Businesses are increasingly in need of powerful mobile testing solutions as mobile usage climbs worldwide. There were an estimated 4.3 billion mobile phone users in 2016, more than half of the world’s population. That number will only continue to rise to an estimated 4.78 billion in just a few years. Moreover, time spent on digital media increased by 53% over the past few years in the US alone, primarily because of mobile.
Mobile apps change the way people live and interact with the world. This is true across industries, from communications to entertainment to finance, healthcare, and transportation. They also change the way consumers interact with businesses and brands.
Mobile commerce was expected to reach over $123 billion last year and the potential is so much greater, as the trend increases. “Forty-five percent of all shopping journeys contain mobile.” And what’s notable is “shoppers are looking for a better experience across all of their devices, but especially on mobile. Seventy percent of mobile shoppers say the website/app experience can be improved.”
There’s a significant untapped potential in this billion-dollar mobile market. But poor user experience is what has prevented m-commerce from becoming the lead channel for buying. While both user experience and revenue rely heavily on mobile apps and their quality, mobile teams are facing many challenges when trying to adopt robust testing and monitoring into their mobile development processes.
Challenges Faced in Mobile Testing
Common excuses made by organizations failing in their industry’s mobile space include:
- “We have no need for mobile testing, our stores generate most of our revenue…”
- “Mobile testing is too much of an investment for us…”
- “We tried to find a tool but everything is too hard to adopt and not worth our time…”
Some QA teams turn to emulators and virtual devices to test their mobile apps and, while these may be part of one’s testing environment, they are not the end-all solution. Because applications on emulators and virtual devices are not interacting with real physical hardware, certain, real-life conditions and scenarios cannot be tested. That is why real devices using real carriers placed in real locations is the only testing means to get the most thorough insights about app quality, performance, and user experience.
The challenge for businesses is the frequent rollout of new mobile devices and operating systems. The associated costs of purchasing a wide-enough range of OEM hardware that will provide the most complete mobile testing environment is expensive. But it’s simply not enough to be testing on a few select devices and operating systems in limited, perhaps just local, locations.
Costs of Not Mobile Testing
The two biggest mistakes when analyzing the cost of investment for mobile testing is missing the bigger picture and leveraging the data, tools, and best practices available. In the past, many businesses couldn’t even afford to have a mobile app because app developers were too costly. But with the growth of open software development kits and speedy development cycles, mobile apps are now more readily accessible than ever.
But despite the increasing ease of developing an inexpensive app, testing is still a low (or non-) priority. Rapid-release deadlines take higher priority. This might not present alarming issues at first. But to ensure proper functioning and performance across the board and scale with users, testing is essential from the start. That’s because the cost of resolving both technical problems and even branding issues can become significantly greater than if testing and monitoring were implemented all along.
Impact on Business Goals
Moreover, app data is available at unprecedented rates. Data can include bugs signals and crashes, or how users are navigating through an app. Leveraging all available data is what enables businesses to increase their ROI. While user feedback is important, negative reviews and complaints shouldn’t be the primary means of identifying issues. Comprehensive mobile testing prior to a release can assure minimal negative feedback after product rollout. Real-time monitoring can identify issues before large numbers of users have time to complain.
Mobile apps that don’t undergo rigorous testing can significantly impact business goals. Users are know to have notoriously low tolerance for apps that don’t work. Only 16% of users will try a failing app more than twice. Consequently, poor user experiences and negative reviews impact adoption and usage rates. And ultimately, business can be lost to competitors who have better apps and provide better experiences.
Benefits of Powerful Mobile Testing and App Monitoring Solutions
Mobile applications are increasingly becoming the way to gain more customers but engaging them effectively is key. Having a seamless mobile app that is reliable is imperative. Mobile app testing and app monitoring eliminates the cost of mobile app failure and poor user experiences. Quality mobile apps help businesses differentiate in an already-saturated market, thus attracting and maintaining their user bases. In the end, apps that can meet and exceed expectations, and delight, are the ones that can generate more users. More business means higher ROI.
From within a company’s perspective, not testing can also be harmful. QA and development teams will fail to meet criteria and quality. Moreover, the lack of testing could hinder relations with vested stakeholders. Regularly executing functional and performance tests helps resolve critical issues before rollout. It enables concise reports to be shared with leadership on a timely basis. And there is also accountability.
Emulators and virtual devices are one affordable solution but by no means a complete one. Luckily, there are powerful solutions on the market today. They support both functional regression testing, and performance testing and monitoring, on a variety of real physical devices located across the globe with remote access. Tests run in parallel help to optimize test coverage, cut down on test time, and produce higher level results and quality apps. With better quality apps come better business.