Finding more revenue, comprehensive quality, and a sneak peek into the next big thing in mobile experience

Reading Time : 11min read
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A quick intro

In this blog, we’re going to walk through the importance of comprehensive mobile quality. Then, we are going to end the blog with a quick sneak peek of the next big thing in Mobile Experience (spoiler alert: we are building it).

We hope you enjoy!

The problem: low tolerance and abandonment of apps + other revenue-generators

If industry research has shown us anything, it’s that tolerance for poor mobile experiences is low. And when I say low, I mean lower than what anybody might expect. Take the example of app abandonment: research shows that one in four mobile applications will be abandoned after their FIRST use. The folks over at Mordor Intelligence say it best in their report on the Mobile Application testing market:

“Mobile users, unlike desktop users, have a high propensity to shift between applications and the tolerance for applications lacking in user experience, performance, and functionality is low.” 


So, we know that tolerance is low. But what are the real-world consequences (AKA, what are the business implications)? Let’s take a look at e-commerce and shopping cart abandonment as an example. Now one of the most mobile-critical industries, companies are finding the potential to capture new revenue streams by way of the “mobile shopping cart.” However, this doesn’t work if the quality is low. But, let’s back this up with some stats.

A deep-dive into alarming stats around shopping cart abandonment

First, let’s look at shopping cart abandonment. The Baymard Institute found that, across 41 different Cart abandonment rate statistics, there was an average of a 69.57% documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. And, if you thought that was bad, take a look at that number for mobile-specific users. According to Barilliance, “Mobile has the highest cart abandonment rate, with 85.65% of all transactions ending without a sale.” The close second was tablets which “converted sales 80.74% of the time.” And this abandonment matters. According to industry research, e-commerce brands alone lose 18 billion USD in yearly sales revenue.


Why is this happening?

Now, one might say that this could be for a variety of reasons. I agree, this certainly is always the case. However, I would make the case that a large portion of this abandonment is due to quality-related issues.

Research by RetailDive tells us that this abandonment is largely a result of e-commerce shops not being optimized for a quality mobile experience, and when we look into the nitty-gritty of this (I am citing the 2018 study by Baymard), approximately 43% of their respondents pointed to issues related to the website having errors and the process of using the shopping cart to be too long and/or complicated. Baymard also found that slow loading times resulted in a 75% higher chance of abandonment, and more research has found that 57% of online consumers will abandon a site if they have to wait for more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

Forging a path ahead, with quality at the core + a sneak peek into what we’re building

Now, there are many many other statistics out there around shopping cart abandonment that are easily accessible via a quick Google search. However, I want to stop here and put an end to the gloom and doom of abandonment rates and look at the way forward, and I want to do it through a quality-driven approach.

What long/complicated processes, sites crashing, and load times have in common is that they can all be solved for/prevented during the development and testing phase of your product’s lifecycle, as long as teams take the correct approach. And the market has caught on to this fact.

Mordor Intelligence predicts that the Mobile Application Testing Services Market is expected to reach USD 8.23 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 15.37% between 2020 and 2025. But the question remains: what is the right approach?


Comprehensive quality

At Kobiton, we take a comprehensive approach to mobile quality. We see the issues related to function, performance, and visual/design issues as all mobile-crucial, and we believe that testing teams should have access to solutions that will empower them to ensure that quality exists at the core of their development, testing, and delivery processes–and then ultimately at the core of the product that they ship. Let’s take a look at what these kinds of quality require. 

Functional Testing for the mobile testing team

Simply put, functional testing is meant to ensure that your application functions properly. While sometimes talked about as the most basic kind of testing activity, functional testing doesn’t always seem so basic and simple when it comes to the job of the tester–especially for mobile teams.

The functional tester is in charge of making sure that the application’s interface works and that it interacts as expected with the rest of an integrated system. Some examples of functional testing for a mobile application might include:

  • Accessing the app and then shutting it down
  • Logging in to an application (in a black-box testing fashion)
  • Testing an “end to end” user process from starting an E-commerce app to purchasing a product
  • Starting up the application after an interruption
  • Making sure that swipes and screen presses register properly

While these actions may seem simple, it’s a whole different game when it comes to ensuring functional quality across the myriad of different devices, OS’s, form factors, etc. While ensuring app compatibility across different devices is often spoken of as its own category of testing (Compatibility Testing), the best and most effective mobile Functional Testing practices are able to build some levels of Compatibility Testing into their Functional Testing workflows.


