Load testing

Sales are increasing, a large number of visitors are trying to buy what you sell online. And then the site crashes. All the work you put into developing e-commerce and then the site does not withstand the pressure but collapses and sales are lost. It does not have to go that far either, an e-commerce site that loads slowly will cause some of your customers to leave. There is a lot to gain from the site delivering even when the pressure increases.

We work with load tests to ensure that the system is working fine during major campaigns where a significant increase in the number of visitors is expected and also in connection with major system changes. Even minor changes can have major consequences for performance. This is not normally captured in function or regression tests, and it may therefore be a good idea to run load tests continuously in connection with each release as part of the system's QoS (Quality of Service) testing. We also perform stress tests to examine the boundaries and find bottlenecks.

User scenarios

Load tests provide a measure of how well the system works at a given load. To get a fair result, it is important that the load generated against the system really reflects how users move on the site and the tasks they perform. We may need to simulate that items are added to the shopping cart, that users register or log in and that orders are placed. If it is a question of a campaign, the users' behavior can be very different from the normal behavior, the best thing is if you have statistics from previous campaigns that you can start from. The conversion rate is probably higher than on a normal day, so the proportion of users who actually complete the order also needs to be increased in the test case.

Tools

We use OctoPerf as a tool for load tests to create user scenarios, generate loads based on the scenarios and then present the results of the load tests. By load testing, you can both get a measure of the system's limitations, as well as valuable information on how to best use your existing resources.

Feel free to read our series of articles on load tests for an in-depth study and contact us if we can help you with load tests to be prepared when e-commerce grows.

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Load tests

Load Testing Part 1 – Introduction

A study from Akamai has shown that 40 % of the users leave an e-commerce site if the page load time is more than 3 s, and 64 % of these users select another site next time the will go shopping. There is a lot to gain by securing that the site will deliver even when the pressure is high.

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Load tests

Load Testing Part 2 – Performance Tests

In the second part of the series of articles about load testing, we will discuss how you can find bottle necks in the system, and examine how much load the system can handle without compromising of the user experience. At 3bits, we often get this question from our customers before a campaign launch or if they of some other reason expect more visitors at the site.

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Load tests

Load Testing Part 3 – QoS Testing

In the third and final part, we look at how load testing can be used as a part of your Quality of Service (QoS) testing. Even if the procedure is mostly the same as a stress test, the purpose is different. And to have maximum output of the load test, this must be reflected in the setup.

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