According to a study, the digital experience influences more than £150bn in total retail sales, and retailers who do not meet customer expectations lose more than £12bn a year. Retailers are compelled to adopt the latest in retail technologies or lose. Right from IoT for improving supply chain, to digital convergence that enhance shopping experience, signages that push promotions and advertisements to consumers, consumer apps, point of sales and mobile wallets, retailers have to grapple with a range of technology solutions at every stage of their operations.
Some of the scenarios that are becoming common sight include smart shelves that automatically monitor inventory in stores and notify when an item needs to be replenished. Devices that let retailers automatically send notifications and discounts directly to shoppers’ smartphones when they enter a store. Smart mirrors that let customers virtually try on clothes, enhancing the shopping experience.
The more advanced the solution, the more convenient for the shopper. But equally great is the need to ensure that the solution is implemented properly. Comprehensive testing for functionality, performance, security and usability, among others, ensuring quality, on time, and cost effectively is essential.
Indium is proud to announce that its IP-driven Automated Retail Testing Framework promises not just that, but much more.
Addressing Key Issues
Apart from the mandatory functionality testing that ensures every link is live and functioning, Indium’s Retail Testing Framework ensures that the key challenges faced by the retail industry are also addressed to have a positive effect on business growth. Here, we present instances where Indium has been able to address key issues with timely intervention and help our retail clients improve their top and bottom lines.
Revenue Leakage proves to be a critical stumbling block to every retail business and it needs dedicated solutions to fix. A Wolfgang Digital study for the second half of 2016 reveals that there were 80 million website sessions generating €230 million worth of online revenue. Interestingly, while the mobile device (phone and tablet) accounted for 59% of the sessions, they generated only 38% of revenue. Though desktops generated only 41% of web traffic, they accounted for 67% revenues. This mismatch clearly indicates a need for developers to consider potential customers from across devices.
In addition to this revenue loss, increasing competition also causes marketers to introduce discounts that may go contrary to their business rules, also affecting revenue generation. For instance, the Indium testing team found that a ‘buy 1 get 1 offer’ scheme applying promo codes/coupons would have cost an online retail store $4.95 per transaction. The business team was alerted instantly and the bug fixed in the production environment, ensuring critical savings.
Quick Page Response
A ‘one second‘ delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, according to a Kissmetric report, adding that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Just improving page upload times by 2 seconds could more than double the number of transactions and increase revenues.
One of the bottlenecks e-commerce sites face is when uploading fresh catalogues, which can slow down the website. Indium prepared an automation script based on iSAFE framework to do a sanity check of 500+ product catalogues listed in a portal every day. Once the daily production batch is uploaded, the script quickly checks the top 500 products displayed in the portal in 10 minutes. Any broken link or product catalogue being not visible in the production environment is identified and the production team will be alerted. This kind of quick sanity check helps in making the portal functional almost immediately, allowing customers to use the site without interruptions, thus improving business prospects.
Indium is a preferred partner for a major US-based retail store chain, carrying out managed testing services. Last year, during long weekend promotional sales for Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday/Tuesday, web traffic from mobile/desktop/tablet was phenomenal. As it was tested and ready for managing the expected spike in traffic, the performance exceeded forecast by 94% during the holiday season.
One of the key advantages of online retail is the availability of data on customer preferences and behaviour when purchasing a product. Contextual Marketing improves competitiveness and online sales by 19-21%. But for this to be successful, data analytics needs to be accurate, providing meaningful insights. A research by Acquia shows that nearly 89% of brands are unable to deliver personalised digital experiences due to lack of budget for the necessary technology, lack of broad buy-in and lack of content. Sometimes, personalisation engines fail to deliver, leaving customers to stare at blank pages with no recommendations.
Indium provides testing services that make sure the personalisation engine is effective and relevant, thus helping improve sales and revenues.
Building Customer Loyalty
Every retailer struggles to retain customers and prevent fade out – that is, customers not returning. Studies reveal that the cost of retaining an existing customer is just 10% that of acquiring a new one. Indium’s Retail test solution identifies causes that are responsible for customer fade out, thus helping retailers devise strategies to improve customer loyalty.
“We are excited about the fast growing e-commerce business and the role Indium can play through its Retail Testing Framework in helping businesses meet their business goals and grow,” said Ram Sukumar, CEO, Indium Software.
The Retail Experience
A leading, US-based retail chain reported 164 per cent revenue growth last fiscal. One of the key contributing factors was the robust performance of their e-commerce platform, which had been tested extensively using Indium’s iSAFE testing framework.
This growth validates Indium’s claim that a well-tested and bug-free retail solution is critical for retail portals to leverage and benefit from the rapidly evolving technology. The retail testing framework as well as Indium’s experienced testers can help retail organisations by testing every aspect that has a role to play in improving customer experience, improving usability, building customer loyalty and thereby improving revenues.