Visual Testing Best Practices for E-commerce Websites

Visual Testing Best Practices for E-commerce Websites

In recent years, online brands have created a competitive edge in the marketplace by providing high-quality user experience, and the visual aspects of e-commerce websites have started gaining more significance as they greatly influence their users. Since it is the first thing that end users will encounter when using a website.

Now users expect apps and websites to be intuitive, fast, and visually flawless. That is why visual testing, which is sometimes referred to as Visual UI testing, has become an absolute necessity in delivering the best possible user experience, and having an appealing website. Visual testing is an organized way to identify visual bugs.

It is the best solution for providing the highest quality of UI elements.  This testing technique involves verifying the user interface of an application by analyzing its appearance.

To provide engaging, consistent, and expected user experience organizations are putting greater focus on the visual appearance of their ecommerce websites because it is a crucial aspect for ensuring that the visual elements of the website are functioning correctly and it is visually appealing to the end-users. Testers can perform visual testing either manually or through automation testing tools such as Selenium, LambdaTest or Percy.

Manual visual testing can be tiresome and requires time and resources as it requires a human tester to manually identify visual defects in the website’s user interface. Since this type of testing depends on the tester’s proficiency, it may be prone to error and does not guarantee thorough test coverage to identify the issues accurately.

Contrariwise, performing visual testing using specialized tools that automatically detect and report visual defects in the application’s user interface. The defects include layout issues, font inconsistencies, color mismatches, and missing or broken images.

Automated visual testing is considered best for specifying visual bugs because they are faster, more accurate, and can be performed repeatedly with minimal effort.

In this article, we will explore best practices for visual testing to ensure high-quality e-commerce websites. But before that, we will take a closer look at what visual testing is, why it is important for e-commerce websites, and lastly the benefits of performing visual testing.

Visual Testing

Visual testing is a testing approach to confirm that each visual component of a website appears as intended. It ensures that the website’s overall appearance and feel are as expected. In e-commerce testing, it is a sort of quality assurance check to guarantee that the user interface (UI) of the website appears as intended for the users.

Visual testing detects changes in UI appearance by running a specialized test suite for generating reference snapshots. After generating reference snapshots the actual UI is then compared with reference snapshots of the same UI.

The reports are generated with a summary of the results once the tests are run. Every time the UI is changed, the reference snapshots need to be generated again to keep them up to date. These snapshots are then kept in the device memory, to repeat the same procedure on each device separately.

Why is Visual Testing Important for E-Commerce Websites?

In the e-commerce industry, user engagement is directly proportional to the great UI of a website, especially the visual aspect. User experience plays a vital role in providing a positive user experience and brand enhancement. Visual testing is the most precise and fastest method to test the UI of ecommerce websites.

Some of the reasons why visual testing is so important are listed below.

  • Great visuals help to build trust and support a brand’s image because people judge a product by seeing its website or product page.
  • Visual testing helps to catch visual defects or layout issues, such as misaligned elements, broken images, or incorrect font sizes or colors as early as possible in the development cycle. This as a result reduces the risk of costly fixes later on.
  • In today’s multi-device, multi-platform environment visual testing ensures that the user interface (UI) design is consistent across many browsers, devices, and platforms. It examines visual disparities or flaws in an e-commerce website by capturing screenshots of the UI and comparing them to a set baseline image.
  • Visual testing is crucial to improve the quality of an ecommerce website, enhance the user experience, and minimize the risk of user frustration or abandonment.

Benefits of Visual Testing

In this competitive era, faster development and regular release cycles result in lots of undesired effects on the UI. Visual testing helps to prevent regressions and identify bugs faster. This forces developers to maintain a higher quality of the UI.

It enables app developers to automate the process of detecting visual errors on ecommerce sites such as items missing information or displaying wrong information, which significantly speeds up the work. If not detected, those errors might have a major impact on user experience and conversion rate.

Testers can verify that a particular website’s component has the desired value, renders correctly, and does not lead to regression.

Automating the process of visual validation enables developers to be notified about bugs much faster. Even the tiniest changes in the color or framing of the elements that escaped the developer’s attention during code review, automated visual tests can detect them.  As a result, testers get more time to test other parts of the app and get pixel-perfect UI.

