It is well-known that software projects for retail applications employ the agile methodology which has led to a rapid change in requirement/application developments.

This process is highly challenging as it requires regular update to testing tools and scrips and one has to track rapid changes in each task. Communication gaps between teams adds to the confusion. Another core challenge is end-to-end retail testing which would include front-end and back-end of the e-commerce application and Point of Sale (PoS) systems in the same fabric.

Below are the top 7 challenges widely faced by retailers in an agile environment.

Automation tools:

Automation is the most challenging part but definitely adds value to the QA process. The frequent changes in the requirement are difficult to keep track of the continuous update of the regression script. Presence of Artificial Intelligence-Machine Learning (AI-ML) capabilities in a testing framework which can help repair defects quickly would be the most ideal solution for the development team.

If such an AI/ML enabled framework can also speed up your test automation, it is an irresistible combo.

In addition though, it is imperative that the QA team needs to have highly experienced technical guys for proper guidance and mentoring. Their support and expertise will help in achieving accuracy, reliable, faster, security as well as better quality test results, and great ROI.

Environment:

An important challenge to software development in an agile set-up is not having a proper environment set up.  Whenever the server gets overloaded it needs a restart a few times during testing which can impact the testing strategy. And often logs need clearing to make sure that there is not any overflow.

To overcome the environment challenge, it is crucial to bring these problems to the forefront and make sure there is environment support during testing. For regular occurences, it is better to get access to the servers to perform some simple maintenance, such as restart, clearing queues, etc.

Requirements:

The main challenge retailers face while executing the test strategy is unclear and frequently changing requirements, given the End-to-End testing requirements. Clients may not always share all the documents with the testing teams .  

To overcome the requirement challenges, all the documents should be shared with the QA teams by the client and explain clearly about the project. QA Team should have ample clarity on the requirements. If not, it is mandatory to arrange meetings and resolve the doubts by discussing it. Whenever there is a change in the requirement, it should be updated to the team and included in the document where the requirements are noted.

Documentation:

Due to the rapid requirement changes QA teams will rely on verbal communication and may not update the requirement document and test case. This becomes a huge challenge for future execution and affects the testing strategy.

To overcome the documentation challenge QA teams need to update the requirement documents and test cases and need to send for approval immediately.

Schedule:

The constantly changing requirements impact the schedule and the testers are left with a very short time to test the application which affects the quality of the software/product. To overcome this, a testing framework which enables testing across multiple environments can be used.

Usage of the assignment matrix while assigning the task and identification of the resources is a good option. And it is better to prevent the risk beforehand as it can easily increase the project cost and delay the time to market.

Expectations:

Testing team should understand the client’s expectations right from the start to deliver the best experience to the customers. If not, it may impact the results.

To overcome expectation challenges, the testers should break the application and identify the major issues in the initial stage of the release. Always have the perspective of an end-user while testing any application.

Communicate with the stakeholders of the project to collect the actual requirement to define the scope of the project.

Managing metrics to provide visibility to customers:

It is a little difficult to manage metrics, mainly in retail testing. However, it gives a clear picture to all the team members.

To overcome the metrics challenges, identify the total number of test cases prepared and executed and upload it in metrics on a weekly and monthly basis. Also, update the Metrics with the number of bugs found weekly and monthly for each resource output. And provide the total metrics report to the customer regularly.

Conclusion:

Majority of the teething issues that can crop up while performing end-to-end retail testing can be resolved by choosing the right test automation framework which can speed up work, reduce defects, be integrated with the latest technology to provide better insights and report generation and allow integration with third-party tools.

Aspire’s Digital Commerce Quality Automation Framework (DCqaf) is a flexible and secure automation framework which ticks all boxes for end-to-end testing. It reduces testing costs by up to 90% and AI/ML capabilities act as a test automation accelerator.

To know more about how we help Retailers overcome their testing challenges with DCqaf

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Naveen Srinivasan