Another of Shopify’s greatest features is the ability to perform test orders. In this way, we can assure that all things, from the checkout process to the settings for order processing, inventory, shipping, email notifications, and taxes, are working correctly.

Since there are no charges for test orders, it is always recommended to start with a test order, whether when setting up the store or when changes are made to our payment settings.

There are two ways in which we can perform test orders: one, by simulating a transaction, and the other, by using a real payment provider.

Simulated Transaction

To place a test order by simulating a transaction we will use Shopify’s Bogus Gateway –which we’ve covered in other articles. Shopify Payments test mode will be used whenever we want to test our Shopify Payments configuration.

Transaction using Real Payment Provider

To use a real payment provider, we can simply place the order and cancel it right afterwards, refunding the order. This process might actually imply charges according to our chosen payment processor’s fees, –and we should be aware that fees aren’t returned when we issue refunds*, so it’s always important to be informed about our payment provider’s terms of service.

The basic steps are as following:

  1. First, check that the payment provider we want to test on is properly set up.
  2. Do a normal purchase as would a real customer, using real credit card data.
  3. If a third-party payment provider is being used, we must check our payment provider has effectively processed the payment, usually by logging into it.
  4. Cancel and rapidly issue a refund for the order so you can restore your funds.*

Other things we can test

Testing orders can also help us verify our shipping settings and email notifications for our customers:

Let’s say we are offering free shipping for articles orders under a certain amount value, we can then create a test order which would qualify for free shipping and ensure shipping costs figure as discounted.

In order to receive an email notification, we must enter our email address while doing the checkout. Email templates can be customized from our Shopify admin page.


We’ve learned the importance and utility of Shopify test orders, and the precautions required to test orders using real payment providers. We want our customers to have a pleasant experience when buying at our store, and knowing that their payment as well as their shipping details are correctly processed, is a factor that certainly contributes to it.