Guest Blog: How can devs keep up with holiday traffic? - Mobile World Live

Guest Blog: How can devs keep up with holiday traffic?

22 NOV 2018

A huge chunk of holiday shopping will be done via apps, and developers must ensure their products are up to the job. In this blog, Eran Kinsbruner, lead technical evangelist at Perfecto (pictured, below), explains the ways in which they can do this, including supporting augmented reality and offering compatibility with social media apps that have shopping features.

With the biggest shopping season of the year quickly approaching, retailers are gearing up for the most traffic their mobile apps have ever seen. Reports predict mobile devices will drive 68 per cent of all holiday shopping traffic this year.

As consumers around the world prepare to shop on their devices and grab the latest deals, DevOps teams are hard at work to ensure their apps don’t encounter major technical issues. To get ahead of common glitches, continuous testing ahead of and throughout the holiday selling period can help to minimise downtime, poor app performance and sub-optimal user experiences.

To be effective, teams need to be testing multiple times a day, every day. But what other factors should they be prioritising this year?

Augmented retail
With shoppers rushing from store-to-store this holiday season, many don’t always have the time to browse the aisle and search for the right size.

As a result, many retailers are incorporating augmented reality (AR) capabilities into their apps with the goal of not only staying ahead of the competition, but also enhancing the shopping experience. For example, the Dressing Room by Gap app allows shoppers to try on clothes virtually in a simulated store before adding them to their cart.

For developer teams, the addition of these new features means they need to consider important factors such as the variety of smartphones (both iOS and Android), and their maturity and support for the Apple iOS ARKit and the Android ARCore APIs.

What’s more, since users are now always on-the-go, DevOps should test apps in different environments including degraded network connections, along with tackling what to do in in the event of incoming calls, texts, notifications, use of the camera outside of the retail app and more.

For apps which use the AR functionality through the camera, various outputs will be presented to the user. Because of this, DevOps should test across all screen sizes, smartphones and tablets.

Social media
Sites including Facebook and Instagram are increasingly becoming popular platforms for brands. Not only can they promote their biggest and brightest deals, but customers can now shop directly via the apps.

With features like in-app browsers built into applications, more users are making purchases directly from their favorite vendors without even leaving social media. For DevOps teams, this means they need to make sure their sites are compatible with Instagram and Facebook’s dimensions.

Developers must ensure their platforms are operating accurately with in-app purchases by including such social media apps as part of their test automation at scale, both from a visual standpoint as well as from a functional one.

DevOps teams are busy working like Santa’s elves to accommodate new devices and operating system (OS) releases. They must consider each and every device and OS on the market when preparing their apps for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To start, they should make sure the testing lab is properly configured to cover a range of device and OS combinations to avoid glitches. From there, they can prioritise testing on new devices due for release closest to the holiday selling period, while not neglecting those legacy and older versions that are likely to still be popular.

As retailers look to come out on top this holiday shopping season, the availability, user experience and performance of their apps will dictate their success.

The holiday season is here and developers need to be prepared in order to ensure sufficient test coverage on the right platforms and scenarios.

The editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members.

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