SOASTA http://www.soasta.com Cloud Testing for Performance Intelligence Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:17:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SOASTA to offer mobile application testing tips in upcoming webinar http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/soasta-to-offer-mobile-application-testing-tips-in-upcoming-webinar/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soasta-to-offer-mobile-application-testing-tips-in-upcoming-webinar http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/soasta-to-offer-mobile-application-testing-tips-in-upcoming-webinar/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 17:55:49 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/soasta-to-offer-mobile-application-testing-tips-in-upcoming-webinar/ When it comes to mobile applications, testing is key. However, when and how this testing takes place can considerably differ depending on the type of application and the approach being leveraged for development. Whatever strategy is used, though, testing plays an integral role in the creation, launch and lifecycle of a mobile application.

Testing provides a number of opportunities and benefits for developers and QA team members, including the ability to pinpoint any problems with the application and address these before product launch. This way, users receive the best possible version of the application and can have a favorable experience using it.

While there's no doubt that mobile application testing is important, some teams may be at a loss as far as what aspects to test, when to automate these processes and how to deal with any issues that might arise. Thankfully, SOASTA and Utopia are seeking to answer these questions and more with their upcoming Mobile App Testing Checklist webinar on September 24. Before participating in the webinar, however, let's take a look at some of the different elements to keep in mind with mobile application testing.

Types of mobile application tests
Mohan Kumar and Manish Chauhan of Infosys noted in a recent white paper that there are several different types of tests that developers and QA teams should carry out, including usability, compatibility, interface and services testing. In addition, many teams also engage in low level resource, operational and security testing.

However, some of the most important trials are those connected with the application's performance. Performance testing can involve a number of different aspects, such as checking the server connections, response time, code optimization, battery and memory consumption. ISTQB noted that performance testing can also extend to the app's functionality with other device processes, including if processes are impacted by incoming messages, the size of the user's mailbox or other considerations. In addition, if the app hinges on user-generated content or data, teams should test how the program performs as this content increases. The bottom line is to ensure that all features and application components operate as they should, and will provide an exceptional experience for the ultimate end user.

As there are a significant number of items to consider for performance testing, a number of teams have opted for automated tools that can streamline these processes. This way, team members need not manually set up testing environments and metrics for each specific aspect being tested – the automated performance testing tool takes care of all of this for them. The use of automated testing technology can not only shift the work away from team members, allowing them to focus on other mission-critical aspects of the product, but can also speed the application's time-to-market. The SOASTA platform provides a range of testing tools, including TouchTest, our industry-leading test automation product.

If the obstacles and risks that can emerge with mobile application testing are not addressed, the ultimate production and performance of the app could suffer. Any bugs or other issues appearing in the application can impact a number of items, including the user experience, the profits gleaned from the project and the overall reputation of the company that released it. However, tools like those provided through our SOASTA platform can mitigate these risks.

SOASTA Mobile App Testing Checklist
Want to learn more about mobile application testing? Register here for our Mobile App Testing Checklist webinar at 10 a.m. PT on Sept. 24. Founder and CTO of Utopia Solutions Lee Barnes will be joined by SOASTA senior engineer Mike Ostenberg and SOASTA vice president of product marketing Brad Johnson to share tips and expertise on common app issues, missed testing areas, when to automate, available testing technology and collecting user information.

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SOASTA Supports Testing on Any Apple Device Running iOS 8 From Day One http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soasta-supports-testing-apple-device-running-ios-8-day-one/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soasta-supports-testing-apple-device-running-ios-8-day-one http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soasta-supports-testing-apple-device-running-ios-8-day-one/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:20:18 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/?p=469901 Read more »]]> No waiting means mobile apps get out faster, no matter the form factor

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – September 17, 2014 – SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing and real user monitoring, today announced mobile app testing support on all off-the-shelf Apple devices running iOS 8 the same day as Apple iOS 8 is commercially available. This includes the larger new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones. SOASTA takes an in-app approach to testing with TouchTest, which is architected to support every new iOS release with no delay for developers.

Testing mobile devices has evolved as rapidly as mobile apps themselves. With the rise of new sizes and form factors for mobile and internet-connected devices, app developers typically have to wait weeks or months to complete manual testing before launching. Of the automated testing solutions on the market, most do not support the latest mobile operating systems and require jail breaking of new devices. This results in delays of weeks or even months after a new iOS release for automated testing to begin.

“Mobile user experiences are driving testing requirements beyond anything seen with traditional software development,” said Melinda Ballou, program director of the Application Lifecycle Management and Executive Strategies Service at IDC. “Test automation must be reliable and adapt to new form factors as fast as they become available. Responsive approaches that minimize the time needed to test can accelerate app development to help companies maintain competitiveness in the digitized marketplace.”

SOASTA’s end-to-end support for iOS 8 includes functional test automation, mobile-scale performance testing and real user monitoring of mobile iOS users.

