FIND A PROBLEM WITH AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE
I must admit that today’s challenge was a low-hanging fruit for me. At work I test e-commerce websites and often get teased by my colleagues that I’m constantly shopping.
Talking about e-commerce websites, the main purpose of online stores is… to sell. This makes some functionalities super important because if they do not work – user cannot purchase.
When in online store, in order to make a purchase, user must be able to:
- Choose a product
- Select a size (color, other features of the product)
- Add To Bag
- Check Out
- Pay successfully using possible way of payment
There can be multiple issues in steps #1 and #2 like product filtering not working properly, color selection not working, etc. However, they are not as major as #3-5.
When choosing a site to test, I wanted to take a look at a website which I haven’t visited before. For that, I decided to search for a nicely looking website and found an article with 20 of the Very Best E-Commerce Websites. This article lists some stylish e-commerce sites.
My choice was a known name (which definitely should have a properly working online store) – Reebok.
I did check global Reebok site first which already had several issues like broken product links, but it did not have an online store, so I changed to the most powerful market when it comes to e-commerce – US.
Major functionalities test had to be executed first and as a real user, I tried to make a purchase using 5 steps I mentioned above with biggest interest in critical functions (3, 4 and 5). And, to my surprise, it took me 5 minutes to find a problem.
In US site of Reebok Check Out using Paypal does not work
- Go to a wanted product in the US site of Reebok
- Add the item to bag
Must mention that in this step I did not expect to be redirected to the Shopping Bag because this discourages further shopping and tries to make user complete the Check Out, but this happened!
- Click on PayPal CheckOut (any of two button instances)
Verify that nothing happens – URL gets Redirect addition but the page itself does not change. Trying to pay with PayPal is not possible for a user.
- I reproduced this issue on both latest Safari and Chrome versions on Mac OS, as well as latest Chrome on Windows 10.
- I did check different market site (the one in Netherlands) and the user experience was definitely inconsistent: for example, step 2 just gave a popup if you want to Check Out or continue browsing and Paypal redirection did work.
- Also, if you actually Check Out in US market and then click to Check Out with Paypal – you are redirected back to Shopping Bag.
This video illustrates displays the issue and points mentioned in this post: