Michael Giacometti - 20 August 2019
The trends from the last several years are clear: Retailers are reaping the rewards by providing an Omni-Channel experience on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. According to CNBC, Cyber Monday in 2018 experienced a 19.3% Year on Year increase in Sales with a record $7.9 billion while retailers pulled in $6.22 billion and a further $3.7 billion in sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving respectively.
The key to the increases in revenue according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), is that brick and mortar retailers are finding ways to compete with online retailers by adopting Digital Features and cross-channel capabilities.
This means more choices for the consumer, but also more complexity for the Retailer depending on Omni-channel to meet their revenue targets.
Performance and Load Testing were always seen as the keys to preventing a seamless Web experience and preventing problems on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, the rate of Omni-channel adoption and dependency on revenue generation means this is no longer enough.
Retailers delivering an Omni-channel experience need to follow these three keys to a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
1. Digital Twins and Augmented Intelligence in addition to Performance Testing Effort are the keys to seeing through the eyes of a Customer
Performance and Load Testing were always seen as the key indicator how a digital platform would behave on high traffic days. However, the tests and people designing the tests may not have been testing like a user. This is where Digital Twins and Augmented Intelligence come in. Use the Digital Twin to map out how customers will move through your application. Augmented Intelligence can be combined with real user patterns and risk-based testing to ensure any and all journeys the user could perform are captured, prioritized, and executed depending on those business priorities. Performance and Load Tests can also be run from these Digital Twins ensuring that the most popular user journeys can work regardless of the load of the system.
2. Digital Features and cross-channel capabilities need to be Performance and Load Tested as well
According to the NRF, the following Omni-channel best practices are being adopted by Retailers:
- Cross-channel gift cards
- Buy online, pick up in store
- Buy online, return in store
- Email receipt in store
- In-store signup for rewards or loyalty programs
Is your Performance and Load Testing adequately testing each of these experiences? As the omni-channel experience is blurring the lines between a mobile, web, or in-store experience, any one of these best practices going down can negatively affect brand or revenue. Not testing these best practices due to limitations in your Performance Testing Tool is no longer acceptable. Using Performance Testing Tools and Managed Load Testing Services that can automate anything is key.
3. Do not forget to Performance and Load Test your integrations and localization features
Retailers are depending on more third parties to perform business critical functions such as payment collection or e-commerce platform hosting. Consumers are also buying from around the world over a variety of devices and networks. The most cost and time effective way to Performance and Load Testing each is by using a Managed Load Testing Service or using a tool that has Load Injection Points around the globe. This is key to ensuring each integration satisfies your KPIs or SLAs and a positive end to end customer experience.
Performance and Load Testing gets more complex every year because more retailers are adding digital and omni-channel features to differentiate themselves from the competition. Eggplant and its network of Service Partners can work with you to Performance and Load Test either through Eggplant’s Managed Load Testing Services or through an Eggplant Endorsed Service Provider.