Virtualization Technology News and Information
Every Experience Matters: Are Bugs in Your Software Costing You Revenue?

By Marcus Merrell, VP, Technology Strategy at Sauce Labs

Mobile apps are riddled with bugs.

These bugs are the result of bad coding and can lead to crashes, long wait times, or even security concerns.

How did we get here? With the DevOps community demanding more velocity and a faster SDLC (as mentioned in my last column here), sometimes things fall through the cracks. While we have more tools than ever to fix mistakes in production, the point is that these errors are still trickling down to end-users and they are noticing. It can be difficult to quantify consumer behavior as it pertains to browsing on mobile. How will a customer react to an app crash or a dead link?

Sauce Labs recently commissioned the Every Experience Matters Consumer Report to shine some light on these issues and get the answers to these questions. What does Every Experience Matters mean? It starts with the concept that every brand is now a digital brand. Every digital encounter with a brand has a direct impact-positive and negative-on a consumer's perception of a company. Having this in mind, a mobile app needs to work as expected, every time. Not only that, but it needs to be delightful to be sticky. The poor experiences we have lead to lost revenue, frustration, and the inability to complete important tasks. The great experiences can lead to innovation, meaningful connections, and a society of greater digital confidence.

The world is full of bad code, but how much impact does this really have?

In our survey, one-quarter of respondents said they encounter an error at least once a day. When you compound that number with the 20% that said after encountering one single error they abandon a brand altogether, it's easy to see the immediate business impact of all this bad code.

Some users are slightly more generous than others. For example, 29% of consumers will wait over an hour for a resolution on a problem they have encountered. On the flipside, 41% will wait less than 15 minutes and 18% won't wait at all. That's a pretty severe delta on our collective tolerance for failure, but when we drill into the types of crashes the picture gets a little clearer.

Here are the top three types of bugs that consumers have no tolerance for: general interruption, long load times, and weak security. This makes sense because the first two cost your customers time, and the third puts their data at risk. Furthermore, 63% of our respondents said that any bug, regardless of whether it has to do with security, makes them feel less secure. And if you work in communication, gaming, entertainment, or eCommerce, you are among the usual suspects. Users rank those four industries highest with the most bugs.

In a world where we preach customer experience and retention, these numbers can be troubling. We have set up an impossible standard for our developers to deliver more features faster - often forcing them to choose between speed and quality. We're lucky if we spend any time on "delight". At that point, user experience suffers, leading to unhappy users and unsuccessful brands.

When you dive into the full report, you'll find plenty of more data on things like cart abandonment, how likely a ‘scorned user' is to leave a negative review, and how up to 50% of consumers are sharing negative word-of-mouth about your brand when they experience bad code. Rather than recite every statistic to you, it's easier to discuss an action plan. Let's accept the hypothesis that errors are bad and discuss how these pains can be alleviated.

Those in the VM field are familiar with cloud-based automation testing. While real device testing makes sense in certain instances, most brands can test virtually in the cloud and avoid any of the above errors before they reach consumers. Consider test features like error monitoring, API testing or visual test. I mentioned last time that with the new charge to deliver a better experience faster, the responsibilities of DevOps teams now include managing the lifecycle of their software applications well beyond the development stage and expanding their testing toolkits.

The technology now exists to empower those in both testing and development to create better products faster without falling victim to these costly, trust-destroying errors. To make a long story short, test your applications, release and then keep testing. It's a small price to pay when the alternative is to take an unnecessary hit to your brand equity, reputation, and even bottom line. In the report, 7% of consumers mentioned that an app crash had made them so mad that they literally threw something, and your business certainly doesn't want to be associated with that fun memory.




Marcus Merrell is Vice President of Technology Strategy at Sauce Labs, where he uses experience from more than 20 years in test to manage strategic technical alliances. Marcus works with partners to build robust, customer-centric solutions around test automation, release management and the entire SDLC. He started using Selenium/WebDriver in 2007, contributes to the Selenium project and chairs the Selenium Conference Organizing Committee.

Published Monday, April 18, 2022 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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