Best practices for effective visual testing for e-commerce websites

E-commerce visual testing involves a few checks for establishing the scale of quality in terms of the overall look and comprehensiveness of the website. Even a minor issue can deviate from buyer’s attention and complicate their purchase direction.

Following best practices enables a seamless flow, and improves the accuracy and confidence of visual test results of an ecommerce platform.

Begin with the home page of ecommerce

Before implementing visual testing for ecommerce, it is important to ensure that every website feature is working as expected. This is because the home page is the busiest corner of any website, and every section on this page plays an important role in building up a brand.

Going through each segment to check if it’s clickable or not, and rendering this page on different browsers and screen sizes is vital for enhancing eCommerce website UI via visual testing.

Pre-existing issues such as broken images or links in menus lead to test failure from the beginning. A single error in user action can interrupt the sequence of the ecommerce test flow as a whole. To identify these pre-existing issues it is recommended to conduct an initial audit of the essential user journeys like the navigation and checkout process.

Verify both UI and UX functionality

Confirming the expected appearance of UI elements on a single webpage and the behavior of functionalities available in each of these homepages is essential in detecting errors in ecommerce. Visual testing is about testing the look and feel of the website that is UI, but for ecommerce sites visual testing is considered for both UI and UX designs.

Verifying that all UI elements appear as expected on a single webpage – can help detect errors in ecommerce. However, the problem is that visual tests take that single page and validate it in isolation from the rest of the user experience. Performing tests in isolation does not provide the proper context required for a comprehensive evaluation of the visual experience of ecommerce.

Visual elements appearing on an ecommerce website are a product of multiple and distinct user interactions. Therefore it is recommended to build a visual test plan keeping the entire online user journey in mind, from beginning to end.

Test from the real user perspective

Different individuals approach things in different ways. That is why having a strategic approach to visual testing, taking into consideration the real user experience and each step in the user journey is important.

The main factors that influence UI/UX experience of an ecommerce website are

  • Determining all types of user action.
  • Determining when is the best time to conduct testing, means when the users are likely to shop online. Is there a certain time in a day when performing visual testing will be beneficial for the organization?
  • Determining the common resolutions, devices, browsers, and orientations that a user uses.

Create optimized tests for efficiency

Flooding the ecommerce with hundreds of different tests may create unnecessary test traffic and will burden monitoring resources. Therefore when planning out and executing tests it is important to take efficiency into account.

Below are some tips for creating streamlined visual tests and optimizing resources:

  • Design tests that are simple and easy to maintain.
  • Configure tests to ignore elements of a webpage that are irrelevant and do not need testing. This will help in eliminating false positives and save effort in reviewing those visual changes that would be highlighted otherwise.
  • Limit extensive or large-scale multi-device testing to what is necessary.

Utilizing LambdaTest’s visual testing capabilities to test e-commerce websites

Because of complex application test scenarios, finding visual bugs in the e-commerce application can be challenging for developers and testers. Therefore with frequent technological shifts, it is essential to pick the correct technique and tools for testing e-commerce applications. As a result, testing can improve the user experience, and deliver efficiency.

LambdaTest is a robust automated visual testing platform that allows users to test website pages and detect usability-related visual bugs. Using this platform tester will be able to test efficiently, and effectively with comprehensive coverage, and deliver desired app performance and user satisfaction.

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that offers manual and automated testing for web and mobile applications at scale. The platform provides testers access to more than 3000 environments, real mobile devices, and browsers to perform both real-time and automation testing and also provides support to perform visual testing for ecommerce websites.

In short, using this platform tester can simulate page performance across a wide range of browsers, devices, operating systems, and programming languages, and on any screen resolution.

Smart UI is the visual testing feature provided by LambdaTest. This feature allows testers to validate the correctness of the UI layout, content, and appearance, customize visual thresholds, ignore specific regions from the screenshots, and a complete dashboard where they can view the test results and accept the images.

LambdaTest also allows seamless integration of visual testing into the CI/CD pipeline to facilitate early bug detection, faster feedback, improved collaboration, and increased test coverage.


In conclusion, it can be said that implementing the above-mentioned visual testing best practices can provide immense benefits to testing ecommerce websites.

By following these practices ecommerce testing can greatly assist and optimize UI and UX testing procedures, and streamline greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Incorporating the right automation tools additionally aids in ensuring a robust and consistent visual experience for ecommerce.

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