Performance Testing matters

As we saw earlier, slow loading times lead to a 75% higher chance of lost revenue via shopping cart abandonment with 57% of shoppers found to abandon shopping carts if they have to wait for more than 3 seconds for a page to load.

Key takeaway: Your boss’ boss’ boss is really going to care about your app performing well.

Key recommendation: make sure you implement Performance Testing best practices within your overarching testing strategy. 

Performance Testing can take many forms. The mobile testing team has to be concerned with many different factors when it comes to mobile app performance, including: 

  • CPU utilization
  • App performance under various network conditions (think 5G, 4G, Wifi, switching networks, etc.)
  • Payload
  • App request and response times

When capturing this information around your mobile app performance, it’s going to be crucial that you also have video footage and screenshots available of your test session so that you can see exactly what actions, test steps, etc. cause performance dips so that you can best inform your Developers where and how to improve performance before your application’s next update is released.

Don’t forget how the application looks: Visual Testing for the mobile team

There’s a reason why solutions like Applitools have recently blown up in the market. Enterprises have recognized that their applications also need to look as expected alongside meeting performance and function expectations. And, it turns out that visual quality actually bleeds into both the perceived functional and performance quality/experience that your user has with an application. Let’s take the classic example of white text vs red text on a white background in the case of a mobile banking app on multiple devices running two different operating systems and screen sizes.

The user on device #1: I just received an overdraft notification via email. I’m not sure how this happened, but my bank sent me an email and they told me that I need to make sure I access my account and transfer funds within the next 24 hours to avoid overdraft penalties like fees and an impacted credit score. I immediately open my banking app, and I meet the log-in screen. Because I’m nervous and anxious to get this fixed, I accidentally type in the wrong password. I hit log-in. I get an error message via red text above the log-in field, and I correctly input my password. I log in and find that there was a simple mistake where certain funds were being held longer than expected. I transfer money from my savings account into my checking, and all is right in the world.

Now, for user #2, the same exact thing happens until the user tries to log in. So, picking up from the log-in step:

The user on device #2: This time, instead of the error message, Nothing happens. I wonder if I just hit the wrong area of the screen. So I hit the log-in button again. Still nothing. I try again a third time. 

Now, I’m taken to a new screen that says I am locked out from accessing my banking app because I entered in the wrong password too many times. But, I wasn’t even notified that I had entered in the wrong password. My response? A 1 star review in the app store.

So, what happened?

Both users were using the same app, but on different phones running different operating systems and screen sizes. A defect is raised, and the support team looks into the issue and finds that the second user’s app did in fact raise an “incorrect password” message, but that message was somehow displayed in white text instead of red. The background of the banking app is white, so the text didn’t ever appear visibly for the end-user.

Both users were using the same app, but on different phones running different operating systems and screen sizes. A defect is raised, and the support team looks into the issue and finds that the second user’s app did in fact raise an “incorrect password” message, but that message was somehow displayed in white text instead of red. The background of the banking app is white, so the text didn’t ever appear visibly for the end-user.

A sneak peek into the next generation of Mobile Experience: Project NOVA

Finally: the sneak peek.

We gave you a small “look behind the curtain” in our last ITA release blog, but we are building so much more. As the weeks progress, we will continue to drop hints about our next big leap in Mobile Experience and what it means for your team. For this week’s sneak peek, we’re giving you a glimpse into our newest AI project: Project NOVA.

Project NOVA has been in the works for some time now, and it’s a project aimed at further improving the AI at the core of what we do here at Kobiton. While I can’t give away too much information, I can let you all know that we have a whole new experience planned for the mobile-first team. Project NOVA is going to help empower teams to cover each area of comprehensive mobile quality that we have talked about today, and they’ll be able to do almost all of it with scriptless automation. That means:

  • Functional Testing
  • Visual Testing that includes Visual Validation and Visual Design/UX testing (more on this later, but look near the bottom of this blog for a quick reminder)
  • Performance testing
  • Compatibility testing baked into all of the above

Keep your eyes open for our next blog and sneak peek coming out in the next week or two! Until then, happy testing!

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