We are almost at the half-way point of this sequence. Hopefully by now we have shared some useful advice and tips and if you haven’t started yet, you are at least preparing for your next digital performance check.
Today is all about different types of testing. Which should you consider, and what are the most appropriate to fix your issues?
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive straight in.
The different types of digital performance testing
We have identified 8 different methods that you should be considering for your website or app. They all look at different things, and will be more or less effective, dependant on what you are trying to achieve. Here’s a quick rundown of each of them:
This is the most prolific form of testing – does your website / app / software do what you intend it to do?
Quite simple really. There are many different ways to carry out functional testing, our preferred method is to use real people, on real devices, at scale – this is the only way you can be assured that it works and does what you expect it to do.
You should be looking to get as wide coverage of device, browser, OS combinations as possible – ensuring your website works for the most common is a good starting point, but analysis of our customers’ google analytics shows that ignoring the less common will be costing you revenue and customers (but we’ll get onto that later – see: Revenue Calculator)
Ensuring your website / app works in every country you need it to, is tough – even if you have people within these countries. It is very common to outsource this requirement and if you do, we advise caution.
With different countries demanding varying functionalities and payment methods, understanding how to start localising your website can be a minefield.
With the increase in ever more complex and country-specific payment options – internal testing is a challenge that continues to grow by the day.
“66% of mobile purchasers abandon purchases because of issues at payment”
One of our global travel customers experienced such issues. After seeing conversions drop through the year, a critical part of their recovery was the payment testing that we delivered. This included payment testing against major card providers including VISA, Mastercard and American Express.
It is one of the most common problems we face when testing websites and apps – and the issues are often the easiest to identify.
Checking and fixing multiple payment options is essential, as this is what your customers will want to use.
In our lifetime almost 90% of the general public with internet access will require access to accessibility features, regardless of any previous or continuous long-term factors.
Because everyone from your grandparents, whose sight may be failing them, to the boy who fell out a tree and broke his wrist, or the commuter on a train watching a YouTube video, all need accessible features. In these examples, text resizing, keyboard navigation and captions are required to provide these potential customers with high-quality user experiences, and the ability to complete customer journeys. After all, positive UX leads to an increased conversion rate.
By acknowledging users with impairments and even slow internet connections, you’re letting them know that their rights matter, and that their business is valued.
This is something we care deeply about, check out our post about why accessibility testing shouldn’t just be for those who identify as having a disability.
Usability is an odd one. In many ways, it is essential and should be viewed as a compulsory part of website / app production. But often usability testing isn’t given a second glance, or tight for time companies perform automated usability testing, which defeats the point of usability testing.
Usability testing (or User Experience – UX) centres around utilising real-world testers to perform basic customer journeys, while providing their own personal feedback. Why is this important? Because if you want to design a website which appeals to a specific audience, then that audience should have some input into how it looks and behaves. You can’t rely on a hypothesis to improve your conversion rates; you need real data. In general, UX increases your revenue and customer loyalty, as the website is then personalised to fit a specific audience type.
One of the best (or worse) parts about usability testing is literally anyone, within your target audience can do it. This means you don’t have to recruit professional accredited testers, which can be expensive and time-consuming. But this also means you must find people to test for you, and this is where third parties often come in to bridge the gap. Take a look at our ‘What is usability testing’ post to find out more.
We should be upfront here – this is unashamed self-promotion, – but we hope you’ll forgive us because this is worth reading.
A / B / Multivariate testing are very common with regards to websites. The problem with this practice, is that it often relies on the assumption that the website or landing page you are testing is the best version it can be. The reality is that this assumption is often wrong. So, any amount of a/b testing is just building on dodgy foundations. Here is where we can help.
On top of our usual arsenal of testing services, we offer a new service called our ‘Revenue Calculator’ – here is a summary of what it can do.
Let’s assume you have a critical bug on your site that hits certain android users during checkout. This is damaging your sales, but you haven’t noticed because customers haven’t complained or your call centre hasn’t passed this on. It simply becomes part of the background average conversion on your site – because unlike the retail store owner, you might not be seeing the problem.
Finding and fixing these holes provides a massive revenue opportunity. That’s where the Revenue Calculator and our unique testing solution comes into its own.
Using data from your Google Analytics we dig into the performance of champion and challenger devices and browsers in particular segments (Windows, Macs, Android, Samsung etc). We analyse conversion rate, average order value, cost per conversion and bounce rates at granular device levels to identify quick win opportunities. For example, Windows Chrome is converting 42% below Edge.
We then use your own web analytics data to model the revenue uplift should the under-performing device reach parity with the champion. In the example above, Chrome converting at the same level of Edge would increase revenue by £53,000 per month. This equips you with the insight and business case required for further investigation.
We have already carried out this level of surgical testing with our customers and have seen astonishing results – typically finding around 10-20% of revenue that is being left on the table.
That is the end of our short sales pitch – it’s pretty unique, and hopefully opened your eyes to something you may not have thought was possible (as with anything, we are open to a conversation if you want to find out more, or give this a try – we can give you a taster before you commit to dipping into your budget).
In an agile digital world, with new devices, operating systems and browser updates being released all the time; ensuring your users get the best experience, at all times, is challenging.
If you are constantly updating your website, then you should be constantly testing your site. This is a challenge faced by companies all over the world – the pace of development is outstripping the capacity to test those developments.
We know this is a big problem for organisations, but it is one that needs addressing, and this means that no matter what is being updated or changed on your site, you need to ensure your testing is ready to deal with it.
We recommend you focus on critical and conversion issues; your live monitoring should allow you to identify and fix issues before they have the opportunity to dramatically impact your platform or customer experience.
This is something we do regularly for customers, removing the hassle of being ever present on your website, and enabling the speed of development to be maintained. Click here to find out more about what we do.
We hear about major data breaches almost every day – at least it feels that way. Household names like Facebook and Deliveroo have already landed themselves in hot water this year for exposing sensitive customer information and allowing accounts to be infiltrated by hackers. Even the UK Government’s petition site is under review after it was suggested that bots were hijacking the site. So why are so many companies unaware of what happens on their site? And why are they so easily breached?
The answer lies in security testing or lack thereof. Facebook only discovered their site had been hacked through a scheduled security test and put damage limitation measures in order. But still, millions of passwords were exposed.
When it comes down to it, most big-name brands still use out of date security software and slack on frequent testing, simply because a problem isn’t a problem until it becomes critical or public knowledge. Whatever comes first.
Fact: Hackers account for 90% of login attempts at online retailers
While putting in basic measures to protect your site online is a good starting point to begin transforming online security, larger scale hacks require a stronger response.
Here are 7 advanced ways you can protect your site, in simple terms:
1) Conduct internal and external penetration tests frequently
2) Use an up to date IDS (Intrusion detection system)
3) Turn off unused servers; don’t just power down
4) Only accept data from a select set of IP addresses
5) Host your backend services on a virtual private server (VPS), that is not always visible to the public
6) Rotate passwords and keys frequently
7) Outline a security breach plan
Once you cut through the jargon, increasing your security doesn’t seem like such a mammoth task – especially if you pair your internal team with an external security testing company. After all, you don’t want to wait until chaos erupts for you to fix your security problems and risk losing the personal data of millions of customers.
End of day 4
Yet again we have covered a lot of ground today. Looking into all the different ways you could be testing / monitoring your website and offering some tips to help you see how you can implement these for your organisation.
We are going to take things much easier tomorrow. Taking a look at common problems we encounter, some of the big hitting issues our customers have faced, and what we have done to help them overcome them.