Deloitte recently posted its annual retail holiday sales forecast for 2017. While the ink continues to dry from their press run, I can’t look away from these projections without recalling my days as a retail marketer when holiday “storm” preparation began with the team still in flip-flops months earlier. Even though I’m now focused on software load testing and performance testing, it’s still about delivering positive user experiences. For Neotys retail customers preparing for their own holiday push, application performance is a competitive advantage.
- “Retail sales should rise a healthy 4-4.5 % YoY, or, $1.04-$1.05 trillion between November and January”
- “eCommerce will see an “18-21 % lift (or, $111-$114 billion) over the season”
The article goes on to laud the drivers of this year’s growth – combination of a thriving industry marked by influx of new, niche retailer options, AND, a consumer with a stronger disposable income over last year.
What’s clear is that the more choices in front of the customer, the fiercer the competition is going to be to win them over. Holiday retail “winners” will rally around a customer focus, creating seamless shop-to-purchase experiences regardless of the device.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s Holiday Readiness Starts with Load Testing
It goes without saying, that retailers can never be too prepared for the annual frenzy. As much as you can design and test, even under the most realistic of scenarios, the “will my site hold up under projected order volume?” concern can live throughout the season for any performance testing team.
An online order system’s readiness for holiday is huge, and for one of our retail customers, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., it’s something their performance testing team is focused on preparing for all year long. With a healthy digital footprint that includes 40+ eCommerce desktop and mobile sites, performance is so important that they annually designate a “war room” team responsible for load testing. This team is led by Ajay Pedhagandham, QA Manager, who recently sat down with us to share some of the group’s recent experiences associated with the yearly exercise.
Suffice it say that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has met the holiday readiness peak order thresholds every year since 2010 – not coincidentally, the year they started using NeoLoad over their legacy solution. They’ve also seen a reduction in scripting time/test maintenance by over 80% (7 days down to 1).