  • TouchTest -TouchTest’s object-level automation works inside apps built for iOS, so automated tests run uninterrupted from one release to the next. Teams can build cross-form factor tests to assure user experiences for apps that are designed for cross-device operation, like the iPad or iPhone. Development and test shops can add any new device running iOS 8 to their device clouds to assure functionality on all Apple form factors
  • CloudTest - Performance is validated both on the actual devices and also at full scale with CloudTest to stress systems supporting up to millions of mobile users
  • mPulse – SOASTA also provides a complete real-time view of mobile user performance with mPulse to assure the satisfaction of mobile users no matter the form or OS version

For larger displays, wearable devices, and IoT-connected gadgets, SOASTA is uniquely prepared to support testing from the end user experience to the performance and scalability of new apps, all due to new functionality including:

  • Mobile Test Automation that will not break down release to release
  • Mobile app performance testing to cover traffic of up to millions of users, regardless of their location
  • New support for today’s responsive design across all users’ devices
  • Real mobile user monitoring, no matter the device or location

Recent research from SOASTA also offers insight on the effect of new form factors on mCommerce, as well as the appeal of IoT-enabled devices, like the Apple Watch, for consumers. When it comes to the Internet of Things, a full 67 percent of Americans say they are excited about the possibilities of IoT coming to consumer technology.

The majority of Americans who would shop on a smartphone (74 percent) say having a bigger screen would improve their shopping experience, and 79 percent of millennials (ages 18-34) agree. When asked why shopping would be better on a bigger screen, consumers gave the following reasons:

  • The ability to browse
  • Ability to comparison shop
  • More likely to make purchases
  • More likely to involve other people nearby in the shopping experience.

“The Internet of Things is here,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “Whether it’s Apple Watch or breakthroughs in health and medical mobility, user experience is king. SOASTA has been at the forefront of mobile development and is continually pushing the envelope in testing options for our customers. We don’t want a single hour of testing to be missed because automation can’t keep up. In mobile commerce, even a millisecond can mean millions in lost revenue.”

 

About SOASTA: 

SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit http://www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

 

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Ever wonder, “What If?”: SOASTA updates mPulse Real User Monitoring http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/ever-wonder-what-if-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ever-wonder-what-if-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/ever-wonder-what-if-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:26:45 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/ever-wonder-what-if-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring/ SOASTA recently announced new predictive analytics to our industry-leading Real User Monitoring solution, mPulse. Our RUM solution enables users to gather and perform an in-depth analysis of actual user data in real time, providing the ability to see how online performance impacts key business metrics like revenue, conversions and user engagement. With this most recent upgrade, users can now answer the all-important "what if" question with new advanced analytics.

User monitoring before SOASTA
Before the availability of SOASTA Real User Monitoring, companies did not have access to real-time metrics of user data. Instead, monitoring was a reactive process that hinged upon user activities and gestures that had taken place previously.

Furthermore, before organizations and developers could leverage mPulse, other solutions were limited, especially when it came to performance data. Most only provided data sampling and aggregate reporting, which fell significantly short of the insights companies needed.

mPulse bursts onto the scene
SOASTA addressed these issues, and enabled businesses and development teams to eliminate blind spots in their user monitoring processes through the use of website JavaScript tags and mobile app touch metrics. With these components in place, organizations are now able to receive notifications – or beacons – every time a user interacts with a web or mobile app. The mPulse solution aggregates beacons over a specified time period to create a high fidelity visual representation of user interactions and their experiences.

New additions to mPulse: What If analysis
Now, SOASTA has made its award-winning mPulse Real Using Monitoring solution even better with innovative new analysis features that enable groups to correctly project the impact certain performance metrics will have on bounce and conversation rates, as well as the company's overall revenue.

"Real Web and mobile users vote with their wallet when their experiences are good and withhold it when they're bad," noted SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos. "Our mPulse customers measure their revenue in milliseconds, and we continue to look for ways to help them improve business performance. The SOASTA platform helps customers proactively optimize user experiences from testing in the development lab to monitoring real users in real time. With this advance in predictive analytics. they have more visibility and control of how user performance impacts their business."

mPulse users can filter specific metrics like per page, mobile app or Web browser, user type and geographic statistics to gain a certain What If analysis in connection with each benchmark. This enables better decision-making through data-supported, accurate predictions, and also offers the ability to react to performance issues the minute they occur.

SOASTA added other new capabilities to mPulse as well, including updated iOS support, allowing users to touch certain elements in iOS applications for real-time TouchMetrics and TouchTimers data. The latest version of mPulse also comes with FlipBook, a new dashboard mode for viewing multiple dashboards, and New Dimensions, a feature providing new ways to separate and view data by category.

mPulse featured at Velocity Conference
Last year, professionals at the Velocity Conference voted mPulse the best RUM solution available. This year, SOASTA will feature mPulse and all its updates in several live presentations from SOASTA executives Buddy Bewer, Cliff Crocker and Philip Tellis.

