E-Commerce Platform Assurance – A Beacon of Certainty in the Retail IndustryCigniti Technologies
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At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 years of e-commerce growth happened in just 90 days. The pandemic has impacted e-commerce in 2020, maybe more than any other time in history. While the traditional retail sales have declined, e-commerce has seen a paradigm shift with 129% growth year on year. Travel bans, lockdowns, and retail closures forced the consumers take the online route and e-commerce platform is at an all-time high.
According to Margo Hays, Principal of Digital Strategy, TSG Consumer Partners – “We are seeing this rapid shift and it’s not just e-commerce. It’s everything. Our consumers are demanding speed and efficiency, no matter what you’re doing.”
The digital competition is heating up as legacy wholesalers go online and global retail giants like Walmart, Amazon, Schwarz group, Alibaba, and Costco have expanded their ecommerce initiatives. Likewise, competitors in product categories who were traditionally not in demand online have also started competing for ecommerce shoppers.
According to Scott Silverman, Co-founder of GrowCommerce and the Global e-Commerce leader’s forum, “Since my days as Executive Director at Shop.org, I have seen how e-commerce businesses are impacted by performance challenges, yet struggle to identify and treat the root cause.”
While the growth is unimaginable and the numbers are tempting, what does it take to stay ahead in the competition? One little glitch in the platform is enough for you to lose customers. These annoyed customers will also leave damning reviews across the web, further accelerating your woes in the sales process.
According to a State of Online Retail Performance report,
- A 100-millisecond delay in website load time can hurt conversion rates by 7 percent
- A two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent
- 53 percent of mobile site visitors will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load
It is evident from the above report that user experience is the key to e-commerce success. Customers have extremely short attention span, and degradations in website performance – no matter how small – can cause them to go elsewhere in an instant.
While the retail industry has seen a downslide due to the unexpected anomalies, the E-Commerce Platform Assurance instills a beacon of certainty in the Retail Industry. It is difficult to overstate the importance of e-commerce platform assurance. As retail increasingly turns into an online phenomenon, with more customers favoring the web, the demand for multi-faceted, highly functional e-commerce online platforms has grown exponentially.
Few common issues in E-commerce platforms that affect revenue big time are –
- Cross browser compatibility issues
- UI/UX issues among web browsers and mobile devices
- No security certificate – HTTPS
- Site speed issues
E-commerce platform assurance plays a vital role in overcoming these issues –
- Run a test round to check for bugs in the backend
- Have a checklist for Quality Assurance on 3rd party API integrations such as tracking, shipping, importing/exporting products/orders data into ERP
- Custom framework that is well organized to verify important functionality in the back-end
- Detailed documentation and architecture mapping
- Complete Quality Assurance implementation with Agile SCRUM teams
- Use of real case scenarios
- Sanity check creation to verify every functionality before the code goes LIVE
- Surveillance test development to monitor the LIVE site
- Regression test before every feature goes LIVE
- Effective defect reporting process implementation
A detailed approach to quality assurance for any big or small e-commerce businesses can help in avoiding issues and ensuring an efficiently running store. This will not only bring new customers onboard but will also retain repeated customers.
Also, while you end up finding no defects after certain QA cycles, there is a need to change the approach to find newer ones, if any. You may consider performing exploratory testing and introduce Alpha Beta Testing. Additionally, you may also change your test cases and use tracking tools such as Hotjar or Inspectlect to record user experience on your website.
Any business requires quality assurance for them to be competitive in e-commerce platforms. They act as a citadel in detecting and correcting the grave areas in the platforms such as –
- Security breaches
- Ineffective search engines
- Faulty purchase process
- Compatibility in terms of language and devices
- Shopping cart behavior
- Appearance of the landing page
- Loading page time
- Product repository and catalogue categorization
While adhering to the best practices, it is equally imperative to leverage with the growth trends. Successful e-commerce companies are leveraging personalization technology to give consumers a customized experience.
According to Juha Valvanne, founder of Nosto, “Personalization is the missing ingredient to a successful online shopping experience and will be the key to 2020 and the future of e-commerce.”
Based on the customer demographics, browsing behavior, purchase history, past actions, and other enriched personal data, e-commerce platforms are delivering personal experiences by dynamically showing specific offers, product recommendations, and relevant content.
A recent study reveals, “Customers spend 48% more when their online shopping experience is personalized. Plus, 57% of online shoppers are comfortable with sharing their personal information with a brand if it benefits their shopping experience.”
To achieve a higher ROI, there is a need for the retailers to inculcate the personalization experience to their customers in their e-commerce platforms. And there is also a dire need to get the right kind of personalization experience and this can be achieved to perfection only through the right approach of e-commerce quality assurance.
To stay ahead in the race, it is also imperative for the e-commerce platforms to gather consensus on the big things that we see buzzing.
Forrester predicts, “By 2020, almost half of all adults will be Millennials, which also means an increase in Millennial B2B buyers. Gen Z is starting to enter the workforce as well. These audiences prefer a simpler, more self-serve user experience that allows them to research and get the information they need without talking to salespeople.”
Here are few trends cropping up that we think any e-commerce retailer should have in mind –
- Artificial Intelligence to help shops learn more about their shoppers
- Augmented Reality innovation for enhanced online shopping experience
- Enhanced voice-search capabilities
- Advanced chatbots to amplify the e-shopping experience
- Optimized digital strategy
- Multiple payment options
- Intelligent personalization experience through Big Data analytics
- Allow continued innovation through API-driven ecommerce
- Flexible subscription to retain customers
Cigniti’s automated end-to-end testing services in retail amplify the user experience in stores and contribute to improved sales and profitability.
We have a proven record of reducing overall test duration by 50% for a world’s largest retailer who wanted to ensure compatibility of its E-commerce website across various devices, operating systems, and platforms.
Cigniti’s Retail Test Center of Excellence (TCoE) emphasizes translating end users’ requirements into new business opportunities. Leveraging the Retail and Digital TCoE, and Domain Competency Group (DCG), we have created ready-to-use Enterprise Test Accelerators and solutions across different platforms in the retail domain. These accelerators act as enablers and reduce testing efforts by over 70%.
Talk to our Ecommerce and Retail experts. They will help you provide a solution for your business and will demonstrate how to scale the quality needs further to create a robust E-commerce Platform that will cater to all your retail shopping needs.