Fashion E-Commerce: testing strategies to optimize performance and quality

Maria, Social Media and Content Creator

How do the big fashion and luxury brands guarantee an optimal User Experience for users and customers? It all starts from a solid testing strategy

In recent years the Fashion & Luxury sector has undergone a significant revolution, triggered by the adoption of digital technologies, by the change in
behaviour and habits of consumers and of ever-increasing centrality of digital experiences.

The growth of e-commerce in the sector is rapid and constant. For example according to Statista, fashion ecommerce is expected to grow by 16% in Italy and by 11% in Spain from 2023 and 2027.

Fashion Ecommerce Data in Europe

These numbers contain a series of challenges and opportunities for brands and industry professionals.
Always characterized by strong competitiveness and the importance of experience and of customer service, fashion & luxury today finds itself having to adapt to the rhythms and necessities of digital processes. Values such as excellence, luxury, uniqueness and exclusivity have always had a central importance in the boutiques of the global brands of luxury; today the challenge is to be able to transfer them to online shops and digital experiences of all the world.

Companies today must be able to adapt to the changing needs of customers, e.g. aspire to offer the same level of excellence and exclusivity in their online stores that customers live in boutiques. And here is the first and most important challenge: how to achieve these levels of excellence for e-commerce?

The importance of testing for fashion & luxury e-commerce

Creating a flawless experience for online customers in the fashion industry it goes beyond the visual appearance of a website. While companies invest considerably in the design of their website and in the care of the brand image, there are factors not immediately visible that can compromise both the image and functionality of the sites. Furthermore, fashion e-commerce have to face a series of specific challenges related to their digital nature:

  • the request for continuous updates, both of the catalog and of the platforms;
  • the international (and often global) dimension of e-commerce;
  • the lack of direct feedback from customers, which is instead present in physical store

The impact of technology changes on user experience

The continuous updates of the e-commerce platforms, the changes in content and the implementation of new features on sites are frequent causes of links not working, 404 errors, problems viewing sites on mobile devices, broken payment systems and so on.

A complete and effective response to this need comes from methodologies of testing.

Quality Assurance for Fashion Ecommerce testing methodologies

Testing methodologies as a solution to user experience problems

The practice of testing for e-commerce – not only in the world of fashion – is established in recent years as one of the most solid ways to guarantee a level of a satisfying experience for the demanding fashion & luxury clientele.

The tests are carried out both before the launch of an e-commerce (for example on a navigable prototype, or in a staging environment) both later, with the site already active and public, coinciding with the release of a new version, of an important update or within a testing strategy that involves recurring cycles of testing and maintenance.

These are tests that are carried out by both expert and qualified personnel – Quality Assurance professionals, with skills relevant to the world of development and programming – both with the involvement of real users and they test e-commerce in real contexts and with real devices, simulating navigation and the purchase.

Fashion Ecommerce Quality Assurance - testing team

What problems does website and e-commerce testing help solve?

This type of activity allows you to highlight operational defects that would otherwise not be possible visible, but which have a profound impact on crucial aspects:

  • Site Performance: A website that loads slowly or has technical errors can frustrate visitors, regardless of beauty of design. Accurate tests must be conducted to ensure that the site is responsive and fast on a variety of devices and internet connections.
  • Browser and device compatibility: Visitors can use a wide range of browsers and devices, both mobile and desktop, for navigate. A design that looks great on a browser might have problems on another. Tests must cover different platforms for ensure uniform viewing.
  • Security and Privacy: With the growing concern about security online, ensuring the protection of customers’ personal information is essential. Safety tests must be carried out to identify and resolve any vulnerabilities.
  • User Journey: An attractive design can lose its meaning if the Site navigation is complex or the purchasing process is short intuitive. User journey tests are crucial to optimizing customer journey.
  • Bugs and operational defects: Broken links, pages that don’t open, filters that do not work properly. These are all aspects that have an impact negatively impacting the browsing and purchasing experience not on user satisfaction, but also on metrics business.

