How Software Testing Prepares the Retail Sector for the Peak Holiday Season
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
The impact of digitization has been majorly felt in the retail sector with customers accessing products or services seamlessly through their digital devices. The pandemic induced lockdowns have seen the retail sector increasingly getting on the bandwagon of digital services and sustaining itself. Now with the peak holiday season approaching, retailers need to up their game and be ready for the increased traffic load. The task is all the more challenging as the season witnesses a surge in cybercrime and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Not to mention even a second’s delay in the page load time or minor flaws in the performance of the website or app can diminish the brand’s reputation and lead to reduced sales. It is time any software testing company looked into the servers, storage, frontend, and backend configuration to keep the digital touchpoints to work to their optimal performance.
In general, the retail sector offers lower margins during the lean period and gathers steam during the peak holiday season. This is the window when retailers expect to not only bridge the shortfall in sales but make a profit as well. As per the National Retail Federation, the peak holiday season can cover up to 20 percent of the annual sales figures, and in some subsectors, like jewelry, can cover up to 30 percent as well. Since websites, web, or mobile applications are the primary touchpoints for the tech-savvy customers of today, they need to be top-performing in every aspect. This is where the QA software testing services come into the picture to ensure superior customer experience and satisfaction.
Why use software quality assurance testing to prepare for the holiday season?
Software applications belonging to the retail sector are integrated with several third-party applications such as payment gateways and hardware peripherals like POS terminals, among others. To ensure smooth functioning of the APIs or any changes made to the software, rigorous QA testing should be conducted. This may include integration testing, security testing, regression testing, usability testing, functional, or non-functional testing. It is better to use test automation to improve the speed and quality of testing.
During the peak holiday season, the retail software application may witness a large number of users visiting and using the application. This may create a tremendous load on the application leading to issues of latency, downtime, or inaccuracy. And since these issues may cause bad user experiences, the brand value and sales target may take a hit. To prevent such issues from impacting the outcomes, enterprises should conduct performance testing. It may include load testing, spike testing, volume testing, endurance testing, and scalability testing. Let us understand these types of testing in the below-mentioned segment.
Types of performance testing
To prevent the software application from facing performance-related issues, especially during the peak holiday season, a host of tests needs to be executed.
Stress testing: Here, the software application is pushed beyond the normal load threshold to check the components that fail first. This way, the breaking point of the application is determined to make it more robust.
Load testing: It evaluates the performance of an application when placed under a high load (numbers of users).The load may constitute checking the response of the application when several concurrent users perform a set number of transactions within a certain duration. By checking the database, server, among others, the test can help to identify the bottlenecks in the application.
Endurance testing: Also known as soak testing, it subjects the software application to varying amounts of load for an extended period to check whether the desired performance requirements have been met.
Volume testing: Also known as flood testing, volume testing evaluates the ability of the application to handle a large amount of data. Here, testers offering software testing services analyze the behavior and response time of the application to determine the capacity of the system to handle large data volumes.
Scalability testing: In this type of testing, attributes such as throughput, response time, transaction speed, network usage, and CPU usage are measured. It helps to ensure higher load-bearing capacity, stability, and reliability of the application.
Testing conducted by a software testing company can accrue the following benefits, especially to address the challenges of a peak holiday season.
- Enhances customer experience across the eCommerce or mCommerce value chain
- Prevents bottlenecks from impacting the application’s performance
- Allows vast numbers of concurrent users to access and use the features of the software application
- Prevents or minimizes issues like latency and/or downtime when the traffic load increases
- Better clocking of sales and ROI for the business
Since the holiday season is critical to ensuring the profitability of retail businesses, the corresponding software applications should be thoroughly checked to maximize their performance. Before the approaching peak holiday season, enterprises may engage experienced QA testing companies to plan and implement a robust performance testing strategy.