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Ever wonder, “What If?” SOASTA updates mPulse Real User Monitoring http://www.soasta.com/real-user-monitoring/ever-wonder-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ever-wonder-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring http://www.soasta.com/real-user-monitoring/ever-wonder-soasta-updates-mpulse-real-user-monitoring/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:24:18 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/?p=469899 Read more »]]> SOASTA recently announced new predictive analytics to our industry-leading Real User Monitoring solution, mPulse.

SOASTA recently announced new predictive analytics to our industry-leading Real User Monitoring solution, mPulse. Our RUM solution enables users to gather and perform an in-depth analysis of actual user data in real time, providing the ability to see how online performance impacts key business metrics like revenue, conversions and user engagement. With this most recent upgrade, users can now answer the all-important “what if” question with new advanced analytics.

User monitoring before SOASTA
Before the availability of SOASTA Real User Monitoring, companies did not have access to real-time metrics of user data. Instead, monitoring was a re-active a process that hinged upon user activities and gestures that had taken place previously.

Furthermore, before organizations and developers could leverage mPulse, other solutions were limited, especially when it came to performance data. Most only provided data sampling and aggregate reporting, which fell significantly short of the insights companies needed.

mPulse bursts onto the scene
SOASTA addressed these issues, and enabled businesses and development teams to eliminate blind spots in their monitoring processes through the use of website JavaScript tags and mobile app touch metrics. With these components in place, organizations are now able to receive notifications – or beacons – every time a user interacts with a web or mobile app. The mPulse solution collects beacons over a specified time period to create high fidelity visual representation of user interactions and their experiences. SOASTA is the only performance platform with an in-memory analytics engine, and with it, 100% of the beacon data is collected and analyzed. Only in this way can trustworthy predictive analysis be performed. 

New additions to mPulse: What If analysis
Now, SOASTA has made its award-winning mPulse Real Using Monitoring solution even better with innovative new analysis features that enable groups to correctly project the impact certain performance metrics will have on business metrics like bounce and conversation rates, as well as the company’s overall revenue.

“Real Web and mobile users vote with their wallet when their experiences are good and withhold it when they’re bad,” noted SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos. “Our mPulse customers measure their revenue in milliseconds, and we continue to look for ways to help them improve business performance. The SOASTA platform helps customers proactively optimize user experiences from testing in the development lab to monitoring real users in real time. With this advance in predictive analytics, they have more visibility and control of how user performance impacts their business.”

mPulse users can filter specific metrics for a specific page, mobile app or Web browser, user type and geographic statistics to perform What If analysis in connection with each benchmark. This enables better decision-making through accurate, data-supported, predictions, and also offers the ability to react to performance issues the minute they occur.

SOASTA added other new capabilities to mPulse as well, including updated iOS support, allowing users to touch certain elements in iOS applications for real-time TouchMetrics and TouchTimers data. The latest version of mPulse also comes with FlipBook, a new dashboard mode for viewing multiple dashboards, and New Dimensions, a feature providing new ways to separate and view data by category.

mPulse featured at Velocity Conference
Last year, professionals at the Velocity Conference voted mPulse the best RUM solution available. This year, SOASTA will feature mPulse and all its updates in several live presentations from SOASTA executives Buddy Bewer, Cliff Crocker and Philip Tellis.

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SOASTA’s Real User Monitoring Delivers Predictive ROI Analytics with “What If” Analysis http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soastas-real-user-monitoring-delivers-predictive-roi-analytics-analysis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soastas-real-user-monitoring-delivers-predictive-roi-analytics-analysis http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soastas-real-user-monitoring-delivers-predictive-roi-analytics-analysis/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:06 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/?p=469860 Read more »]]> mPulse Predicts the Business Impact of a Millisecond of Mobile and Web Performance

VELOCITY – NEW YORK, NY – September 15, 2014 – SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing and real user monitoring, today announced updates to its award-winning Real User Monitoring (RUM) solution, mPulse. With the unique ability to collect 100% of real user data and analyze in real time, mPulse is the only solution that allows users to measure the business impact of end user performance accurately, and perform “What If” analysis to determine which areas to focus on for the best ROI.

SOASTA’s mPulse captures and analyzes 100 percent of end user performance data – from native OS and Android apps to any web and mobile browsers – so operations and business personnel have real-time and historical visibility into critical metrics, such as conversion rates and transaction values, in direct relation to user performance measurements. Now, with advancements in SOASTA’s big data analytics, users can accurately predict how changes in specific performance metrics – per page, geography, user type, mobile app or browser – will directly affect bounce rate, conversion rate, revenue and other business metrics. With “What If” analysis (patent pending), teams can make data-supported business decisions. Not only can they react instantly as performance issues occur, they can adjust to avoid issues in the future.

SOASTA mPulse WhatIf Analysis[1]

Figure 1.  SOASTA patent pending “What If” analysis enables users to predict the impact of performance changes on business results. With the confidence of results derived from a complete dataset, users can see how key business metrics like Bounce Rate, Revenue and Conversion Rates will react to adjustments in load times of specific page, transaction, OS, region or other user-defined elements.

