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Customer-focused retail experiences need test automation

by Mike Wager, on 10/6/22

It's not a big claim to say that retail is one industry that is most affected by digital revolutions.

People's expectations and the many ways they shop increase as the influence of technology grows.

According to CX Today, companies must test the effectiveness of every encounter regardless of where, how, and when customers shop because 90% of consumers desire an omnichannel experience.

Each customer is unique

It is more difficult than ever to put a customer-centric strategy into practice and create seamless omnichannel experiences. A completely integrated shopping experience is what customers deserve and anticipate. The issue is that everyone shops in a completely different way.

Although the check out may be the final destination, many routes are taken by users to get there. Without extensive software testing, it is impossible to ensure every step, click, and action they take functions as expected.  

You can't rely on just testing a straightforward linear customer journey on a website when there are so many journeys available because the typical shopper engages with six touchpoints before making a purchase.

Consider this, do you know what browsers your customers use? Are they using an Android, Apple, or Windows device? Is the device a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone? What software version or operating system are the different technologies using? 

You may be able to identify customers using a chrome browser on an iPhone 11 on the latest iOS, but do you genuinely know how good the user experience is? Or how the experience compares to a Samsung Galaxy S22? Without testing your online presence from the user's perspective (how it looks and functions at the user interface (UI)), you will never truly understand your customer's experience. 

Performance matters 

Next, you need to consider how your website and mobile applications' performance affects your customer's experience. Too slow or glitchy, they'll bounce to a competitor, affecting sales and negatively impacting SEO. 

As a retailer, you need to load test your websites and mobile apps to ensure they don't take too long to load or even crash. Load testing also identifies potential bottlenecks along high-converting customer journeys that cause downtime or poor performance.  

Furthermore, maintaining performance during huge traffic spikes on Black Friday or during seasonal promotions is crucial when you have the opportunity for record-breaking sales. If Amazon can lose $100 million in sales during one hour of downtime on Prime Day in 2017, there's reason to be prepared. 

Bricks and clicks 

Some customers will start their shopping journey online but want to collect an item in-store. Others will shop in person and expect a smooth and fast checkout experience, requiring reliable point-of-sale (POS) integrations with payment devices.  

 POS must connect to back-end systems and cloud-based databases to manage inventory levels, coordinate logistics — deliveries, returns, and click-and-collect — and analyze accounting data to enable company growth. 

However, according to Forrester, 44% of retailers state that integrating back-office systems is a significant barrier to delivering an omnichannel experience. Testing every integration is vital to overcome this challenge. Especially when connected sales, marketing, and customer service platforms are essential for successful personalized multichannel campaigns. 

End-to-end testing across the entire retail technology environment ensures every application, workflow, and back-office system functions as expected and delivers an exceptional user experience. 

Seamless integrations offer a wealth of data allowing you to get personal and deliver a customer-focused omnichannel experience. With intelligent software testing from the user’s perspective, you can delight your customers instead of your competitors. 

Discover how to make this a reality and test like a real human with Keysight’s Eggplant test automation solution. 

Topics:omnichannel testingRetail

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