As per Gartner, the digital commerce software market amidst the pandemic grew at 17.3% in 2020, it is projected to grow at 16.1% by the end of 2021 and is expected to remain higher than 15% till the year 2025.
The key digital commerce adoption drivers have been:
- Business innovation
- Revenue growth
- Cost optimization
- Customer engagement
All the retailers, legacy brick and mortar and digital commerce included, now understand the need for software applications and their importance on various segments of retail; from customer acquisition, making sales transactions and providing post-delivery engagement to retaining the customer for longer periods of time.
Retail is one of the few domains that has seen tremendous growth in the last 5 years, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a demand for digital transformation in the brick and mortar retail sector, businesses were expected to bring about a change at breakneck speed as per the needs of the competitive market.
The retail IT system is highly dynamic and involves critical applications that take care of various functions at the front-end like social media, POS, website, mobile and back-end like inventory, product management, service and delivery cycles. The ever-evolving customer demands require retail organizations to continuously deliver and deploy new services and features.
In order to do that, software testing became imperative to ensure nothing that is broken goes to production. To cover a large area in the shortest possible time, just software testing would not suffice, this is where automation testing comes in. With automation testing, retail companies can harness the merits of digital transformation while managing the risks.
Benefits of Automation Testing in the Retail Industry
Quick feedback on build: Automation testing when utilized to create a regression suite and executed on the test environment will provide quick feedback on the code, thereby helping in making an informed decision on the deployment of the production code.
Enhance the coverage of omnichannel applications: The omnichannel availability of the application though is good from a customer engagement perspective, is difficult to test in a limited time owing to the sheer volume of platforms, screen sizes, and OS combinations. Automation testing with emulator combinations provides the solution to mitigate quality risk in the least possible time to validate application behavior on different platforms.
Heterogeneous environment: Retail platforms consist of an amalgamation of various systems and sub-systems such as UI, Payment Gateways, 3rd party APIs, Data-Warehouse, Reporting Tools, Middleware, etc. Testing of all these systems is difficult but mandatory to ensure there is no break in the entire process. This testing is done in an automated way, and yields requisite coverage within the short timeline, and provides a view of end-to-end use cases.
Smart Automation Testing: AI/ML enabled automation testing has further improved the quality, efficiency, and speed of risk mitigation and achieving business goals. Self-healing frameworks have the capability to optimize the test scripts in case of changes in GUI web elements on the screen, thereby reducing the efforts needed for script maintenance.
Non-Functional Automation Testing: In addition to functional testing, non-functional testing is very much needed for retail platforms and applications to cover performance, security, and accessibility scenarios, as impact in this area directly leads to degrading usability and customer experience causing customer turnover. Automation testing can be implemented for non-functional testing to get shift-left of non-functional testing and finding & fixing issues earlier in the lifecycle.
IGT with its Automation Centre of Excellence (CoE) is well placed to provide value-added services in automating the testing services for retail domains. The pre-built accelerators for the retail domain with 2000+ use cases covering customer management, customer journey mapping, product selection, cart management, payment etc. cover the entire gamut of retail operation testing.
Our advisory services on automation testing on the retail domain, automation test strategy and choice of automation frameworks spread across open source domain as well as licensed tool segments empower you not only to completely harness benefits of automation testing but also achieve better ROI from overall Quality Engineering efforts in retail organizations.
Yatender has 20+ years of experience in software test engineering. As the head of Testing Practice at IGT Solutions, Yatender is actively involved in innovations related to test engineering covering new tools, technologies, and solutions, and enabling IGT’s clients to achieve faster time to market quality improvement, and optimization of developer efforts in overall SDLC. A result-oriented leader, proficient in delivering high customer value and achieving excellence in service delivery management with proven skills in consulting and managing large and complex test programs. When away from work, he enjoys reading on a variety of topics and spending time with kids.