“Real web and mobile users vote with their wallet when their experiences are good and withhold it when they’re bad,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “Our mPulse customers measure their revenue in milliseconds, and we continue to look for ways to help them improve business performance. The SOASTA platform helps customers proactively optimize user experiences from testing in the development lab to monitoring real users in real-time. With this advance in predictive analytics, they have more visibility and control of how user performance impacts their business.”

Before SOASTA, monitoring was entirely reactive, alerting teams to what already happened, not what will happen. Other real user monitoring approaches fall short of collecting all of the performance data and resort to data sampling and aggregate reporting. This is risky and inaccurate because it results in blind spots and confounding factors. Working by firing small beacons from websites when end users interact with apps, SOASTA’s mPulse has a unique scalable real time analytics engine that allows it to both deliver up-to-the-second real-time streaming dashboards, as well as ad-hoc queries on arbitrarily large historical time windows.  This real user data – up to billions of timers and metrics per day – is collected over short or long periods of time to create stunning visualizations.  Correlating performance with business metrics is easily configured in the mPulse Web interface without making changes to the website or mobile app.

Other new capabilities with the latest mPulse release include:

  • Updated mPulse iOS Support: Define TouchMetrics and TouchTimers by simply touching the relevant elements in the app to get real-time, up to the second, data from all of your real users
  • FlipBook: New dashboard mode allows customers to view multiple dashboards in a flipbook UI
  • New Dimensions: Slice and dice data in new ways, such as by browser family, OS family, device, carrier, ISP & version

At last year’s Velocity Conference, mPulse was voted the best RUM solution by top web professionals in attendance. At this year’s event, SOASTA executives Buddy Brewer, Cliff Crocker and Philip Tellis, will run several live presentations including customer testimonials, tips on determining key business metrics, and an overview on new solutions for measuring mobile and user experiences. Topics include:

SOASTA’s mPulse is available today, sign up for free access here. For companies interested in evaluating key performance metrics and implementing “What If” analysis, please contact us.

 

About SOASTA: 

SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit http://www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

 

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SOASTA Named a Leader in Gartner 2014 Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soasta-named-leader-gartner-2014-magic-quadrant-integrated-software-quality-suites/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=soasta-named-leader-gartner-2014-magic-quadrant-integrated-software-quality-suites http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/soasta-named-leader-gartner-2014-magic-quadrant-integrated-software-quality-suites/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:00:36 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/?p=469827 Read more »]]>  Cloud and mobile testing leader recognized for completeness of vision and ability to execute for second year running

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – September 10, 2014SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing, today announced it has been named a leader in Gartner’s August 28, 2014 Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites for the second year running.

According to the report, regarding leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Integrated Software Quality Suites, “These companies are well-suited as the backbone of a testing organization’s tool suite, and this is proven via a global presence and significant market share. These vendors have significant partnerships and show consistency in execution of programs, including acquisitions.”*

A complimentary copy of Gartner’s 2014 MQ for ISQS report can be obtained here.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the second year in a row,” said Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA. “It’s been a busy year with major customer wins, partner announcements, and product updates. Our vision and execution around analytics and automation are key to our customer success, and we’re focused on continuous innovation to maintain our market leadership.”

SOASTA’s solutions include:

  • CloudTest: Web and mobile performance testing leveraging the cloud or internal infrastructure
  • TouchTest: Precision functional mobile test automation using real devices
  • mPulse: Real-time, real user monitoring for web and mobile devices
  • Expertise: Start to finish support from the leading experts in cloud-based and mobile testing

SOASTA’s customers include well-recognized web and mobile apps from leading internet retailers, telecommunications companies, and media properties. SOASTA’s solutions have been used by some of the most innovative organizations including NASA and the Olympic Games.

* Gartner Note:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

About SOASTA

SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. Its innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes actual user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

 # # # 

Press Contacts

William McCormick

Grayling

(415) 442-4023

william.mccormick@grayling.com

Peter Galvin

SOASTA, Inc.

(415) 269-7343

pgalvin@soasta.com 

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Survey results show challenges for back-to-school shopping http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/survey-results-show-challenges-for-back-to-school-shopping/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survey-results-show-challenges-for-back-to-school-shopping http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/survey-results-show-challenges-for-back-to-school-shopping/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:13:45 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/survey-results-show-challenges-for-back-to-school-shopping/ Recent research shows that although there is an increased demand for online back-to-school shopping, the actual experience leaves something to be desired.

According to 2014 statistics from the National Retail Foundation, back-to-school shopping is starting earlier than ever, with 22.5 percent of adults purchasing supplies for their children a full two months before school begins. Another 44.5 percent of survey respondents noted that they shop for supplies three weeks to one month before the school year starts, and 25.4 percent shop the week before classes begin.

In addition to shopping earlier, these consumers have found a range of benefits in making their back-to-school purchases online, including the ability to do more comparative shopping and use more coupons. The National Retail Federation found that 44.5 percent of shoppers buy school supplies online because they've found there are more sales, and 21.3 percent said they spend less overall than if they were to buy at brick-and-mortar stores.

