Preparing a website for holiday shopping sales shouldn’t come as an afterthought. During peak traffic surges, sometimes online stores fail to withstand the sudden influx of users. And if a website’s servers go down or the payment gateway crashes, it can impact the brand. 

Traditional and emerging online retailers that don’t test their web apps properly for peak-hour load traffic risk losing substantial revenue and more importantly their customers’ trust. Online retailers should use holiday readiness testing to boost revenue and customer satisfaction. 

In this blog, you’ll discover 10 top testing tips you should use to ensure a stress-free and prosperous holiday season for your online store. 

1. Creating a testing strategy for retail holiday readiness 

To ensure your online store is ready for the holiday rush, it’s important to develop a testing plan. This should include various test scenarios and test cases.  

You can use tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to identify which pages receive the most user traffic. You can also run a heat map study to identify critical pages and user flow journeys that are crucial for your business. These may include user registration, user login, adding products to the cart and checkout pages, among others. 

2. Planning for unexpected traffic surges 

Devise a contingency plan for situations where your site experiences higher traffic than usual. You should always have a backup plan and a recovery strategy for restoring the website if it goes down unexpectedly. 

By preparing for such scenarios in advance, you can cut disruptions and ensure a smooth shopping experience for your customers during peak periods. 

3. Functional testing and usability testing 

Test to make sure that critical features such as user registration, user login, category pages, product pages, add to cart, product search and filtering capabilities, navigation and checkout, etc. are working well. Check out different fields, text boxes, text areas, drop-downs, and other user input fields to make sure the app responds correctly to unexpected inputs and behaviors.  

Here are a few other points to keep in mind: 

  • Ensure that product prices are accurate and shipping charges are correct. If these values differ based on the user’s address or location, then account for it during testing. 
  • Transactions and payment processing should be accurate and accept deals, coupons and special promotions. 
  • Checkout should work for all available modes of payment and payment gateways. 
  • Perform negative testing to identify user actions that are most likely to break the app and patch those areas. 
  • Run broken link checkers to test links and make sure none are broken. 
  • Test to ensure that a custom 404 error page is set up. Does it have every detail for the user to get back to the main site? 
  • Manually run an end-to-end test cycle to understand the usability and functionality of a complete buyer journey. 

4. Cross-browser and mobile compatibility testing 

Identify the legacy and most problematic browsers and operating systems for testing. Run cross-compatibility testing to make sure sound files, videos, images and other media are working as expected on all browsers and devices. 

If you have a dynamic ecommerce website, then make sure it looks and functions as intended across supported browsers. Identify mobile devices you need to test on to verify responsive design. And don’t forget to test and determine how your online shop functions on a mobile device with poor network connectivity or low battery. 

5. Visual testing 

Use screenshot comparison techniques to evaluate your web store at a pixel level. You can take screenshots locally or use Localtunnel to validate various visual elements of your web pages. You can also use live testing to evaluate the visual efficiency of the ecommerce site over multi-step scenarios. 

It’ll help you ensure the consistency of visual elements like buttons, images, and text across browsers. Perform visual regression testing to ensure the application’s layout remains consistent over new build iterations. 

6. Load and performance testing  

Analyze historical data to calculate an absolute approximation of a spike in traffic. Test other relative components including hardware, network bandwidth and databases to identify the load-bearing capacity of the entire infrastructure. It can also help in adjusting the application’s performance profile accordingly. 

Analyze the number of concurrent requests the existing systems can handle during the event of maximum load. Identify whether response time for test paths is acceptable or not. Find out the reasons for weak performance and browser compatibility issues.  

Appropriate load testing will also help determine whether the website or application requires more load balancers or not. It’ll help to reduce the problem of refused connections which could lead to unsatisfied customers. 

7. Catalog and segment infrastructure – ease of use 

The number of offers and discounts on products and services increases during the festive season. It’s essential for online stores to make sure that all the items and offers are displayed correctly on product pages. 

Testers should also ensure that the cataloging of the products is done correctly and can be browsed easily. Ensure search options are displaying correctly, the number of products displayed on each page is precise and there is no duplication of products on the list. 

Also, make sure that pagination and filtering options are working in harmony to ensure ease of browsing for the user. 

8. Mobile testing  

Ensure the mobile performance of your online store is top-notch. The mobile website or app should not crumble under the heavy load of users. Apart from testing the overall performance of the application, testers need to identify and analyze problems including mobile latency and run mobile network speed simulations to ensure optimal performance on the mobile platform. 

9. Shopping cart and payment 

Shoppers often abandon their cart at the payment stage due to the slow performance of the ecommerce platform. Build a user-friendly and faster checkout process. Make sure that all discount codes are working correctly and don’t put an unwanted load on the database. This can significantly impact the performance of the website during peak load time. Identify whether all the payment options are working efficiently under peak load conditions or not. 

10. Security 

Ecommerce websites are one of the most loved targets for hackers. Why? Because they handle a lot of personal and financial data from customers. As user traffic increases during the holiday season, so the risk of hacking rises.  

Make sure that your online store’s security cannot be compromised. Analysis of secure handling of incoming and outgoing data, payment gateway, penetration testing to identify and rectify vulnerabilities should be done thoroughly. A multi-layered security approach should be implemented to make the security ironclad. 


Your shopping website or app is the main entrance to your ecommerce business. This means it’s vital to put in place an effective testing strategy to ensure you’re ready for the holiday surge. Follow our 10 top tips above and you’ll be well on your way to giving your customers a seamless and enjoyable holiday buying experience.  

To lower risk, it’s important to have the right testing expertise and the help of an experienced retail software testing company. This is why making the right choice in selecting the best web store app testing company is so crucial. 

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