Recent web traffic analysis shows that many Social Retailers are getting an enormous amount of traffic from mobile devices. In the case of LivingSocial, they’re getting more traffic from mobile than the desktop. Breaking down mobile traffic between the apps and the mobile web, the web is preferred over apps nearly two-fold. This affinity of LivingSocial users for mobile websites is in line with general mobile retail shopping preference finding revealed in a recent Keynote Mobile Study.
So it would stand to reason that LivingSocial is doing everything possible to maximize the performance of their websites on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Yet, looking at results in the Keynote Startup 3-Screen Index, their performance isn’t where you’d hope it would be. On tablets the 43.9 second average response time of their site is downright painful, faring far worse than the average startup.
But the mobile challenge LivingSocial faces is ones other companies would love to have. Their customers and prospects are actively seeking them out on mobile devices and with a few improvements, the company can quickly improve the mobile user experience. For smartphone users they’re delivering a clean, simple website designed in accordance to many mobile best practices. However with 300 KB of content it is on the heavy side. Trimming down the size of the site delivering fewer and lighter content could lead to faster downloads.
Worse yet, they make the iPad user go through a 3 step registration process that isn’t required of smartphone users. Mobile websites are important for all retailers because they’re far more discoverable than apps which require a download from an app store. Three additional steps needed to get to a home page increases the likelihood of user abandonment. Requiring upfront registration and collecting information is very common in Social Retail. But if fake information will get you to the destination, companies should weigh what’s gained in collecting junk data against the potential loss of real prospects.
Cross-browser compatibility is a priority that can no longer be ignored. Balance between pre-release quality assurance testing and ongoing monitoring of a production site in a cross-browser environment needs to be understood. To prove website performance in every major browser, cross browser issues need to be identified and resolved while the site is being built. This ensures pages are loaded correctly across which ever browser the user uses.
The ultimate purpose of website performance monitoring is to monitor and keep up the robustness of the entire site infrastructure – performance and availability.
Many of these issues are browser-agnostic – if the server has an outage, it’s out for all browsers – but some do involve specific browsers. Microsoft recommends developers use a strategy of detecting for specific features rather than for different browsers. Whichever strategy is used, the most critical step in the multiple-browser development process is detailed, comprehensive pre-release quality assurance testing. A very thorough solution includes end-user monitoring using live installations of the two leading browsers, IE and Firefox. Regular scheduled testing with an alternate browser needs to be supplemented with continuous monitoring with one of the major browsers.
The demand for enhanced mobile applications, content and services is growing. As a real-time on-demand mobile solution should ensure quality before you push out dynamic content and mobile Web services to live environments.
A mobile testing and monitoring solution lets you test mobile content by quickly switching handset models, or carrier networks. This way you can cover more devices and networks all from your desktop.
You can test mobile Web content using advanced scripting engine to implement sophisticated test cases. This can be done over the internet or over live networks by quickly changing carrier profiles without having to leave your office.
These test cases can then be executed on a regular basis delivering instant results through one unified Web portal.
By mobile web monitoring and benchmarking performance and availability of mobile services down to each step of a transaction, you can ensure the quality of your subscribers’ mobile experience.
When you need a mobile monitoring solution reflecting true user experience, make sure of the pointers below:
● Does this accurately measure response time on the route taken on a mobile network to the target Web server?
● How do I download content that has been added by the mobile operator in-stream during Web content download to accurately represent the end user experience?
● Can I ensure that I’m downloading the exact content served by the Web server depending on the requesting device?
● Does this solution capture the multi threaded behavior of a mobile browser for specific requesting devices?
When you need to check the availability of your pure content and want to view it over the network, make sure you ask:
● How do I accurately measure only the availability of my mobile Web content, bypassing the mobile operator?
When you want to make sure that your native apps are providing a specific end-user experience, make sure you ask:
● Does this measuring and monitoring process run its tests on real target devices?
When choosing a vendor to provide mobile measuring and monitoring technology, make sure that the vendor has the technology and the depth of resources to provide test results that reflect the true end-user experience. Educate yourself on the issues and technologies available before making a decision.
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There are some unique challenges when it comes to testing mobile applications. These challenges with mobile testing will present you with trade-offs that you need to consider and choices that you will need to mix on the different techniques and methods that you will use in testing.
There are pros and cons associated with each testing option and there will probably be no one testing option that is complete and satisfying. So you will need to consider a testing strategy that combines different testing options that together will provide you with an overall testing result, which is a balance between cost, quality and time to market.
Similar to the web, a mobile web application can be viewed by consumers around the world. Even if the application is targeted to a limited geography, it helps us understand the global problem. We can explore different technology options to manage the challenges in different ways.
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