Challenges to online shopping
Although it looks like more customers turn to online platforms to do their back-to-school shopping, our most recent SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card found that the vast majority of consumers experienced issues when purchasing school supplies online. A staggering 84 percent of survey respondents noted that they had problems with their Web-based shopping, and 56 percent said that these issues would cause them to avoid using a smartphone or tablet for making back-to-school purchases in the future.

Although these consumers reported a range of problems when attempting to make purchases online, the top concern – as noted by 40 percent of survey participants – was slow website load times. When a Web page performs slowly, it could cause shopping cart abandonment, where customers leave the platform and their selected items before completing their transaction due to unfavorable performance.

Other issues highlighted by these less-than-satisfied customers included crashing websites (32 percent), websites not being optimized for mobile devices (30 percent) and experiencing problems during peak periods (25 percent). In addition, shoppers also noted that some websites didn't respond to general gestures like swipes, taps or zoom (23 percent) or simply had a bad user interface (22 percent).

A preview of the holiday shopping season
The study also found that the vast majority of customers – 90 percent – expect that if they experienced problems with a certain website in the past, chances are good that the platform will demonstrate similar issues during the holiday shopping season. In this way, if retailers aren't prepared for back-to-school consumer traffic, their poor performance could have a negative impact on their holiday sales.

SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos noted that the results of the Back to School Shopping Report Card should serve as a wake-up call for companies that don't currently engage in regular performance tests.

"As Americans increasingly embrace mobile to shop online, they are seeing back-to-school as an important test to see if their favorite stores are ready for the Christmas holiday shopping season," Lounibos pointed out. "[I]t's imperative to plan ahead and test ahead of high-anticipated volume. By properly testing their sites, stores can make sure they are able to deliver flawless mobile and Web performance under the busiest traffic conditions."

By trusting their platforms to SOASTA's best-in-class performance testing tools and expert engineer capabilities, retailers can be assured of their readiness, not only for back-to-school shoppers, but for the holiday season as well. Being prepared ahead of time is critical, especially as the end of the year shopping season approaches. Vendors can't afford to lose out on profits due to a poor performing website. Don't miss any opportunity to connect with customers – ready your website with SOASTA tools today.

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Problems with Back to School Online Shopping Show Room for Improvement for Holiday Season http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/problems-back-school-online-shopping-show-room-improvement-holiday-season/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=problems-back-school-online-shopping-show-room-improvement-holiday-season http://www.soasta.com/press-releases/problems-back-school-online-shopping-show-room-improvement-holiday-season/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:49:21 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/?p=469811 Read more »]]> SOASTA research finds 56 percent of Americans will not use their smartphone or tablet after confronting technical problems with ecommerce sites for back to school shopping

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – September 4, 2014 – SOASTA, the leader in cloud and mobile testing and real user monitoring, today revealed the results of its SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card, which found that 84 percent of Americans who made an online purchase for back to school experienced problems. The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from August 21-25, 2014 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. The survey was based on SOASTA’s experience of ensuring top quality performance for 10 of the top 10 online retailers who rely on SOASTA’s mobile and web technology.   However, a majority of Americans (56 percent) said technical problems would make them not use a smartphone or tablet for back to school shopping. The technical problem Americans named as their biggest concern was slow websites (40 percent), followed by:

  • Crashing websites – 32 percent
  • Websites not optimized for smartphone or tablets – 30 percent
  • Websites with problems during peak days and times – 25 percent
  • Websites that don’t respond to swipes, taps, or zooms – 23 percent
  • Bad user interface – 22 percent

SOASTA’s research found that a majority of Americans (55 percent) said they would find using a smartphone or tablet appealing for back to school shopping. Americans listed several reasons for this, from comparison shopping (38 percent) to avoiding other parents they don’t like at physical stores (five percent).   When they encountered problems, a majority of those who shopped online for back to school (69 percent) took action, including:

  • Consider not using the site again – 40 percent
  • Go to a competitor’s site – 37 percent
  • Tell my friend’s family about the experience – 23 percent
  • Report the site on social media – 11 percent

Out of those who had performance problems during their online back to school shopping, 90 percent expect these same sites to have the same problems during the holidays and a quarter of all Americans (26 percent) said they were not at all likely to visit a site during the holidays if it had performance problems during back to school.   “The SOASTA Back to School Shopping Report Card should be a wake-up call for online commerce sites that are not testing regularly,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO. “As Americans increasingly embrace mobile to shop online, they are seeing back to school as an important test to see if their favorite stores are ready for the Christmas holiday shopping season. As we saw with Healthcare.gov, it’s imperative to plan ahead and test ahead of high-anticipated volume. By properly testing their sites, stores can make sure they are able to deliver flawless mobile and web performance under the busiest traffic conditions.”

Methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SOASTA from August 21-25, 2014 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact: William.mccormick@grayling.com.

