Testing web activities

You can test web activities in store preview to ensure that the marketing information displays correctly in the right e-Marketing Spot. If the web activity contains targets, you can ensure that the marketing information displays only to the target customers. When your testing is successful, you can deploy the web activity to the production environment.

This procedure and its supporting examples are designed for use in a testing environment. It is not recommended that you test web activities directly in a production environment.
Feature Pack 8Note: To help set up a test environment more quickly, an administrator can copy activities and other marketing objects from your authoring or production environment into your test environment. For more information about this new feature, see

Before you begin

Make sure that you understand the store preview feature and its optional settings. See Store preview.

If your web activity contains targets, plan ahead to determine how to meet the criteria of the target in store preview. For example, if you are using the Customer Segment target, you must view the store as a customer who is a member of the target customer segment. See Tips for testing targets in web and dialog activities.

Introduced in Feature Pack 1If your web activity uses either the Display Top Browsed or Display Best Sellers action, you can force the daily processing of top-browsed or best-seller lists. See Testing the Display Top Browsed and Display Best Sellers actions in Web activities.

Procedure

  1. Log on to the server in the test environment.
  2. Open the Marketing tool.
  3. Open the web activity and take note of details that are relevant to testing. For instance, the specified e-Marketing Spot, the start date, and the target criteria (if the activity includes a target).
    Tip: Consider taking a screen snapshot of the web activity to refer to during testing.
  4. Make sure that the web activity is active.
  5. Check for other activities that are scheduled for the same e-Marketing Spot at the same time as the web activity you are testing:
    1. Click the E-Marketing Spots folder.
    2. Find the e-Marketing Spot specified in the web activity you are testing.
    3. Right-click the e-Marketing Spot. Then, click Show Activity Calendar.
    4. Note any other activities that are scheduled for the e-Marketing Spot at the same time, as well as their priorities. This way, you are aware of other web activities that might conflict with the web activity you are testing.
  6. When you are ready to test your web activity, select File > Store Preview.
  7. Set the store preview options according to what you want to test.
    For example, if the start date for the web activity is set in the future, select Specify date and time, then set a future date that falls within the schedule for the web activity.
  8. Click Launch Store Preview.
  9. For web activities that contain targets, reproduce the target criteria in the store preview so that you are viewing the store as a target customer.
    For example:
    • For the Customer Segment target, you might need to register or log on as a customer with the attributes specified in the customer segment.
    • For the Catalog Browsing Behavior target, browse the parts of the catalog that is specified in the target.
    • Introduced in Feature Pack 2Preview the store as a user that belongs to a specific customer segment:
      1. Find the customer segment that the customer belongs to.
      2. In the Search Results list view, right-click the customer segment. Then, click Preview Store as Segment.

    For more information about testing targets in web and dialog activities, see Tips for testing targets in web and dialog activities.

  10. View the e-Marketing Spot to test whether the marketing information displays as expected:
    1. Navigate to the store page that contains the e-Marketing Spot specified in the web activity you are testing.
    2. At the top of the store preview window, click one of the following actions:
      • Feature Pack 3Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 2Feature Pack 4Feature Pack 1Show Marketing Spots to display e-Marketing Spot names within a red marquee.
      • Feature Pack 6 or laterShow Page Information. In the upper left corner of the e-Marketing Spot that you want to view, click Show Information.
    3. Review the marketing information that is displayed in the e-Marketing Spot to ensure that it is working as expected.
    4. Introduced in Feature Pack 2At the upper right corner of the e-Marketing Spot, click the help icon Help icon to access detailed information about the steps that are taken by the marketing runtime to determine which results to display in the e-Marketing Spot. This information includes which activities were evaluated, the results of targets, and the paths that were taken through the activities. You can use this information to help determine the cause when unexpected results are displayed in an e-Marketing Spot.
  11. If your web activity contains a Branch element, test each path by reproducing the flow that is defined in each path.
  12. If your web activity contains an Experiment element, test the path by placing an order, and then running the RaiseECEvent job or wait 5 minutes. The RaiseECEvent job is scheduled to run every 5 minutes by default.
  13. Update marketing statistics to see the latest statistics in Store preview.
    1. Run the SaveMarketingStatistics job.
    2. At the top of the store preview window, click Refresh to update the counts that display on elements and the e-Marketing Spot statistics.
  14. Make any necessary corrections to the web activity or the marketing information it displays.
  15. Deploy the tested web activity to the production environment.