Candice Arnold - 28 May 2019
In a recent Forbes interview on the retail customer experience, Harley Manning, VP and research director of Forrester’s customer experience team, said; “Customer expectations are rising slowly—but faster than brands are making improvements.” He further elaborated that the average score in the firm’s CX Index™ for US digital retailers decreased from the prior year, with no retailer breaking through the 85th percentile to make it into the “excellent” category.
In a retail environment that is growing ever more competitive and customer-driven, this is a finding that should give all stakeholders cause for concern. Shoppers expect a seamless user journey—often on a combination of operating systems—and have little patience for slow load times or other performance issues. And with new eCommerce platforms and retailers emerging on a monthly basis, even your most loyal customer could be easily wooed to a competitor that offers a more responsive and engaging customer experience.
To succeed in this new paradigm, Forrester’s Manning recommends that brands “break away from the pack and stand out” and offered a variety of suggestions, including “making incremental improvements in CX.” Implementing intelligent, AI-driven testing is one such way that brands can differentiate themselves from other digital retailers and retain a strong foothold in the crowded marketplace.
Intelligent testing allows companies to approach testing from the customer’s perspective, ensuring that all UI errors, bugs or performance issues are detected and addressed before they lead to cart abandonment. The technology can also drive the automation of tests and ensure that it dynamically changes in response to changes in user behavior, new releases, updates or other factors that could impact the customer experience.
In addition, user experience testing enables brands to run predictive “what if” scenarios. For example, how would conversions increase if Android performance was on par with iOS? This information, coupled with customer journey data, can inform customer experience optimization strategies that delight shoppers and keep them coming back for more.
Additional retail benefits of intelligent testing include:
- Omnichannel testing: As mentioned above, shoppers demand a seamless experience across operating systems and platforms, necessitating that brands test the user journey across all possible touchpoints and devices.
- Digital transformation: The customer experience is not the only facet of retail impacted by digital transformation. RFID tags, mobile payments, augmented reality and digital warehouse systems are just a few examples of other areas where AI-driven testing is key.
- POS testing: POS systems integrate with numerous other systems including payment processing, rewards programs and fulfillment. Testing this increasingly complex environment is critical as any issues have a direct negative impact on the overall customer experience (watch a video on how IntelliQA is using Eggplant to test on real devices).
- Increased revenue and conversions: The benefits enumerated above can drive bottom-line improvements, particularly when testing is approached from the customer’s perspective. By identifying which technical behaviors are impacting conversions and optimizing for these behaviors, retailers can increase conversions and grow revenue.
Learn more about these and other reasons why intelligent testing is critical to success for the modern retailer.
The old adage that “the customer is king” has never rung truer, and brands’ best chance for delighting their digital shoppers lies in their ability to optimize the customer experience.