About SOASTA:  SOASTA is the leader in cloud testing. Its web and mobile test automation and monitoring solutions, CloudTest, TouchTest and mPulse, enable developers, QA professionals and IT operations teams to test and monitor users with unprecedented speed, scale, precision and visibility. The innovative product set streamlines test creation, automates provisioning and execution, and analyzes real user behavior in real-time to deliver actionable intelligence, faster. With SOASTA, companies have confidence that their applications will perform as designed, delivering quality user experiences every time. SOASTA’s customers are many of today’s most successful brands including Avaya, American Girl, Bonobos, Backcountry.com, Chegg, Experian, Gilt Groupe, Hallmark, Intuit, Microsoft and Netflix. SOASTA is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information about SOASTA, please visit http://www.soasta.com.

SOASTA is a registered trademark of SOASTA, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. Other product or company names mentioned may be trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

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How SOASTA ensured Bonobos was ready for Cyber Monday http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/how-soasta-ensured-bonobos-was-ready-for-cyber-monday/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-soasta-ensured-bonobos-was-ready-for-cyber-monday http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/how-soasta-ensured-bonobos-was-ready-for-cyber-monday/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:32:55 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/how-soasta-ensured-bonobos-was-ready-for-cyber-monday/ On Cyber Monday 2011, if shoppers wanted to take advantage of the deep discounts being advertised by high-end menswear retailer Bonobos, they would have been disappointed. It was on this day that the e-commerce firm experienced a crippling outage that caused them to take their website offline on one of the biggest sales days of the year.

The holiday shopping season is prime time for many retailers, and Cyber Monday is when many online vendors make much of their profits for the year. Therefore, any interruption to services around this time is disastrous for a company and calls for immediate action. However, by adequately preparing the platform ahead of time, retailers can ensure that their online offerings are more than ready for the peak traffic levels at this time of year.

More traffic than planned for
Undoubtedly, decision-makers at Bonobos did not want to run into this kind of issue ever again. According to an unofficial explanation posted by Bonobos product design lead Jon Schlossberg on Quora, the vendor's site crashed due to extremely high traffic levels that the platform simply was equipped to handle.

"In short, we experienced 10x more traffic than we planned for," Schlossberg wrote. "And we planned for a ton. The incredibly high volume revealed several major issues with our infrastructure, the worst of which resulted in charges to customers' credit cards without an order being placed."

After discovering the issues – which also included severely slow load times before the website crashed and was taken offline – the company refunded any erroneous charges and issued personal apologies to each customer along with a $20 store credit.

This was not the only problem facing Bonobos, however. The company still had to address the back-end complications with its website to ensure the platform would never again be unavailable to customers, especially at such a pivotal time of year.

Performance testing provides the key 
In order to address the infrastructure issues Schlossberg noted, Bonobos turned to SOASTA for our best-in-class performance testing capabilities. To prevent a second crash due to high traffic levels, SOASTA engineers ran a range of tests on Bonobos's website that simulated the actual gestures consumers make: signing in, browsing through products, adding items to the shopping card and checking out using different payment methods. After each test was completed, the variables were adjusted and the trial was ran a second time to ensure not a single element was able to slip through the cracks unconsidered.

The tests also resulted in a specialized diagnostic report providing insights on website load times depending on consumer traffic levels, how much power and memory the platform was utilizing as well as details of the errors that lead to the Cyber Monday crash. By having this information on hand, Bonobos was able to pinpoint its website issues and correct them to assure a positive shopper experience.

The tests illuminated an error within the company's checkout process where the customer's address did not copy over from a previous location. This caused an error message to appear, preventing the shopper from completing their purchase. This problem was immediately corrected, as was the resulting performance issue.

The SOASTA advantage
In addition to highlighting Bonobos's performance hitches, SOASTA engineers were also able to design tests for the company that can be utilized year after year to ensure proper functionality.

"We save the tests from one year to the next, which helps cut down on the time and effort spend setting up the next time," said Bonobos CTO Michael Hart. "The ability to easily create tests and execute them at a reasonable price makes it a no-brainer for us."

The year after Bonobos's website crashed, the company saw traffic levels that were 64 times the normal level. Thanks to the tools and insights provided by SOASTA, the website performed optimally throughout Cyber Monday and the entire year. 

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Provide peak services this holiday season with SOASTA’s Blueprint http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/provide-peak-services-this-holiday-season-with-soastas-blueprint/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=provide-peak-services-this-holiday-season-with-soastas-blueprint http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/provide-peak-services-this-holiday-season-with-soastas-blueprint/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:42:19 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/provide-peak-services-this-holiday-season-with-soastas-blueprint/ The holiday season is a stressful, yet lucrative time of year for retailers, and all the more so for online retailers. When this holiday season kicks into gear, retailers have to be ready for the significant uptick in customer traffic, especially when it comes to their online performance.

All 10 of the top 10 American retailers count on SOASTA to provide the mobile and Web monitoring tools required to ensure industry-best service year after year, even during their busiest season. This puts SOASTA in a paramount position to offer advice and direction as vendors ready themselves for the coming months. In this spirit, SOASTA has unveiled its Perform At Your Peak, Holiday 2014 Performance Training Guide, which provides essential information and insights particular to this time of year.

