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Hemanth Yamjala for Cigniti Technologies

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The Importance of Mobile Application Testing in Retail

Mobile app testing in retail sector

Smartphones have become the go-to device for millions of users to leverage the internet for a host of activities. With online retail becoming commonplace, especially during the pandemic, users have started using mobile applications for shopping in greater numbers. If we go by statistics, then mCommerce is slowly overtaking eCommerce with a share of 72.9% expected by 2021. Also, 79% of users have made online purchases using their smartphones in the last six months (Source: simicart.com). Hence, with more people doing online shopping through handheld devices, online retailers should ensure the user experience to be top-notch. And mobile test automation in retail is crucial to ensure a seamless browsing experience across mobile devices of all makes, screen resolutions, and configurations. The following benefits underscore the importance of mobile application testing in retail.

Why conduct mobile application testing?

The retail industry has embraced digital transformation to expand its footprint and reach out to customers on the go. And with more people leveraging smartphones to do online shopping, the mobile applications should be tested for quality, safety, and their ability to offer seamless CX. The reasons why online retailers should focus on testing mobile applications are mentioned below:

  • Seamless CX: Even though mobile applications have become the primary choice of users to browse eCommerce sites and buy products, the CX mostly depends on the quality of device, besides the mobile app in use. The quality parameters to look out for may include – how great the images appear, how fast are the transactions processed and how safe are the payments, among others. By incorporating a robust mobile application testing strategy, the QA team can identify and eliminate issues with the app and improve its performance across devices, operating systems, and networks. In a competitive market where customers want the best CX, online retailers cannot afford to ignore this aspect. If they do, they can brace for rising bounce rates, bad reviews and ratings, loss of sales and revenue, and even legal suits.

  • Proper functioning: A QA team performing retail application testing aims to deliver smooth functioning of the app without glitches. It tests the mobile app for various performance indicators related to load conditions, and changing networks, among others. And to do so, the team may use a mobile application testing approach that includes the use of emulators or real devices for testing. Even though emulators can come in handy to simulate thousands of user related parameters in a short time, the use of real devices is important. In fact, the QA team can find a balance between using emulators and real devices to achieve the best testing outcomes.

  • Loyal customers: The success of any mobile application for retail in the market would depend on how best it provides CX. If customers find issues with the mobile app related to latency, downtime, safety, and others, they may discard the app altogether and settle for its competitor. On the other hand, if the CX is excellent, customers may continue using the app and recommend it to others as well. This can help your retail business to expand and achieve higher brand equity leading to better revenue.

  • Safety: The security of mobile apps has become the primary concern for users as their financial details are at stake. With rising incidences of cybercrime using malware, ransomware, trojans, or social engineering, the QA team needs to be extra vigilant. It has been observed that most security vulnerabilities creep into mobile apps at the design phase. To fix such vulnerabilities significant code changes are needed, which are time-consuming and cost intensive. However, with mobile test automation in retail, vulnerabilities related to insecure communication such as lack of input validation, insecure storage of data, security of client code, insufficient authorization and authentication controls, poor encryption, and reverse engineering can be checked.

  • Higher revenues: Customers will download and use a retail mobile app in greater numbers only if they find the experience to be smooth, safety issues addressed, and seamless performance of all features and functionalities guaranteed. Hence, with retail app testing using advanced automation tools the online retailers can ensure better traffic, conversions, and revenues.

Conclusion

The digital age has brought convenience, ease of usage, and cost savings to the center stage. And when it comes to using mobile applications for retail, the customers on-the-go usually place CX at the top of their priorities. For any online retail store to be successful, the accompanying mobile application should be free of glitches. It is only through robust mobile app testing that online retailers can ensure their apps find favour with the customers.

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