Practicing Test Orders in Shopify Development Stores: Step-by-Step Guide

Rob Elgar - Writer for Egnition
By Rob Elgar
Head and shoulders photo of Michelle Meyer
Edited by Michelle Meyer

Updated July 26, 2023.

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Before moving your Shopify store to a paid plan, you should consider creating a development store to test Shopify apps, custom themes, and orders to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Testing orders on a Shopify development store will help ensure that your store's checkout process and order process settings, inventory, shipping, notifications, and taxes are streamlined and work correctly, both for your customers as well as your team.

There are three ways in which you can do this; however, it should be noted that draft orders and real transactions can't be tested on a development store.

Option 1: Use Shopify's Bogus Gateway

As the cost of a development store is only the time it takes to sign up to Shopify Partners, using a development store's Bogus Gateway provides a simple means to test transactions.

  1. Log in to your Shopify admin and navigate to Settings > Payments.
  2. If you have a credit card payment provider, deactivate it by clicking on Manage > Deactivate.
  3. In the Shopify payments section, navigate to See all providers > Payment providers > Choose a provider.
  4. Select (for testing) Bogus Gateway.
  5. Select Activate (for testing) Bogus Gateway.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Navigate to your store and place an order using the following card details:
  • Card name: Enter "Bogus Gateway"
  • Card number:
    • 1 - Simulates a successful transaction
    • 2 - Simulates a failed transaction
    • 3 - Generates an "error from the provider" message
  • CVV: Any 3-digit number
  • Expiry date: Any future date

Option 2: Use Shopify Payments Test Mode

If you're using Shopify Payments, you can use the test mode to assess how your customers pay and how their orders are processed. You should note, however, that when test mode is activated, real cards can't be used to process orders.

To activate Shopify Payments test mode

  1. Log in to your Shopify admin and navigate to Settings > Payments.
  2. Under Shopify Payments, select Manage.
  3. In the Test mode section, click Enable test mode.
  4. Select Save.

To simulate a successful transaction with various cards

Utilize the following test numbers with their corresponding card types:

  • Visa: 4242424242424242
  • Mastercard: 5555555555554444
  • American Express: 378282246310005
  • Discover: 6011111111111117
  • Diners Club: 30569309025904
  • JCB: 3530111333300000

The remaining card details can be filled in by using the following:

  • Card Name: Enter at least two words.
  • Expiry Date: Enter any future date.
  • CVV: Any three digits.

To simulate failed transaction error messages

Utilize the following codes with the corresponding message type:

  • Card declined: 4000000000000002
  • Incorrect card number: 4242424242424241
  • Disputed transaction: 4000000000000259
  • Invalid expiry month: Use a number higher than 12
  • Invalid expiry year: Use a year from the past
  • Invalid security code: Use a 2-digit CVV code

You should note that you will be charged for purchased shipping labels when fulfilling test orders, so you should deactivate any third-party apps that do this automatically.

Once you've completed the test transactions, you should deactivate test mode so that your customers can continue to make purchases.

Option 3: Use a Test Mode for Third-Party Payment Providers

If you're selling products using a third-party payment provider, some offer a test mode option similar to Shopify Payments.

To enable test mode on your payment app, navigate to Admin > Settings > Payments and select Enable test mode on your payment provider.

Testing Orders With Real Transactions

Testing orders can also be done by using real transactions and then canceling them shortly after. However, this can't be done while using a development store; therefore, you will need to choose a paid plan and transfer your development store.

Final Verdict

Whether you're testing out your first store or planning to manage multiple Shopify stores, it's always a good idea to use a development store to smooth out the process before finalizing changes and making your site live.

Ensuring that your order process runs smoothly is essential to establishing customer satisfaction and a smooth-running sales funnel from the day of launch.

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