5 must-do website checks to ease Black Friday stress
It’s that time of year again. After stuffing your face with pumpkin pie, tolerating those relatives who ask overly personal questions, and sipping some warm apple cider, it’s time to prepare for Black Friday.
For businesses around the world, Black Friday is both an exciting and highly pressured time. Even with the addition of Cyber Monday, Black Friday was still the most popular shopping day of Thanksgiving Weekend in 2018 with 14.8 million online sales processed. The competition among companies during this time is especially high as well. The smallest issue problems with a company’s website will have prospective customers moving on immediately to their competitors.
Many companies have already been preparing frantically to handle this surge of traffic and purchases on their websites, from confirming fast loading times to visual testing. Test automation can also play a helpful role in making sure that important processes are functioning properly before the big day. Here are some important test automation checks to do before Black Friday to make sure that the day passes smoothly and seamlessly.
1. Make sure that your end-to-end testing includes holiday promos
Especially at peak shopping times like Black Friday, it’s critical to do end-to-end testing to confirm that all of your core processes are working as they should. This is especially important when it comes to processes that include holiday promotions.
If you are adding a new holiday promo field to a process where it normally doesn’t exist, remember to add this step in your tests so you don’t deal with unnecessary test breakage. If the field to add a promo code exists already within your tests, make sure that the code is recognized within your critical tests as well.
With the right test automation tool, you should not need to redo test steps in areas where there was a change in the test element but not the logic of the scenario, such as a larger “Check Out” button or clicking through an existing popup. If your tool has a self-healing mechanism, usually using AI, your tool should overcome these changes automatically. You can rest assured that these tests will continue working as normal, leaving you more time to make the necessary changes when your Black Friday promotion makes logic-based changes to your scenarios.
2. Do critical database monitoring
Whether you’re in the travel industry or run an e-commerce site, you are often dealing with a lot of user data. When it comes to peak travel and purchasing times, from Thanksgiving through the rest of the holiday season, the user data you need to account for will grow tremendously.
To make sure things are working properly, you should monitor your databases to ensure that a) the data that you need actually exists and b) your software is pulling the data correctly. This can apply to a variety of scenarios. In the case of the travel industry, you may need to monitor your database when attributing the right amount of frequent flier miles for an upcoming flight. For e-commerce, you may need to determine whether or not a customer met the purchasing minimum to get free shipping.
Another way to do effective database monitoring is by scheduling the processes that use data to happen around the clock. If your automated testing tool has a scheduling feature, it’s possible to do live monitoring that conducts these actions live on your site on a programmed schedule. Not only will you ensure that your web application is attributing the right data to the right processes, but you can monitor these different scenarios on different browsers and versions. This will ensure that your entire customer base has a good user experience on your site.
3. Verify confirmation and tracking emails
If you have ever waited for your Amazon package to arrive at your doorstep, you know how much you look forward to getting the email that your order went through and that it subsequently shipped. During Black Friday and other times when prospective customers want to take advantage of sales, the level of excitement and anxiety that surrounds these updates can reach seemingly unprecedented levels.
This is why another important check to do ahead of the Black Friday rush is the sending of verification and/or tracking emails. Not only is it important to monitor whether customers are getting the right e-mails, but it is also critical to make sure that they’re not getting spammed with unwanted emails. Roughly 32% of users unsubscribe to email listservs due to irrelevant emails, so a small email mishap can result in major losses for your company during one of the highest spending times of the year.
When setting up test automation checks for emails, make sure that you include in your test scenario all of the executions required to open an email within your testing framework, such as two-factor authentication or correct purchase details. This will make your email testing processes go as smoothly as possible.
4. Ensure data security
In addition to monitoring the database to make sure your web application is using your company data properly, it’s also important to make sure that your data is secure. Many are still reeling from last year’s Amazon data breach that happened days before Black Friday, so other companies should be on high alert during this time as well.
Make sure that the test automation tools that you are using to test critical processes are transparent about their data security measures. This should include encryption of payment information, passwords, and other sensitive data, as well as secure communications.
You may also consider adding extra security measures for this time of year, such as multi-factor authentication. This will provide an additional layer of security that will make it more difficult for your site to suffer a costly breach.
5. Check your bug reporting
Finally, check your bug reports to determine that all of your bugs are in one easily accessible place. For those times that a potential customer does come across an issue with your web application, you want to have all the information readily available so you can resolve it as soon as possible.
Two important things to check are the integrations with your communications tools and the information included within the bug reports themselves. If your team uses a tool like Slack to handle issues, confirm that your bug reports are coming up there and that all of the relevant people have access to that chat. You should also check in with your team and see that they clearly understand the information presented in these reports, whether it’s a screenshot or a video describing the issue.
Let test automation help make your Black Friday sale a success
Companies have so much to think about before the Black Friday rush; don’t let your testing be one of them. With these simple automated testing checks, your team will be even more equipped to tackle Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season head-on.