some things you’ll need to test:

Sign-up form and registration process

  • Do the sign-up forms include all the fields you require? 
  • Are they all working? 
  • Are the required fields marked required? 
  • What happens after registration? Do the new users get led to their account dashboards?

Account dashboards 

  • Are users able to update their personal data?
  • Can users change payment methods?
  • Can the password be reset?
  • What is the process for deleting accounts?

Confirmation and welcome email 

  • What do new users receive after signing up?
  • Does the welcome email have any grammatical or typographical errors?
  • Are all links working and are all images loading?

Nurture emails

  • Are the nurture emails arriving in the correct order?
  • Are there any errors in the copy or graphics?
  • Are all links working?

Integration with CRM

  • Are new registrations synced to your customer data platform?
  • Are new users assigned to the correct contact lists and email sequences?

Test #2: Purchase and checkout process

Did you know that the average cart abandonment rate across industries is almost 70%? This means that there are almost seven out of ten shoppers will not complete their purchase—no sale, no revenue.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, but ultimately it means your purchase process and your checkout process should be smooth, convenient, and an overall great experience for shoppers.

You don’t want to waste all the traffic you’re getting. Here are the things you need to test:

Product purchase process

  • Does the website menu and navigation make sense? Do the navigation buttons take the user to the right destination?
  • Are the products placed under the right categories?
  • Are the search functionality, sorting options, and filters working?
  • On the product page, are the descriptions and photos correct?
  • Can shoppers select the size, color, and quantity?
  • Can shoppers add the products to their carts successfully?

Checkout process

  • How many steps do shoppers need to go through before they complete the purchase?
  • Are all payment methods working properly?
  • Is the checkout process smooth and fast?

Test #3: Email marketing workflows

Email marketing contributes a lot to eCommerce success—59% of shoppers said that marketing emails have helped them decide on completing a purchase. Plus, 81% of small and medium businesses consider email as their primary acquisition channel, while 80% for retention. 

That being said, eCommerce stores can maximize their email marketing by implementing these basic and advanced workflows such as:

  • New customer acquisition workflow
  • Post-purchase workflow
  • Cart abandonment workflow
  • Customer winback flow

Before Q4 starts, run through all of these workflows to make sure that they all work properly. Here are some examples of what you need to test:

  • Are the segments and logic correct?
  • Do contacts receive the right emails based on their actions?
  • Does the unsubscribe feature work?
  • Is the cart abandonment email showing the right products?
  • Are all personalization tokens working correctly?

Test #4: Mobile shopping experience

Last 2021, before the holiday season rolled in, almost 80% of mobile users completed a purchase on their mobile devices. If your eCommerce store isn’t optimized for mobile, you will miss out on additional revenue.

Allot enough time to test the mobile shopping experience of your store, specifically the following:

  • Responsiveness across 
  • Overall user experience on mobile (you can also include how the emails appear on different screens)
  • Ease of purchase and checkout process on mobile
  • How fast the mobile version of your store loads, whether it’s on a browser or its own app

Test #5: Chatbot performance and logic

Since the holiday season means more traffic and more activity, you can definitely expect a surge in demand for customer support. There will be more support tickets compared to the rest of the year.

If you already have a chatbot, you need to test it to ensure it can keep up with the Q4 hustle and bustle. These are the most essential features and actions you must test:

  • Response time and relevancy of answer
  • Process of capturing contact details and syncing to CRM and other tools
  • Accuracy of chatbot’s answers
  • Overall user experience and navigation flow of the chatbot
  • How it deals with errors or questions that are not in the knowledge base

Wrap up: Leverage humans for your QA tests to get the best-in-class feedback

It can be overwhelming to think about these important eCommerce QA tests on top of your marketing strategy, financial statements, and content. After all, there is so much revenue potential during the holiday season.

A lot of business owners turn to automated QA tests so they can focus on other aspects of their business during Q4. However, there are some tests that only humans can do. After all, AI testers and bots cannot provide qualitative feedback and cannot judge actual user experience.