To better understand the importance of these aspects, let’s consider a customer who visit a fashion site. If the site loads slowly, the customer may abandon the experience, negatively influencing the overall impression of the brand (the 60% of visitors expect the site to load in less than 2 seconds, otherwise they leave page). Also, if the site is not compatible with the customer’s preferred browser could generate frustration, undermining trust in the reliability of the site and therefore of the brand.

Security is another critical aspect: imagine if a customer were to encounter security issues during the payment process. This might not only damage the reputation of the brand but could also lead to loss of customers.

Finally, a complicated user interface can lead to a high abandonment rate cart, although the design is aesthetically pleasing. Test and optimize the The user journey is therefore crucial to maximizing conversions.

Testing of e-commerce in fashion & luxury: ROI and metrics from keep an eye on

Evaluating the Return on Investment (ROI) of Quality Assurance is one step crucial to determining the effectiveness of dedicated efforts. When measuring ROI, several key factors are taken into consideration:

  • Bug Reduction is one of the main indicators. Calculate the number e the impact of fixed bugs after implementing QA practices provides a clear metric of effectiveness in improving stability e the reliability of the system.
  • A second important element is the Increase in Conversions. Monitor from close how many additional conversions occur after user experience (UX) optimization allows you to establish a direct link between the QA activities and commercial success. Under the acronym CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) all those practices and methodologies are collected, across the board between User Experience Design, research and programming, which allow you to increase the conversion rates of a page or website.
  • Furthermore, it is essential to consider Positive Customer Feedback. Collect and analyzing the positive reviews, along with customer satisfaction, offers a direct indication of how Quality Assurance is contributing to the appreciation of end users. In this case, metrics like CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) and NPS (Net Promoter Score) are essential to track good QA and UX optimization work.
  • Last but not least, the saving in terms of time for the development team and Quality Assurance – considering the average cost that such qualified professionals have within a company – is another fundamental element for measuring the positive impact of a strategy testing.

In summary, measuring QA ROI is not limited to quantitative metrics, but encompasses also qualitative indicators that reflect the overall customer experience and the value added by quality control activities.

Quality Assurance on Fashion. Ecommerce - User Testing

Functional and experiential tests

There are numerous types of Quality Assurance tests, which verify just as many various aspects of e-commerce functionality. The most frequent and useful ones in the world of luxury are:

  • Copy testing: Ensures correct display and contextualization of text information, in different languages. Often, for large e-commerce sites, it is created on a global scale by specialized companies (for example with the methodology of crowdtesting), which involves involving native speaker testers.
  • Payment testing: Verify that payment methods are integrated correctly and work smoothly.
  • Device compatibility testing: Ensures the site fits and works correctly on a wide range of devices and operating systems.
  • Checkout testing: Optimize the checkout process to maximize conversions.
  • Non-regression testing: a type of test (actually a real one methodology) created by professional testers, which allows testing the features of a site introduced with a new release, without having to re-test the “core” elements of the architecture.

To these tests, which are defined as functional in that they allow the correct functionality of a site to be verified, are added experiential tests, which they have a profoundly different nature, methodology and objectives. Indeed they come usually created with the help of a team of User Researchers, professional figures with specific skills, which deal with analyzing interactions between users (who also in this case are testers) and the e-commerce or site under consideration. This type of test aims to highlight usability problems of the site, which technically they are defined as clutches.

In the world of fashion & luxury the most relevant experiential tests are:

  • End-to-End Testing of the Purchase Journey: Covering the entire journey online purchase, these tests ensure that every phase, from navigation to payment until return, is optimized for a customer experience without hitches.
  • Usability testing: These tests allow you to create an engaging experience for eCommerce customers. Through consolidated methodologies and analysis in-depth, they focus on optimizing brand touchpoints to maximize the impact of the customer experience. They aim to optimize the UX, improve conversion rates and reduce cart abandonment.
  • Phygital experience test: With this type of test, that is verified purchasing path, increasingly frequent in large e-commerce sites brand, which starts with online browsing but then ends with collection boutiques.

To carry out these types of testing it is essential to have access to a pool of tester that has characteristics as close as possible to those of the end user.

