Step into the Future of Online Retail with Inspired Testing

Friday, 01 March 2024 12:36
Step into the Future of Online Retail with Inspired Testing

Jimmy Choo

Why testing is vital for ecommerce and online retail

When British high fashion giant, Jimmy Choo, found that their website lagged in responsiveness compared with its contemporaries and other retail outlets, they resolved the issue by bringing in Inspired Testing, a Dynamic Technologies group company. Reduced page load times and improved paint metrics resulted in a streamlined website and improved sales.

After a full backend and frontend system review that identified problem areas and pain points, Inspired Testing implemented a targeted and highly effective solution that elevated Jimmy Choo’s online customer experience to one of the very best in its class.

The brand, which specialises in luxury shoes, handbags, accessories, and fragrances, is known for their empowered sense of glamour and a playfully daring spirit. A disappointing online experience was not just bad for business, it was bad for their brand.

This is a problem that many brands and retailers face. In a fast-paced, technologically savvy world where ecommerce has exploded, online shopping continues to grow, and tech-empowered consumers have high demands and low thresholds for subpar encounters; exemplary user experiences and interfaces are paramount.

Inspired Testing enables companies to put their best foot forward when it comes to customer experience of digital solutions. Page load times are crucial, particularly as companies are competing with native apps like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat, where the load time is instantaneous. Exceeding a 3-second waiting time will result in user frustration and ultimately loss of customers. The secret is not only to deliver speed, but to create the perception of speed where there is always interaction between the site and the user, while graphics load in the background.

This is where testing comes to the fore. Retail outlets offering online interactions must ensure that their sites are tested and cleared of any potential problems – from lags and buggy shopping pages to frustrating online purchase experiences and annoying delays. According to PwC’s Customer Experience reports, companies could lose anywhere from a quarter to a half of their customers after a single bad experience. These experiences include speed, convenience, reliability, and customer service.

Leon Lodewyks, CTO at Inspired Testing, says, “Implementing a new retail automation solution or integrating it into existing software is a complex undertaking for retailers. The risks associated with software failure or system-wide crashes can have severe consequences. This is where software testing plays a crucial role, providing valuable insights and mitigating potential problems before the solution goes live.”

For the Jimmy Choo website, Inspired Testing approached the problem from several angles, delivering exploratory testing, performance testing, and web performance engineering, optimising page load times to deliver a highly responsive web experience. Web performance is a bottom-line indicator and an integral part of client retention strategy.

Synthetic testing was used to measure static performance such as Image, Java Script and CSS payloads, as well as basic network delivery statistics such as time to first byte. In addition, they conducted a full SalesForce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) analysis to understand the main flows and their response times.

A network performance review enabled Inspired Testing to optimise latency using the CDN to minimise the geographic distance between clients and their nearest server, reducing the impact that client location has on performance. A full competitive analysis was also taken into account. A frontend performance review allowed improvements to be made to optimise and prioritise visible images, remove redundant thumbnail images, review bandwidth-hungry video use, and remove unused third-party service providers.

Finally, full dashboarding and reporting was implemented to build a culture of performance. Easy access to performance dashboards is the simplest way to share common data. Site speed degraded over multiple years before it was identified as a customer-affecting problem. As a result, weekly site speed reports are now delivered to the Jimmy Choo management team for all markets, which will allow continuing governance on key performance metrics, and should prevent performance degradation in the future.