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Retail Application Testing | What it is & Why it’s Necessary?

Millions across the world use retail applications. These applications generally have extremely large and complex codebases. Typically, multiple developer teams are working on different features for the same application. Change in one part of the codebase may affect an existing feature in another module of the codebase, affecting critical user workflow. In the dynamic landscape of retail, ensuring the functionality and reliability of applications is crucial for success. Retail Application Testing plays a pivotal role in achieving this, guaranteeing a seamless experience for both businesses and customers.

What Is Retail Application Testing?

Retail application testing safeguards performance, functionality, and security in software driving the retail industry. This process ensures that these applications meet the industry’s specific needs and adhere to high-quality standards.

Browsing a fashion app, you pick a trendy outfit. But imagine adding it to your cart only for it to vanish at checkout! Retail app testing prevents this by checking product variations across devices, ensuring discounts work, and stress-testing to handle peak hours. 

Why Retail Application Testing Is Important?

In the competitive realm of retail, where customer experience is paramount, Retail Application Testing is indispensable. Retail testing smooths the road to secure shopping, protecting brands, and building loyal customers by eliminating glitches.

Types of Retail Application Testing

Functional Testing:

Ensures that each function of the retail application operates as intended, covering scenarios like product searches, checkout processes, and account management.

Performance Testing:

Rigorous performance testing simulates various user loads and device types, guaranteeing the app remains responsive, stable, and scalable to handle intense shopping periods like Black Friday or holiday sales.

Security Testing:

Protects sensitive customer data by identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities in the application, safeguarding against cyber threats.

Usability Testing:

Employs usability testing methods to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the application’s interface and user flow on different devices including web and mobile devices.

Example

Imagine an online grocery shopping application launches a new mobile app that enables users to scan products and checkout. Retail application testing would involve testing these factors:

Functionality: Checking if item scanning works accurately, barcodes are recognized correctly, and product information displays properly.

Performance: Simulating high customer traffic to ensure the app doesn’t slow down or crash during peak hours.

Security: Verifying that scanned items are added to the virtual cart securely and credit card information is processed safely.

User Experience: Testing if a user can navigate the application easily and add items to the cart, checkout, and choose the required payment method without any issues.

Sample Test Cases for POS Used in Retail

Verify the correct working of Critical User Flows

Ensure that all the critical user flows are working correctly across devices and global regions.

Check Inventory Management

Ensure that the POS system accurately updates and reflects inventory levels after each transaction, preventing overselling or stock discrepancies.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Ensure that the POS application functions consistently across various platforms and devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and desktop computers.

Test Offline Mode

Validate the functionality of the POS system when it operates in offline mode, confirming that it can still process transactions and synchronize data once back online.

Customer Loyalty Program Integration

Verify the seamless integration of the POS system with any customer loyalty programs, ensuring that discounts, points, or rewards are correctly applied.

Tax Calculation Accuracy

Test the POS system’s ability to calculate taxes accurately based on the applicable rates, considering regional or product-specific tax variations.

User Authentication and Authorization

Double-check that user access is secure by testing logins and keeping user actions specific to their roles.

Transaction Speed and Responsiveness

Assess the speed and responsiveness of the POS system during high-traffic periods, guaranteeing that customers experience quick and efficient transactions.

Benefits of Test Cases in the Retail Domain

Enhanced Product Quality

Test cases help identify and rectify defects, ensuring a high-quality retail application.

Cost Efficiency

Investing in early checks with test cases leads to significant cost savings by preventing major fixes later.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Rigorous testing leads to a reliable application, contributing to a positive customer experience.

Streamlined Operations

Efficiently designed test cases contribute to smoother retail operations, minimizing disruptions and downtime.

Step-by-Step Guide to Retail Software Testing

Test Planning

Define testing objectives and scope. You can also plan what tools you want to use to test the application and monitor downtimes.

Test Case Design

Create detailed test cases for various scenarios, ensuring comprehensive coverage. Think about testing on different phones, internet speeds, and payment gateways to ensure everyone has a fun shopping trip.

Test Environment Setup

Establish a mirror image of your live system for rigorous testing, simulating real-world scenarios, and mitigating potential issues. You can try to mimic real user data, product stock, and even peak-hour traffic to find hidden bumps on the road.

Execution of Test Cases

Implement the designed test cases using automated or manual testing methods, capturing results and identifying any deviations from expected behavior. Depending on the size of your code base and the features you offer, manually testing every product on every phone would take forever! Automated testing scripts are your speedy assistants, running repetitive tests quickly.

Defect Reporting

Document and report any identified defects or issues, providing detailed information to developers for efficient troubleshooting and resolution. Imagine getting a confusing error message at checkout. Clear bug reports are like talking to your mechanic. Be specific! Tell them how to reproduce the bug, show screenshots, and explain what should happen instead. The more details, the faster the developers can fix it!

Regression Testing

Imagine fixing a login bug, only to break checkout! Regression testing is like double-checking everything after repairs. Re-run key tests after every update to make sure your app stays smooth and reliable. Execute regression testing suites to verify new code patches or features haven’t caused regressions in prior functionalities. 

