Non-Negotiables for Black Friday Online Shopping
November 21, 2023

Kapil Tandon

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Black Friday is a time when consumers can cash in on some of the biggest deals retailers offer all year long. But in this digital age, the historically one-day, in-person event in brick-and-mortar stores has extended to the palm of consumers' hands. Nearly two-thirds of consumers utilize a retailer's web and mobile app for holiday shopping, raising the stakes for competitors to provide the best online experience to retain customer loyalty. Perforce's 2023 Black Friday survey sheds light on consumers' expectations this time of year and how developers can properly prepare their applications for increased online traffic.

Source: Perforce

Efficient, Secure, and Crash-Free Are Consumers' Non-Negotiables

According to nearly half of surveyed consumers, the most frustrating online shopping experience is a slow load time, with more than half of respondents saying quick page and image load times are of the utmost importance. Shoppers tend to turn to online shopping as a quick and convenient way to buy what they need in one place, so if a page or image doesn't load promptly, it could result in a frustrated customer and a lost sale. As the line continues to blur between traditional Black Friday sales at brick-and-mortar sales and online deals running from Friday to Cyber Monday, customers are no longer willing to accept slow mobile and web experiences.

Additionally, it is critical that companies protect customers' most precious data, like credit card numbers and home addresses, and the survey results prove it: nearly two-thirds of consumers expect a secure transaction, up by 10% from last year's survey. If software testing teams don't ensure a safe checkout process, they risk losing customers' trust, which not only affects a company's bottom line, but their reputation as well.

Finally, customers expect an application or website to work seamlessly, but if it doesn't, nearly three-quarters of users abandon the app — and their potential purchase — entirely. That's not all: one-third of consumers will go to a competitor's retail site if they have an unstable shopping experience. With lost revenue as a possible consequence of a retailer's poor application quality, developers must prioritize functionality.

Testing Early and Often Should Be Retailers' Non-Negotiables

Consumers abandon an application for many reasons, like a disappearing shopping cart, slow load time, crashing pages, malfunctioning discount codes, and inconsistency across platforms. Many software testing experts say the best way to catch and fix bugs and issues is to test early and often. By following the "test early and often" mantra, teams can identify problems before they affect customers.

Knowing consumers want the best deals while simultaneously checking off their holiday shopping lists without leaving the house, retailers can expect to see an influx of traffic to their digital platforms. They cannot solely rely on the results of previously conducted tests that use their average traffic numbers. To guarantee a smooth shopping experience for consumers, teams must simulate Black Friday traffic patterns and load test their applications months in advance. This is one of the best ways retailers can prepare their applications for success and stand out among their competitors.

User-Friendly Experiences: The Final Non-Negotiable

Retailers must recognize the importance of providing a user-friendly shopping experience to their customers and ensure proper performance testing is in place to defend against app crashes, lost shopping carts, and other potential issues. When companies put time and effort into simulating real-world, peak-traffic shopping events on their applications, the benefits they reap are priceless. In fact, it could mean the difference between closing a sale or handing a customer off to a competitor.

Kapil Tandon is VP of Product Management at Perforce
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