Agile and DevOps in eCommerce QA_cover
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Agile and DevOps: Boosting the quality of eCommerce apps

What benefits do Agile and DevOps bring to eCommerce business, and how QA helps with that? Find it out in the article.
30 September 2021
Agile
Quality assurance
The article by Alina Karachun
Account director at a1qa

Why do today’s eCommerce apps need to be extremely fast and efficient?

Obviously, consumers don’t like waiting. Like they say in the song, “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.” To win their trust, it’s vital to provide them with a high-quality and reliable IT product.

But how to achieve this and at the same time make the testing process more effective and transparent? One of the proven options is to implement Agile and DevOps, which is not always that easy.

In the article I will show you how Agile and DevOps help reimagine eCommerce software, and what advantages companies receive from their implementation.

Flexibility and speed: supercharging eCommerce apps

According to the 15th State of Agile Report, the overall number of organizations practicing Agile methodology is 94% while the State of DevOps Report 2021 shows that 83% of companies implement DevOps.

But what about eCommerce: Is it enough for businesses to apply classical QA approaches for endless but essential software changes? Definitely, not.

Being flexible as never, Agile and DevOps help create a close-knit team where developers, QA engineers, product owners, and other members interact constantly to meet the common business goals. With a high focus on end users’ needs, of course.

When the pandemic struck, the demand for online shopping increased dramatically and the rate of online purchases surged to 16.1% from 11.8%. Not that much but still that impacted a lot the behavior and buying habits of consumers. Thus, close cooperation between the specialists helps respond quickly to changing customers’ requirements, prevent delays in the product launch, enhance its quality, and reduce business risks by constantly receiving the feedback.

People rate their favorite apps, giving 5 stars on Play Market and App Store, etc., recommend them to friends, become brand advocates, and keep up with all the new products of the brand. A perfect scenario.

3 “yes!” to say to Agile in eCommerce

To get positive results from implementing Agile, it’s essential to clearly understand how it works and what you want to obtain in detail. The 15th State of Agile Report shows that the main reasons for adopting Agile include managing constantly changing priorities, accelerating software delivery, increasing team productivity, enhancing IT product quality, and reducing project risks. Please, have a look at the picture below.

15th State of Agile Report 

Though the pool of Agile strong points is ample, I think it’s necessary to mention some more key benefits that are indispensable in reaching the desired business outcomes:

Increased velocity and flexibility

I beleive that agile probably stands out among other methodologies as it helps release the app faster and more frequently by close and strong collaboration between business, management, and engineering teams that help react on constant changes and manage the quality faster.

Given today’s fast-paced IT landscape and high end-user expectations, it allows gathering consumers’ feedback after the product launch and gradually modify the eCommerce software. To make it so, continuous testing wins out, ensuring high speed of flowing processes while gaining more accurate results and timely fixing bugs.

Business analysis, in its turn, assists QA teams in understanding end-user needs implemented in the new-feature requirements. Moreover, specialists exchange essential updates on regular sync-ups to ensure transparent vision on project’s status and directions.

Enhanced market interest

Guided by their needs, consumers are subconsciously looking for software that meets their requirements and provides a wide range of options. All-in-one. Let’s admit it’s pretty much easier to have everything there — from making online transactions via multiple payment methods to selecting different colors and sizes as well as tracking products’ availability at all stores.

Let’s look at Amazon and eBay — their apps instantly process all incoming requests and provide the customers with all the information and products at lightning speed. And they succeed.

How? Performance testing, for instance, helps evaluate whether the IT solution withstands heavy loads and will not crash on New Year’s sales or Black Friday due to a large influx of customers, so end users continue e-shopping instead of getting error message on their displays.

Being aware of the expected number of users and the desired software capacity, QA teams organize the correct systems performance by detecting the actual performance indicators in advance and comparing them with desirable ones. Close cooperation helps QA experts pass all the details as well as improvements areas to the development team. The result of such interaction is the reduced implementation time and improved system’s capabilities.

Mitigated business risks

The flexible approach, divided into several sprints, brings project transparency by passing all processes step-by-step while forecasting possible hazards and gradually addressing them. It also improves project management processes, handles unwanted risks, and provides greater flexibility, allowing companies to deliver high-quality IT products faster and more frequently.

In case you want to reduce business risks even more while bearing in mind the number of cyber incidents is increasing each day, introducing cybersecurity testing may be of help with that. With software being extremely sophisticated, the hackers have more opportunities to penetrate it, so rigorous testing allows find the pain points and timely prevent the leakage of sensitive users’ data.

DevOps in eCommerce: yes or no?

The 15th State of Agile Repost highlights that 75% of respondents find this methodology essential for their organizations.

While Agile focuses on ongoing changes, DevOps aims at constantly testing and delivering IT products to the market while enhancing the quality and reducing the number of bugs.

Primarily concentrating on ongoing communication, improved performance, and better cooperation, DevOps methodology leverages fast deployment while closely complying with clients’ requirements.

To get all the benefits that DevOps provides, why not leverage eCommerce processes via introducing several up-to-date practices:

Smart automation

When implementing DevOps methodology with test automation, companies make the testing process more effective. The right automation tools and a wise automated solution contribute not only to speeding up the process by reducing test cycle time but also to improving software quality, maximizing ROI, increasing release velocity through CI/CD approach. It’s easy to integrate test automation with the development activities, so the Dev team performs checks when needed by triggering automated tests build.

Continuous innovations

With Waterfall, the defects are possible to fix after releasing the product. No agility, no mobility. DevOps helps address it with confidence by providing improvements within small iterations, ability to perform changes following retrospective and audience feedback.

For instance, one of the pressing problems of modern apps is the poor UI. According to the latest World Quality Report, 46% of respondents put an emphasis on CX validation and usability testing.

By performing UI testing, it’s possible to verify multiple components, like UI workflows, calculations, buttons, etc. As a result, all app’s functions operate smoothly and correctly while ensuring comfortable users’ experience.

Summarizing

Within today’s IT market, retail companies adopt flexible approaches that assist them in delivering upscale apps, satisfying end users’ needs.

Agile and DevOps are pioneering among other methodologies as they bring enough flexibility, provide constant team members collaboration that help release software faster and more frequently, getting the leading positions in the IT market and enhancing IT products’ quality.

Feel free to reach out to a1qa’s experts to get QA support on implementing testing in your Agile and DevOps business strategy.

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