Performance Monitoring

Continuously monitor the application’s performance, identifying and addressing any degradation or inefficiencies. Imagine your app slowing down during peak hours, leaving shoppers frustrated. Continuous performance monitoring is like keeping an eye on your gas gauge and speedometer.

Track how fast the app responds, identify any bottlenecks, and optimize it for peak performance like a well-tuned engine!

Automated Testing with Testsigma

Now we will perform retail software testing on a real-world retail website using TestSigma, a tool that allows you to create automated tests for your application. To follow along, you will need a Testsigma account. We will use the My Protein Retail website  https://www.myprotein.com/  as the main URL to test. We will test a critical user flow and also ensure that this flow works the same for different operating systems and browsers.

We will also test the Guest checkout functionality on the My Protein application. A very high percentage of consumers abandon their shopping cart if they have to create a user account. To tackle this, you can purchase your favorite supplements with My Protein’s guest checkout. No login is required!

This is the application we will be testing,  https://www.myprotein.com/. To create automated tests for this application, you can use Testsigma. Testsigma has this amazing feature where you can record test steps. You can interact with the UI directly and Testsigma will record the test steps, creating a new test flow.

Let’s start with a few automated tests for the UI:

  • Test 1: Test My Protein’s guest checkout flow which enables shoppers to purchase without logging in.
  • Test 2: Test the happy path user flow for the application, if a new user can sign in, add a product to the cart, and checkout.

Start by navigating to the Testsigma Home Page. https://id.testsigma.com/ui/login?redirectTo=https://app.testsigma.com/ui/ This page will require you to sign in.

Smart test automation for agile teams

Once you sign in, you will be able to see your Testsigma Dashboard:

Latest runs

Click on the dropdown beside the User Name, in this example it is Python-Code-Nemesis.

Latest Test runs

Click on Create New. On the next page that opens up, name the project  My Protein Web App Test. Enter an appropriate description and click on Create, as shown below.

New Project

You will be redirected to this screen, where you can see all the data and insights on the tests, test suites, and test plans for this project.

Test cases Testsigma

Create a new test case with the name “Guest User Checkout Flow” and enter the URL https://www.myprotein.com/ as the start URL.

Create test case

Now enter the test steps manually, or you can also record your steps. This is one of the best features Testsigma has. You can navigate across your website as you normally would. To assert a certain outcome, for example, a button being valid, you can freeze that component and choose an assertion from the given list or create a custom one.

Test Steps

The generated steps will look like this:

checkout flow

This just tested if the page displays the correct fields and buttons. Click on the Run button to Run this test:

Once the test runs successfully, you will be able to see the details along with a screenshot:

Screenshots for every test step are visible. You can also view the complete video for the test, and what steps were executed on which page. This is extremely helpful if your test has failed at a certain step and you want to debug the issue. You can see the screenshot of the website right before the test step which failed, and also on the failed test step. In case some component you are trying to click on is not on this page, you can identify that right away! 

You can also select different test machines and choose between Windows and Mac for OS, the OS version. You can select from different browsers and versions while running the test to ensure your application has uniform performance on all these systems.

Now we will test the general user functionality of the application. Let’s move on to Test2: Testing the Login functionality with a sample test user and password:

Test Case

Create a new test for this scenario. You can name it User Login Happy Path.

Once you record the test steps, you will be able to see them on the screen:

Test user login

On the right-hand side, you have awesome examples of how to write certain test steps specific to certain scenarios:

Test Steps

Run the test on the desired browser and device combination. You can also run it in parallel with other test cases to save time and increase coverage. 



Elements

In Testsigma, when you record the test steps, you might face an issue with elements. It could be that the element you select at the next step is hidden by some other pop-up. The great thing about Testsigma is along with recording steps, you can even record elements. In case you want to change a single test step by changing the element you click on, you don’t need to go through the complete test recording process again. You can click on the Record Element to create a new element in seconds!

Record elements

Let’s say you want these tests to run periodically every week. For that, you can create a Test Suite and schedule it. From the left panel, click on Test Suites and create a new Test Suite:

Test Suites

Click on the Create Test Suite button to create a new Test Suite:

Create Test Suite

Click on the + Add Test Cases. Add the test cases you created:

Test Suites

Use the >> to add the selected test cases to the Test Suite:

Create Test Suite

These selected test cases will now show up here:

Create Test Suite

Click on Create. Your test suite for the Weather app is created now:

User Flow



Test Plans

Go to Test Development from the left pane:

Test Plans

Create a new test plan from the “+Test Plan” button

Test Plan

Enter your Test plan name, description, and labels.

Create Test Plan

Next, click on add test suites.

