Retail companies engage with their customers via their online, mobile, and point-of-sale technology, so the quality of this technology is vital to remaining relevant in the modern market. The market size of online retail is currently $335 billion US dollars, which accounts for 10% of the US market, while almost half of non-online sales are influenced by online research.
Retailers are under constant pressure to refresh and enhance their online presence to keep customers engaged. Customer loyalty is notoriously fragile and quickly lost if functionality, response times, or reliability fall below the high expectations of today’s users. Highly efficient and effective website testing is absolutely essential for retailers.
What are the key testing challenges?
All challenges facing digital retailers today are related to two key challenges: Omni-channel (or multi-channel), and mobile.
- Device and browser fragmentation, while well known, is an ever-increasing problem with the development of a multitude of new mobile devices and browser interfaces.
- End-to-end test cases often require interacting steps across multiple mobile devices, a consumer desktop machine, a back-end server, back-office desktop, a database, and a legacy transaction system. Few test automation tools easily support these co-ordinated distributed tests.
- UX consistency requires that key elements of the brand and user experience are consistent across channels.
- Responsive design is increasingly common as websites need to display correctly across so many different types of devices. Testing websites with constantly changing content is difficult with standard testing tools.
- The digital-physical interface where the digital and non-digital worlds meet are often a source of many defects, but are also very difficult to test. This includes the use of RFID tags, QR codes, etc.
- Performance can be affected by low quality connections or heavy loads, and significantly impacts the user experience. This can be difficult to test with traditional object-based testing methods.
- Network conditions affect the usability of retail apps, but are largely ignored in traditional app testing.
- Point of sale devices are a key part of omni-channel test cases, but few testing tools can test them.
- Continuous delivery can be a burden to testing teams, as digital retail apps are updated and released frequently. Very efficient testing is required to keep up with the delivery cycle. The release frequency also exacerbates the above listed challenges.
How can eggPlant testing tools help?
eggPlant testing tools are well suited for testing omni-channel retail applications. eggPlant Functional uses technology agnostic UI testing approach that allows for easy cross-browser testing:
- eggPlant testing tools can work with any technology. Our functional and GUI testing tool eggPlant Functional provides technology agnostic UI automation testing through its patented image-based approach, so it can test a variety of technologies and devices from mobile to mainframe, Android to Mac OSX, from Safari to Firefox, from HTML5 to Flash. This technology agnostic approach also allows for testing of point of sale terminals. Our load testing and stress testing tool eggPlant Performance supports network technologies from protocol to GUI; HTTP, .NET APIs, Java APIs, Selenium, and Citrix.
- eggPlant reduces the maintenance overhead of testing highly dynamic websites, because of its image-based testing approach, as well as its support for data-driven testing techniques and the creation of application-specific virtual user types.
- eggPlant can easily deal with dynamic content and rich media testing, by allowing management of content sets, or integrating with a content management system.
- eggPlant can test the digital-physical interface of retail applications using image-based testing approaches and optical character recognition (OCR).
- eggPlant Performance can test functionality and performance under load by replicating an unlimited number of simulated users performing different scenarios and using different types of devices. eggPlant Performance lets you combine protocol-based scripts generating high traffic volumes with GUI-based scripts driving real web browsers and mobile devices for user-experience validation. Load can be injected from the LAN or multiple remote or cloud-base locations.
- eggPlant Network simulates a wide variety of network conditions, allowing for testing of your application in multiple environments to ensure performance and functionality in less than ideal circumstances.
- eggPlant can remove dependencies on third-party services such as payment gateways, news streams, and delivery trackers for the sake of testing in a realistic manner.
- eggPlant testing tools support Agile methodologies and can be integrated with CI systems such as Jenkins.
- eggPlant drastically cuts testing time, allowing for more frequent and in-depth testing methods to ensure quality on a tight schedule.