Quality Assurance Fashion & Luxury Ecommerce
Watch the full webinar on Quality Assurance for Fashion Ecommerce

Testing for fashion & luxury sites: UNGUESS solutions

There are several companies that offer very advanced testing services, with specific skills and expertise in the Fashion & Luxury field. One of them is UNGUESS, a crowdtesting platform founded in Italy in 2015, which among its own success stories presents the one with Canali. This renowned fashion house men needed to refine and optimize the online shopping experience in various international markets. UNGUESS played a crucial role in identifying and resolving challenges that limited the customer experience on the site Canali e-commerce.


  • Bug Hunting: Detailed testing has been carried out to locate and resolve bugs and defects in the functioning of the Canali website. This process has ensured that ecommerce was efficient and reliable, improving quality overall shopping experience.
  • Analysis of the purchase and return experience: UNGUESS conducted an in-depth analysis of each phase of the online purchasing journey on different platforms. From navigation processes to product selection, from payment to returns management, every aspect has been examined and optimized to ensure a smooth customer journey
  • Evaluations of texts and translations: The accuracy and effectiveness of Product descriptions, as well as translations into several languages, have been carefully evaluated to ensure a clear and consistent message for customers of different nationalities.

The testing project carried out by UNGUESS involved 6 different countries (Italy, Germany, France, Spain, United States, United Kingdom) supporting Channels in obtaining an international dimension for your e-Commerce.

Through the work carried out by UNGUESS, Canali has seen improvements significant in the overall user experience on your e-commerce site.

The collaboration between Canali and UNGUESS has demonstrated the fundamental value of
thorough testing, direct customer feedback and constant optimization to ensure an impeccable online shopping experience.

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The impact of an experiential test: the Decathlon Case Study

If a good testing strategy involves the combined iteration of functional tests and experiential – in order to guarantee perfect functioning of e-commerce, together with offering a satisfactory User Experience – it is indeed possible take care of only one of the two aspects, for example if one of the two parts is already managed through internal processes and activities.

This is the case described in the UNGUESS Case Study with Decathlon. Decathlon Italia turned to UNGUESS to make its online experience smooth and memorable users, at a time when – following the pandemic – the institutional site has registered. It was a digital infrastructure that was already perfectly functional and effective, but still lacking external, objective and objective validation.

This approach, guaranteed by UNGUESS, allows you to obtain reliable insights from translate into practical and actionable actions on the structure of the online store.

Decathlon initiated the tests with the aim of optimizing the shopping experience on its eCommerce. In particular, the work of the UNGUESS team and the community was aimed at understanding the real user’s perception of the experience of exploration of the catalog and understand if the navigation and information are clear enough to allow the user to find what they are looking for and enter the desired products in the cart.

A pool of testers was then built within the UNGUESS crowd, with
characteristics and purchasing habits targeted by Decathlon, with a series of tasks very specific to be created on the site, both desktop and mobile:

  • homepage display
  • product search using filters and guided search
  • interaction with the product sheet
  • cart navigation
  • checkout and registration

The product purchases have actually been completed, so that the experience was as natural and realistic as possible.

Once the paths to be tested had been established, the methodology applied was that of Thinking Aloud. This method involves asking users to think aloud high as they interface with the test subject, explaining their movements, actions, impressions and difficulties. Participants independently record a video while they carry out the test steps with their own devices in their real-world environment.

Knowing the sensations and blocks that real users have encountered, it is possible overcome all the assumptions of the decision-making process and put into action corrections based on objective data produced by end users. The recommendations generated by this experiential test – which was also carried out in just 3 days – have allowed Decathlon to direct design choices, increasing Conversion 15% installments in the year following implementations.

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The example of Prenatal is no less relevant. Once developed by an agency external, Prénatal eCommerce has been tested by the UNGUESS community in pre-release phase.
The engagement of real users, as in the case of this test, indicates a high level of engagement attention to the customer and a user-centric Prénatal strategy.

The community’s work was aimed at: reporting bugs on the Prénatal site in a test environment starting from the homepage until the purchase is completed (with the use of gift cards and choice of payment method); identify malfunctions that are annoying to users or that block the user from completing of your purchase to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Thanks to tests carried out with UNGUESS, Prenatal identified 138 unique bugs, of which 26% malfunction bugs – which affect the correct functional flows of the site – e 35% usability issues during checkout.

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