Smartphones and tablets are everywhere. They help us to master lots of different daily tasks and are an essential part of our everyday lives. Whether it’s social media, online banking or just games, there are almost no limits regarding the use of these mobile devices. This also results in respectively new forms of trade and economical perspectives. A phenomenon called m-commerce, which is obviously closely related to the field of e-commerce. Analysts predict that about 77 percent of American customers will do their shopping at least once a year online with their smartphone. A substantial number, which isn’t limited to the US alone. For retailers all over the world it is absolutely fundamental to offer apps and mobile online shops. Additionally, those (web) apps have to be appealing and should satisfy customer needs. In order to run an appealing online shop, that also works on the variety of mobile devices in the market, testing is of essence.
So, the crucial question is: What does app testing have to include to determine whether a m-commerce app is ready to go or not?
Going across borders
The fun and, besides, very important fact about m-commerce is that it makes it possible for customers to become real global online shoppers. By using your mobile device one can ideally buy almost anything, no matter where you are at the actual moment of shopping. This goes hand-in-hand with localisation. So, as an app developer one has to consider cultural and linguistic differences when going international. The customer should have the possibility to select the version of the app which represents his preferred country. As a result, the translation of the product description or even the products itself has to be adjusted to the cultural and linguistic habits of the different countries offered. And this is the moment when professional crowdtesting becomes important – ideally done by testers located all over the globe.
A touching experience
Another important aspect to focus on is the appearance of the app, and, therefore, all features related to usability and user experience. So, whether it is a shopping app or an interactive mobile website, it is an absolute necessity to optimise the online store while keeping mobile device usage in mind. The crowdtester then would concentrate on the usability of the digital product’s appearance.
Keep in mind that the customer does not use a mouse to navigate through an online shopping application. Instead, he has to use his fingers, which are not as accurate as a mouse cursor. So, it’s valuable to find out if navigating with finger tips will work in a way that serves the customer’s wishes and if the app fits the specifications of the smartphone’s touchscreen.
Using the touchscreen also should be a “touching” experience, and that is where aesthetics come into play. The aim is to make online shopping an enjoyable pastime for the customer and a commercial success for the retailer. Hence, the design should be clear, unique and should correspond with the branding and corporate identity of the retailer. Besides, the variety of screen types should be kept in mind. When developing the user interface, a responsive design that corresponds with all different screens is very important.
Finding your way
Additionally, the structure of the app has to be adapted to the characteristics of mobile devices. Click history and menu navigation should be designed in a way that helps the user move intuitively through the app. For example, breadcrumb navigation could be part of the application as it is a great way to make it easier for the user to orient him or herself. Breadcrumbs help the user to find different website sections and pages by reducing the amount of clicks and actions to reach the desired section.
As the last aspect to be aware of one can imagine that there is no shopping without the flow of money. This is why the shopping cart and the payment functions as well as the function for registration should be created in a very user-friendly manner and with the highest standards of data security. Again, this aspect is relevant for both the customer and the retailer, and testers need to be very meticulous when testing these features.
Time to get real with mobile testing
These are just a few suggestions to show the extensive range of testing a m-commerce application. To be a serious player in the field of m-commerce, which has become an important part of the consumer’s customer journey, extensive testing is essential. Proper usability and functionality are the key factors to successful apps and there is no better way than testing to find out if the app is suitable to reach the mobile customer. The tester represents the future customer and performs real-life testing. To sum up, if retailers want to reach the expanding market of m-commerce and its full potential, comprehensive and professional testing is the instrument to get reliable results regarding usability and, therefore, take part in successful m-commerce business. Regarding the next steps to testing, we at Testbirds will soon introduce a new method of mobile testing to the market. To learn more, check out getreal.testbirds.com.