In 2016, an estimated 1.61 billion people worldwide purchased goods online and global e-commerce sales amounted to US$1.9trillion.
Even though this looks like a gargantuan amount, US$1.9trillion is just 8.7% of the total retail sales in the year 2016.
With the growing number of internet service providers, the proliferation of mobile data and the growing acceptance of e-commerce sites, there is a huge potential for further growth, and sales numbers are projected to reach US$5trillion by 2021.
This has led to a flurry of new startups and investments in the e-commerce domain, and every new player is aggressively trying capture this market.
One of the key metrics that decides success in this field is the “conversion rate” – the ratio of visitors to a website that completes a purchase.
The average conversion ratio varies widely depending on the nature of a business, but it is critical to have an above average conversion ratio to be a successful e-commerce website.
Though a lot of factors play a role in determining the conversion ratio, customer experience stands out as the most important ingredient.
Gartner’s prediction indicates that, by 2020, customer experience will overtake prices and products as the key brand differentiator. But the problem is that there is no fixed set of rules to improve customer experience.
Experience suggests it is purely based on trial and error. Unlike other websites, e-commerce websites require extra attention to ensure seamless performance at a customer’s end.
This means tweaking, upgrading, and adapting to new innovations at a rapid pace to stay ahead of the competition.
Quick implementation of these innovations and rolling back certain unsuccessful ones at a lightning pace gives a company huge competitive advantages.
These innovations might help in providing a solution for a wide variety of issues ranging from:
- Adaptability to existing and new devices (Mobile phones, laptops, tablets and any other new devices)
- Adaptability to a new UI or web server
- Improving and measuring load performance during peak hours or during flash sales
- Integrating a new API to improve the functionality of the website
Testing the ecosystem
Agile development is just one piece of the puzzle offering to solve these issues, but an equally important piece is an end-to-end test system.
A comprehensive test system which tests the whole ecosystem starting from frontend, backend, API, load and integration layer (Integrating shopping carts, standards for data transfer, payment server).
Furthermore, automating end-to-end testing adds greater agility, allowing you to quickly respond to changing business needs, reducing time to market.
Automating also allows you to increase the number of tests performed, adding to the breadth and completeness of your testing.
Written By Mouli Srinivasan, marketing manager at Renovite Technologies.