QA Lounge

How the E-Commerce Company Locamo Addresses Existing Challenges in Product Development

Jonathan Blümel • May 24, 2018

The diversity of the digital product landscape offers many a tricky challenge for QA Manager.

Leading companies such as the US giant GAFA, but also other global players such as Samsung have created in recent years with the market introduction of different digital devices in extensive product lines, each with different hardware and software, a very complex equipment landscape.

According to various Statista surveys, 2018 users will have access to a variety of different operating systems, device types, and browser versions that will enable them to serve desktop or mobile applications and websites. In addition, each operating system and browser has different versions currently being run by users. Even more complex is the fact that most users are not concerned with updating their systems as new versions become available.

Especially from the QA perspective, this variety of different devices, systems and versions can be a challenge when it comes to cover all common combinations of devices (desktop, tablet or smartphone), systems and browsers, but without outdated setups still to be used neglect. After all, digital products are to be delivered that function flawlessly and as intended with as many end users as possible.

German e-commerce company Locamo has been helping retailers throughout Germany combine their online business with stationary trade for three years. By linking the online marketplace and city portals, customers benefit from sales incentives via all relevant sales channels and touchpoints. At the same time, locations and retail structures are strengthened and remain attractive, lively, individual. After researching over 1.5 million products on Locamo, users can decide for themselves whether they want to order their products immediately online or buy the product after a personal, on-site consultation at a nearby shop – where they support the stationary trade.

How Crowdtesters Manage the Variety of Devices

For the further development of its digital marketplace, the German e-commerce company Locamo, in cooperation with Applause, has successfully accepted the challenge of device coverage through extensive functional and exploratory testing. Together with the project manager from Applause, Locamo determines the test scope and the ‘Hero Devices’ before each test cycle.

Testers from the Applause community provide the test devices required for testing – with all desired operating systems, device types, browser versions, and more. In addition, they develop new, valuable perspectives on the product through their perspective as an impartial consumer.

Based on prescribed test scenarios and test cases, Locamo’s QA Managers at Functional Testing test all functions and page components of their web portal by passing selected Applause Community testers through the typical user workflow from product research through to payment. Using exploratory testing, Locamo also ensures that even bugs that were not included in the test framework are identified. In doing so, there is a special focus on the registration area, the payment route and the tutorial area for dealers.

The Practical Added Value of Functional and Exploratory Testing for Ongoing Product Development

The timely availability of testers from the Applause Community allows Locamo to request a test cycle on Friday before closing time and to receive the results of the tests already on Monday for the new development sprint. Alternatively, occasionally test cycles are performed overnight and the results are delivered the next day. The issues reported by the testers are documented using screenshots or videos and entered directly into the project management tool.

In this way, Locamo gets a detailed user perspective with the help of which not only bugs, but also UX aspects can be found. This allows Locamo’s product managers to regularly rethink, simplify and ultimately adapt user experience to user needs. The combination of functional and exploratory testing also benefited Locamo’s developers, who are able to exclude potential sources of error at an early stage based on experience.

The central expectation of Locamo for the testing with Applause was and still is that the quality of the new release versions is constantly improved by the tests. Thanks to optimum device coverage by the right tester, the variety of different device combinations can be optimally taken into account. Since Locamo’s start of cooperation with Applause (end of 2016), Locamo has found that the number of errors found has decreased from test run to test run, the number of hotfixes after a new release has been significantly reduced, and overall the quality of the product has significantly increased.

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