When you’re developing a mobile app for your retail business, it’s tempting to skip a step here and there when your eye is on the prize: your launch date. Unfortunately, in today’s crowded market, forgoing important components of the development process is like signing your app’s death warrant before its birth.
Quality Assurance (QA) testing is among those often overlooked, yet crucial aspects of development. This important phase ensures functionality, usability and consistency of your mobile app are seamless across various devices, locations and scenarios.
With years of expertise in mobile quality assurance testing for major retail companies and enterprises, we’ve discovered the following five incredible benefits this process provides for your business’s mobile apps.
Pyramid Consulting has designed a wide range of mobile applications, ranging from employees working in the shoe department of a major department store to employees of a leading home improvement enterprise.
Through QA testing, we were able to ensure the mobile apps allowed employees to complete the entire sales process without changing locations or abandoning the customer. This means that employees are able to check inventory, request merchandise be brought directly to them by other employees, place online orders and check customers out to complete their purchases without changing locations.
To achieve a fully functional mobile app that can handle multiple scenarios quickly and efficiently, QA testing was crucial to the process to ensure the applications wouldn’t crash under new and unusual circumstances.
We created a number of testing scenarios to ensure the mobile applications would:
• Work under all typical and unusual situations a sales associate may encounter with a customer.
• Not break under stress. We do everything we can possibly think of to break the application, then remedy until it no longer breaks under any situation.
• Withstand an exorbitant number of transactions. We test to ensure the application continues functioning at top quality even after it’s been in use for long periods of time.
In brick-and-mortar retail, the more time your sales associates can spend with your customers, the more likely they are to make a sale. If your associate can stay with the customer throughout the entire process, without leaving to retrieve stock items or check inventory, they’re much more likely to make a purchase.
The testing phases outlined above guarantee that your sales associates can put their focus where it needs to be – with your customers.
There is a danger in aspiring to an all-purpose mobile app, in that if one of its “purposes” doesn’t work, the user will abandon completely. In general, mobile applications tend to be held to higher standards than other forms of software.
Mobile app users are often more demanding and more fickle. If an application doesn’t work exactly as it’s supposed to right out of the box, the user will uninstall the app and never consider it again. Even employees who are “forced” to use an application will find a workaround – which may feel more efficient for the individual, but will end up costing your company in the long-term.
That’s why QA testing is so important – even if you have 99% of the flaws worked out, the 1% could cost you everything.
QA testing will make sure your mobile app integrates seamlessly with your existing systems. The purpose of developing any mobile app is to save you time and money in operations efficiency and customer experience.
If your mobile app doesn’t integrate with the software and hardware you’re currently using to run your business, there will be a loss in efficiency that will contradict the app’s original purpose. Our QA testing process doesn’t just ensure that the mobile app works on its own, but also that every scenario properly integrates with your existing software solutions.
When we designed the mobile application for the major home improvement enterprise, there weren’t any QA testing automation tools on the market. So we developed our own, reducing the testing time to only 8 hours.
Though automation is much less rare these days, we are still proud leaders in this space. Not only do we use automation to cut back testing time and therefore overall cost, but we develop frameworks our clients can implement again and again, to save time and money when updating existing mobile apps and building new ones.
When it comes to developing your mobile app, QA testing may feel like an extra step, but it’s really just as crucial as writing the code itself. If your mobile app’s functionality doesn’t meet user expectations, then it’s just as if you hadn’t developed one at all – except that you already invested the resources.
On the flip side, when you do it right and don’t skip over QA testing, you’ll walk away with a product that will likely pay for itself with the time, money and resources it saves you in efficiency and customer experience.
How have you used QA testing to secure your software’s future? Tell us in the comments below!