"Holiday shopping is the most important time of the year for e-commerce retailers globally, and with substantial consumer adoption of mobile and online shopping, retailers must deliver flawless experience to their customers," said our CEO Tim Lounibos. "Just a one second delay could cause an e-commerce site generating $10,000 a day to lose $250,000 annually. Delays and downtime during the holiday season could seriously impact revenue."

Downtime isn't the only costly issue that could affect retailers during the holiday season. We discovered that if a website takes more than three seconds to load, almost half of all customers – 40 percent – will simply abandon the page in favor of something faster. Retailers can't afford to lose clients and revenues in this manner, and for this reason, they must prepare for the holiday season accordingly to guarantee they have poised to provide the best services possible.

Holiday preparations: A year-round process
While it is no doubt key to prepare for the holiday season beforehand, many organizations don't realize that these readiness steps take place long before Thanksgiving and even Halloween. Included in SOASTA's Holiday 2014 Performance Training Guide are our top five performance tips for getting ready for the holidays, including advice for planning in the New Year, assessing performance in the spring, monitoring and load testing continuously throughout the year, and finally starting the marketing push.

  1. Plan at the Beginning of the Year: This step includes analyzing the historical data from last year's holiday season, recognizing the peak traffic periods and examining how even a one-second delay here could impact overall profits.
  2. Assess in the Spring: Here, retailers should take a look at their hardware, storage and database systems as well as their overall network to gauge its performance. Vendors should also ensure that their environment is secured from any threats and tune their applications and websites. These critical platforms should have an established performance baseline so that optimization and load tests are all the more beneficial.
  3. Monitor continuously: E-commerce companies should seek to measure their shoppers' overall experiences, the performance of their mobile and Web applications, as well as their traffic levels to get an insightful picture of their organization as a whole. These groups should also examine any single points of failure connected to third-party partners, including content delivery networks, payment gateways and advertising services, to guarantee that they are operating as they should.
  4. Load test continuously: Retailers should load test their systems throughout the year to ensure that resources are ready for traffic spikes and any potential for an issue around the holiday season is mitigated. These processes should include leveraging the cloud to test for traffic spikes and testing every system, even those that are traditionally overlooked.
  5. Begin the marketing push: Once the holiday season is approaching, organizations can begin their marketing operations. Within this step, plans should encompass campaign management, connecting with stakeholders and testing any and all promotions and discount pages. Vendors should also put a hold on any application changes and confirm earlier-predicted traffic scales. Finally, e-commerce firms should run a full-scale performance test in production to ensure that everything is ready for the holiday rush.

By following these tried and true steps in conjunction with the performance testing tools offered by SOASTA, retailers can guarantee that they are fully prepared for the holiday season and all the consumer traffic that comes with it. Last year, sales reached an astounding $1.735 billion on Cyber Monday alone, and this year is poised to shatter that record. Be ready for the rush and utilize the resources of the top 10 retailers in the U.S. with SOASTA.

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Back-to-school shopping moves online: Performance testing for uptick in mobile traffic http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/back-to-school-shopping-moves-online-performance-testing-for-uptick-in-mobile-traffic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=back-to-school-shopping-moves-online-performance-testing-for-uptick-in-mobile-traffic http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/back-to-school-shopping-moves-online-performance-testing-for-uptick-in-mobile-traffic/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:20:27 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/back-to-school-shopping-moves-online-performance-testing-for-uptick-in-mobile-traffic/ Before the rise of e-commerce, this would be the time of year when parents fought through the school supply aisle, list in hand, trying to ensure their child will have everything they need to be successful during the school year. Recently, however, consumers seem to be ditching the bustling, often unorganized school supply section at their local brick-and-mortar retailer in favor of shopping online from the comfort of their own homes.

This time of year marks the beginning of the busiest season for retailers. Fox Business calls this “make or break time,” as back-to-school shopping is only the beginning. With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, retailers must ensure that they are prepared for the increase in customer traffic that is sure to come as students return to class through the holiday season.

Spending more, spending smarter
According to Independent Retailer contributor John Gregory, although back-to-school sales fell by several billion dollars last year, these figures are expected to increase again this season largely thanks to online platforms. These sales are forecasted to rise 16 percent this year, with the average online shopper spending an estimated $50.17 on his or her classroom items.

The source noted that these variations in back-to-school sales year over year signal the impact that online mobile shopping is having on the retail industry. Nowadays, even if customers do visit a physical retailer with their school supply list, they will likely check other vendors’ prices via their smartphone.

“It is widely believed that fluctuations in back-to-school spending are attributed to consumers shopping smarter with mobile, looking for the best deals, sometimes ‘showrooming’ in-store and limiting purchases to necessities,” Gregory wrote.

In addition to leveraging their smartphones while in physical retailer locations, research also shows that the vendors with the highest back-to-school sales are the ones boasting both an online and real-world presence. A rising number of consumers are favoring websites that allow them to choose their items from the online platform and pick them up at their local branch store. Gregory noted that the vendors that will do the best this back-to-school season are the ones that provide a seamless experience across their physical and online stores.

