Technology advances more rapidly than ever, forcing companies to rethink their business models, adapt their products and restructure their IT landscapes. Consequentially, many companies that previously only had real world stores have decided to invest in online alternatives. Clothes, technical gadgets and even furniture, items which previously have only been available for offline purchasing, can now be ordered online and shipped directly to buyers’ homes. This development has created two distinct advantages: Firstly, companies are allowed to offer a new and often superior service to customers. Secondly, customers have come to expect this service. If it is possible, it should be available. With smartphones and tablets on the rise, one of the prerequisites for high-quality customer service is a responsive corporate website. Those who offer user-friendly platforms gain a competitive edge. But what does that mean? What does the customer really want? Which expectations does he have regarding digital offers like online shops and apps? Crowdtesting, a new method of software quality assurance, can be an answer to all of these questions.
Crowdtesting uses the collective intelligence of a filterable crowd from the online world to test software like apps and websites. This method simulates reality, therefore benefitting from an enormous variety of end devices and operating system combinations, which helps to overcome traditional limitations in internal software testing teams as well as eliminates operational blindness. Most importantly, with a pool of thousands and thousands of testers, the vast diversity of characteristics makes it possible to choose the exact target group for the software. The crowd represents all facets of society and differs in age, education, employment, salary and personal interests. This allows companies to have the chance to learn more about the wishes and expectations of their potential clients, prior to release of their software and outside of artificial laboratory conditions. For example, a shop that specializes in children’s clothing would have a group of testers which consist of parents. As children’s clothes are mostly bought by women, there would be more mothers or grandmothers represented amongst the testers. This target audience tests the online shop with the help of typical use cases and qualitative/quantitative questions, which have been defined by the crowdtesting provider and the client. Do the testers like the design and the structure of the website? How easy is it to navigate? Do they miss filter functions or do they wish for additional services, like a section for recommended products? Is placing an order a smooth process and is their preferred paying method available? The feedback of testers is then analyzed by the crowdtesting provider, with the result being concrete recommendations for action.
Does optimizing the quality of the shop according to the exact wishes of the client sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Ask the Crowd.
Written by Franziska Stieglmair from Testbirds.