What does it take to run a successful retail business? A few years ago, it was about the quality of your brick-and-mortar business. Fast-forward to today, and it’s all about your online experience. However, while consumers have become better acquainted with technology, many business owners are still adapting to the digital landscape.
In order to survive (and stand out) against increasing competition, maintaining the quality of your web application is paramount. When it comes to your omnichannel web strategy, these are the areas you should be testing:
- Mobile Testing: Mobile devices are more prevalent than ever. Seventy-seven percent of the population owns a smartphone, which means it’s not a market you can afford to ignore. Unfortunately, using an Android device isn't the same as an iPhone. The only way to satisfy mobile behavior is to look at your website on a variety of different mobile devices.
- Cross-Browser Testing: Different browsers provide fragmented user experiences. You can’t assume your website works on Internet Explorer because it works on Google Chrome — you have to test it. This is one of the most often overlooked factors in web development.
- Load/Performance Testing: Most retailers don’t think twice about how long it takes their website to load, but users notice. Fifty-seven percent of online users won’t wait longer than three seconds for a page to load, and 51 percent say that it’s the No. 1 reason they abandon a site. If your web design is compromising site speed, start incorporating load and performance testing.
- Security Testing: Because people share so much personal information on the web, it’s no wonder there are major privacy concerns. The fastest way to lose customer trust (and sales) is with a security breach. Look at Facebook, which lost $50 billion in market cap after it leaked user data — not to mention, #DeleteFacebook circulating across the web. Perform security testing before data is compromised. Once trust is gone, your customers and reputation go with it.
- API Testing: Expecting the APIs on your application to work without testing them won’t cut it when users start spotting your bugs. API testing safeguards your software to make sure everything works seamlessly together.
- Automated Testing: There's always room for improvement in an e-commerce app. The beauty of automation is that it allows you to increase your code coverage in each iteration. Additionally, by running regression tests, you can be sure that no new bugs sneak by.
- Exploratory Testing: If you’ve never tested before — whether it's an entire website or a new feature — exploratory testing is crucial. Not only is exploratory testing useful in finding bugs, it’s also helpful in collecting feedback for improvements.
- Usability Testing: Understanding how people interact with your site is a huge factor in getting them to actually use it. If you have features that don’t make sense or are too hard to use, they will deter customers. Every step of the buying process will either convert or chase away potential customers, so testing the user interface is critical.
- Accessibility Testing: It’s important to be aware of the many types of users who may be handling your application. This includes people who have different abilities when it comes to hearing, seeing or accessing online content. By putting in the effort to follow W3C standards, you create a more inclusive experience.
When it comes to e-commerce web presence, every interaction your users have with your application affects how they think of your brand. By prioritizing software testing, you’re aligning your company with quality and creating customers who will keep coming back.
Alexandra McPeak is a content marketing specialist at SmartBear, a provider of software quality tools.