An overall push toward e-commerce
While some parents are still opting for traditional avenues for their back-to-school shopping, more are leveraging e-commerce retailers for specific items. An independent AOL study found that nearly half of all electronics purchases now take place online. And with the increased focus on connected devices in schools – including smartphones, laptops and tablets – this figure is sure to increase in the near future.

Overall, the majority of consumers - 68 percent – are planning to spend more online for back-to-school items this year. The shift toward e-commerce platforms for school supply needs is similar to the change occurring with holiday shopping: Customers are finding that online shopping provides more benefits.

“Consumers will shop online as long as it is convenient and offers competitive pricing, better service and a wider product selection,” Gregory wrote.

Online retailers: Be ready for the rush
However, if consumers do not receive the level of service they expect from an online vendor, there are plenty of other options for them to ensure that their child has every classroom item they need for the school year. To maintain a competitive edge during this all-important season, retailers have to be ready for the rush.

One of the best ways e-commerce vendors can prepare themselves for the uptick in consumer traffic is with performance testing. This critical resource will show retailers just how well their online platform will function as parents and students flood the site to purchase their back-to-school items.

Solutions like SOASTA’s Real User Monitoring can demonstrate just how much traffic a website is able to handle through analysis of the real-time gestures of consumers and the platform’s performance. By analyzing information gathered from actual users’ browsers, this system can provide invaluable insights for retailers, including page load times and conversion rates. Armed with this data, e-commerce vendors can ensure that their online stores are ready for the back-to-school rush and any necessary adjustments are made before the seasonal uptick in traffic.

SOASTA also provides a best-in-class mobile application testing system so that vendors can guarantee that every piece of their service footprint is prepared. The CloudTest solution offers real-time analytics and complex testing environments not available with any other solution.

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Prepare now: Develop websites now for uptick in consumer traffic at start of the holiday shopping season http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/prepare-now-develop-websites-now-for-uptick-in-consumer-traffic-at-start-of-the-holiday-shopping-season/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=prepare-now-develop-websites-now-for-uptick-in-consumer-traffic-at-start-of-the-holiday-shopping-season http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/prepare-now-develop-websites-now-for-uptick-in-consumer-traffic-at-start-of-the-holiday-shopping-season/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:10:05 +0000 http://www.soasta.com/soastas-trends-blog/prepare-now-develop-websites-now-for-uptick-in-consumer-traffic-at-start-of-the-holiday-shopping-season/ Research shows that consumers spend the most toward the beginning of the holiday shopping season, making it more important than ever to be prepared. Customers won't wait for a slow website or mobile app that doesn't keep up with their needs – especially during the holidays, when there are a plethora of other offers attracting their attention. This year, it is absolutely critical that retailers are prepared for the influx of visitors that will inevitably flood their online platforms, and these readiness efforts must begin sooner rather than later.

Judging by last year's holiday shopping season
Taking into account the activities of last year's shoppers, this year promises to be one of the biggest consumer purchasing season to date. According to IBM's research of Black Friday 2013, online sales peaked late in the evening on Thanksgiving day, and then again in the morning that Friday.

Much of this uptick in early seasonal shopping came due to mobile consumers, as IBM found that nearly 25 percent of all online traffic during last year's Black Friday came from smartphones, and more than 14 percent came from tablets.

On top of this, comScore found that despite predictions to the contrary, shoppers spent less as Christmas Day approached. During the week preceding the big holiday, consumer spending tapered off. These findings, combined with IBM's research, illustrate just how important it is to be adequately prepared before the shopping season takes hold.

What components should retailers prepare?
There are a number of aspects that retailers should have ready long before the holiday shopping season begins, including the shopping cart, payment options and security measures, Business News Daily pointed out.

However, one of – if not the – most important consideration to make is the fact that the platform will see a large spike in user traffic that will likely outpace levels experienced throughout the rest of the year. In fact, InformationWeek contributor Kevin Casey noted that online vendors should expect a 200 percent increase or more in the amount of traffic during the Thanksgiving weekend alone. Black Friday, on the other hand, can bring an 800 percent surge in traffic. Therefore, being unprepared for these events could spell disaster for a company, causing them to lose out on untold customer connections and profits.

"Obviously planning is key," CorraTech COO Michael Harvey told Casey. "[A]ll eyes need to be carefully monitoring system performance."

In order to ensure readiness, retailers should leverage performance testing tools to gauge just how their online platforms will operate under the stress of added users. Testing in virtual environments through solutions like SOASTA's CloudTest can provide the necessary insights for e-commerce companies to prepare their websites for the holiday shopping traffic surge. In addition, real-time analytics provide an up-to-the-minute picture of website performance, an unmatched ability in the current industry.

So, don't be caught unprepared this holiday season. Test the performance of websites and mobile applications with the SOASTA platform to guarantee that these all-important platforms aren't just ready for holiday shoppers, but are optimized to ensure an enjoyable consumer experience.

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