Create test plan

Select the test suites you want to add to your test plan:

Selected Test Suites

Choose the machine specifications where you want your test plan to run:

my protein devices

Next, specify when you need notifications and alerts. You can select to receive notifications when a test has passed or failed and the mail IDs you want these notifications to.

test plan

There are additional settings and recovery actions you can specify. For recovery actions, you can select what Testsigma will do if any of your test cases fail. You can abort and run the next test case or report and continue the next test step.

test plan

Next, click on Create. Your test plan is created successfully and running!

user flows

You will receive a mail on your test results periodically:

Test case result summary

This was just two tests, you can add many more tests based on different scenarios. Now that your automated tests are running periodically, you don’t need to worry about unexpected failures. You are always ahead of the game. Also, integrating these tests into lower development and testing environments will help developers identify issues faster, as they don’t need manual testers to test the end-to-end flows. This is where automated testing saves a lot of time and energy in the software development lifecycle.



Why Automation Is Required for Retail Applications Testing?

Imagine testing thousands of product variations across numerous devices and browsers one by one. Using scripts to run automated tests is a lot faster than doing them manually. This saves time for important things, like fixing critical issues and making the software even better.  Picture a large online retailer preparing for a major sale, needing to test its website on new platforms. Automation can complete the tests in days, compared to weeks with manual testing, guaranteeing a successful launch and satisfied customers.

Automation expedites the testing process, providing faster results and increased test coverage. Retail thrives on speed and accuracy. Automated testing delivers both, ensuring smooth operations and happy customers.

Challenges in Retail PoS Testing

1. Integration Issues:

  • Multiple Systems, Complex Workflows: Modern PoS systems connect to a web of other infrastructure, like inventory management, loyalty programs, and payment gateways. Ensuring seamless communication and data transfer between these systems can be complex. Example: A new inventory system might not sync correctly with the PoS, leading to inaccurate product availability and frustrated customers.
  • Third-Party Integrations: Adding third-party apps or services expands functionality but introduces another layer of potential integration issues. Compatibility, data security, and performance need careful testing. Example: Integrating a new delivery app might cause communication errors, hindering order fulfillment and impacting customer satisfaction.

2. Security Concerns:

  • Data Breaches & Customer Privacy: Point of Sale (PoS) systems manage sensitive customer data such as credit card information and personal identification. Security breaches can incur significant costs and harm a company’s reputation. Example: A security vulnerability in the PoS software could allow hackers to steal customer data, leading to financial losses and identity theft.
  • Access Control & Employee Training: Limiting access to sensitive data and ensuring proper employee training are essential to prevent accidental or malicious misuse. Example: Lack of access control could allow unauthorized personnel to tamper with PoS data, impacting inventory and financial records.

3. Adapting to Industry Changes:

  • New Technologies & Emerging Trends: From contactless payments to self-checkout kiosks, retail technology evolves rapidly. PoS testing needs to adapt to these advancements. Example: A new contactless payment system might require additional testing to ensure smooth integration and security, potentially delaying its implementation.
  • Changing Regulatory Landscape: Data privacy regulations and payment standards are constantly evolving. Outdated PoS systems are more vulnerable to security risks, which could cost you money. Example: A new data privacy regulation might require changes to how the PoS system stores and processes customer data, necessitating adjustments and testing.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned on how Retail Application Testing is extremely important for ensuring the success and reliability of applications in the retail sector. Developers can leverage automation testing and employ robust testing strategies to ensure bug-free production code. This will reduce the workload for production support and enable businesses to deliver seamless shopping experiences, fostering customer trust and loyalty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is retail application testing?

Retail Application Testing is the process of ensuring the functionality, performance, and security of software used in the retail industry.

Why is Retail Application Testing important?

Retail application testing helps deliver seamless customer experiences, protects brands, and ensures smooth operations. It also saves the cost and time required for handling bugs in production. It ensures that everything is working smoothly before the code gets pushed to production.

What are the different types of retail application testing?

Different types of retail application testing include Functional testing, performance testing, security testing, and usability testing.

What are the benefits of test cases?

More test cases lead to improved product quality, cost efficiency, customer satisfaction, and streamlined operations.

What are the steps involved in retail software testing?

Test planning, case design, environment setup, execution, defect reporting, regression testing, and performance monitoring are some of the steps involved in retail software testing.

Why is automation important for retail application testing?

Automation speeds up the process, increases coverage, and improves accuracy.

What are the challenges in retail PoS testing?

Some challenges in Retail point-of-sale testing include integration issues, security concerns, and adapting to industry changes.

Can I follow this guide without a Testsigma account?

The guide provides general principles, but specific steps may require Testsigma features.

What is Retail POS application testing?

Imagine buying a shirt at the store. The cashier scans it, a beep sounds, and you pay. But before that beep happens, someone tested the system behind the scenes to make sure everything works smoothly. That’s what retail POS testing is all about!

It’s like checking that the price is right, even with discounts. Can the system handle a rush of customers without slowing down? Is your credit card info safe? Does the cashier know how to use it easily? Testers check all these things and more to ensure your shopping experience is fast, secure, and enjoyable. 

Retail POS application testing involves assessing the performance, functionality, and security of Point of Sale (PoS) of retail software. This process ensures that the PoS system operates accurately, efficiently, and securely during various transactions, contributing to a positive customer experience.


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