How to create a business case to boost your web testing capability

Posted by Dan Berry on Tuesday 19 September 2017
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Web testing is a “nice to have” component when it comes to your development lifecycle, right? Wrong. If you don’t get the right approach to your web testing then your business could be catastrophically affected.

You’ll lose money, customers and your brand reputation may be damaged.

Let’s look at an example. A large UK jewellery retailer failed to conduct sufficient cross browser testing and lost £30,000 per week in revenue because its customers could not purchase products online.

Another large retailer in the UK lost tens of thousands of pounds after going live without adequately testing an expensively designed new mobile site in a range of European countries.

In fact, just one hour of downtime costs the average business $100,000.

That’s not all. Keep in mind that this is the “average” hourly downtime cost. If you work in the financial services industry, for example, your downtime costs could conceivably run into millions of pounds per minute.

You could even be penalised for such downtime - AXA paid out $217 million to cover investor loss from a significant error in computer code.

The figures are scarily high.

The knock-on effects for your customers also have serious consequences with an estimated 48% of users less likely to use your mobile app again if they are unhappy with its performance. What’s more, 34% of users will go to a competitor’s app if they are not happy with your offering and 79% of people are less likely to purchase from a site again if they experience performance issues.

Another issue that’s causing mounting issues is the sheer volume of devices, operating systems and platforms that are available to the public, all of which need to be tested. And you can’t get away with a one-off test either, continuous testing is required to keep pace with new device releases, new operating systems and platform releases each time they come to market.

In fact, to cover 80% of the market, you would need to test on over 250+ devices and operating systems.

Web testing is a complex space.

What are the solutions?

Don’t panic. There are a range of ways to ensure your web testing hits the mark and your business is not hampered by any of the issues we’ve just identified:

Hire internal testers

Many businesses decide to hire professional software testers directly and to maintain a full-time, in-house test team. This can be a huge pull of your resources though, with some organisations possessing exceptionally large teams of 60+ testers.

For companies without this level of resource or budget, however, test teams tend to be much smaller. A team of 12 testers, for example, would be considered large by most businesses and an in-house team of two to six testers tends to be a common headcount.

Let’s take a look at how much it would cost to maintain a team of four full time software testers.

Despite most testers commanding a salary of around £33,000, it can cost up to £60,000 per year to employ one full-time software tester. This is because you need to include not just the salary, but the benefits, desk costs, tax, management and training required for one employee.

So, a team of four software testers could cost your organisation £240,000 per year. Is this feasible? If not, there are other options you may want to consider.

Web testing

But, first, you must bear on thing in mind:

You must allow your developers to do more development

It could be tempting to cut corners and ask your developers to take on the additional role of testing their work. It’s not something we would recommend - particularly as developers find their time is increasingly pressured, with one recent prospect telling us only 30% of their release cycle is spent developing!

Furthermore, if a developer has coded all day and is then asked to complete a couple of hours’ testing, they are more likely to make mistakes as they lose focus. And this means crucial bugs will be missed.

This creates a need for post-go live fixes, which further increases workloads and makes it even more likely that exhausted developers will miss bugs on other software testing projects too.

A self-defeating cycle can set in. And any development efforts to improve your software will only end up making the situation worse.

And, what’s more, developers are at a further disadvantage because it can also harm their creativity and attention to detail while developing.

The job of the developer is to create and maintain the website – not test it.

The important role of local testers

Quick question: if your German website is generating hundreds of thousands in revenue shouldn’t it have its own testers?

Yes? Well, now consider what happens if you organisation sells online to 20 other countries. Should each locale have its own testing team?

Internationalisation has removed the barriers to foreign markets. And, while you must expose any software issues across international localities, there are challenges to adapting your website and apps to native standards. These include:

  • Accuracy of translation
  • Loading errors due to orthography, formatting, special characters, etc.
  • Performance issues in remote locations
  • Terminology and/or functionality out of context on foreign markets
  • Payment systems not allowing transactions
  • Delivery addresses not being accepted

The BugFinders localisation testing solution provides tailor-made testing of your website and/or apps across 145 countries around the globe. From our community of more than 55,000 internationally dispersed crowdsourced software testing professionals, we hand-select an expert team to ensure the localised functionality of your digital assets in real-world conditions.

It’s also a lot more cost effective than hiring a testing team in each and every country where you have a web presence.

Purchasing device hardware

Purchasing device hardware is a highly functional way to provide handsets, tablets, and other devices to those interested in testing their work across a variety of screens and hardware.

By purchasing device hardware, it also gives your testers the capability to test on real devices in an easy and intuitive way. But this comes at a cost of around £75k outlay plus £15k each year to keep your devices up to date. It’s not the most cost effective solution.

How do you build a business case with this information?

In a recent survey, 80% of respondents consider it important to see a return on a marketing investment. And, by focusing on customer experience, 40% of people surveyed reported seeing increased revenue.

How do these stats relate to web testing? Because web testing is all about focusing on the customer experience.

This is where you can start to build your business case for web testing. Without web testing, your customer experience will flounder and your bottom line will plummet.

The most significant advantage of web testing is the sheer volume of devices and operating systems you’re able to unleash your software on. It’s a highly cost effective option as you will pinpoint and can then resolve any issues before your website or app is unleashed on the general public.

It’s also a more efficient way to test. Compared to traditional testing, your software could be running on ten times as many devices using web testing. This allows you to see the effects any number of hardware and software combinations has on your website or app.

That’s not all. You can also have hundreds or thousands of people testing your site in a matter of days, which gives you a speed advantage and you don’t have to hold up your development work as bugs are fixed and issues patched on a rolling basis.

Simply put, effective web testing increases your productivity and reduces your time to market. 

Get started with revolutionising your web strategy today by downloading our essential guide to managing test costs. The guide enables you to comepare the costs of different testing options to find out what is the best for you. Download the guide now...

Web Testing

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