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manual tester blog
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How Manual Testers can execute Test Automation without tool/ programming knowledge – Q&A

An exclusive Interview with Muthiah – Director of Testing & Test Automation Services at ‘Expedux’ on “How Manual Testers can execute Test Automation without tool/ programming knowledge”

 

Muthiah is a seasoned testing professional with 15+  years of core testing and test automation experience across various tools and platforms.  He worked with Infosys in his earlier days in their “ITAA”, a framework that automates the manual testing process without any tool intervention.  From thereon, he carried on with his vision of enabling manual testers to implement test automation without any tool/ programming knowledge.  Muthiah finally developed the idea into reality with “Selenium Accelerator” which can help manual testers to automate Selenium focused testing without tool/ programming knowledge.  With his Q&A session, he further explains his vision, product features and how it can help a QA organization.

 

Why there is a need to retain existing Manual Testers who cannot perform test automation?

Manual testing and test automation procedures are constantly going through changes with the evolution of development and testing methodologies, practices and tools.  Application / product/ platform testing is paramount for any organization with the tricky nature of the customers.  Take the example of an E-commerce organization, if their customers find their payment not materialising (or) mobile app is slow to respond during peak hours, then it’s a case customer lost and opportunity for revenue realization missed. With the recent tilt towards implementing Test Automation as a mandatory one, QA organizations always struggle to answer certain important questions – Do I need to eradicate Manual Testing team at the cost of test automation implementation? How can I transform manual testers into programming oriented Automation testers? And finally, there is a huge gap between Test Automation Expert vs. Manual Testers in terms of cost, skill and knowledge. Our vision is to make that gap narrow as much as possible so that the team is balanced and the right skills are retained. With our Selenium accelerator, Manual testers can perform test automation minutes without Selenium or any other test automation tool knowledge.

 

With the trend is moving towards Test Automation, why Manual Testers cannot upgrade themselves to QA Automation experts?

Everyone understands the need for automation testing as it offers better & faster regression coverage.  On the other side, Manual Testers focus more on functional testing and defect leakage ratios. Couple of years back, QA organization was a combination of manual and automation testers with manual testers greatly outnumbering the automation testers. With the evolution of Agile and its variances, Test automation is considered as a highly skilled programming activity and they fall into the category of “Test Automation Developers” rather than “QA Automation Testers”. Manual testers are more focused towards the functional side of the AUT (Application under test) and it has been treated as less skilful aspect of technology that may result in a soon to be phased out division within the organization. If a manual tester wants to move himself/ herself to test automation, he or she should learn more about the tool, how to program it and how the execution cycle works. This lifecycle will vary anywhere between 6 months to 2 years based on the individual aspirations.  Organizations can implement up to 75% of test automation strategies and rest of them should be taken care with the manual testers only.  I think the future of Test Automation should be tool agnostic and the complexities of “Only Test Automation Programmer can do Automation” will be phased out.  That’s why, I feel the manual testers should be protected and balanced with the test automation experts.

 

Why did you choose Selenium for this vision?

Selenium is considered as one of the best open source test automation framework, which helps to prepare & execute test cases with automation. This is the most preferred test automation framework by software testers as well as QA Heads. Selenium has the support of some of the largest browser vendors who have taken or are taking steps to make Selenium a native part of their browser. Selenium being an Open source project has an innate capability to mould and grow in epic proportions. With the license cost curtailed as compared to the proprietary tools and strength of the Open source community pushing for more and more advancement we have seen huge growth in Selenium from 1.0 to Web driver 2.0.  If you want to create GUI tests for web applications Selenium 2 / WebDriver is the right choice. It has a detailed documentation and do not need much programming skills

 

So how Selenium Accelerator is bridging this gap?

Selenium Accelerator is a great framework and it can provide a different perspective to the test automation strategies.  With our accelerator, Manual testers & QA organizations can perform test automation in 15 minutes without Selenium tool knowledge as our product is exclusively built to support Selenium and Open Source community.  With Selenium as a foundation of our product, Exped-TAAS has the fundamentals of script less execution engine. Test cases can be written in Excel and Test case execution is handled with test case execution sheet. Configuration details are maintained in a different sheet such as Browser selection, Parallel execution or sequential execution, Email configuration and etc.  If you want to implement Selenium Test Automation strategies with manual testers, then Exped-TAAS is the logical first step for you.

 

Can you outline your Product Framework, it’s features and benefits?

diagram

 

Features

  • Supports web application testing, mobile testing (Android and IOS) and various other platforms
  • Works extremely powerful with different browsers such as Mozilla, Chrome, IE and Safari
  • Execution can be triggered automatically as per the schedule with object reusability factor
  • Extremely low cost of maintenance and extensible
  • Integrates well with Jenkins and Bamboo tools and compatible with Continuous integration methodology
  • Detailed Report generation includes last 10 iterations (Execution) that can be compared with line graph and bar graph, platform details, Test execution details such as No. of pass, No. of fails, Total test cases , each test case with line by line test steps, Screenshot at the time of failure etc.

 

Benefits

  • Since scripting is done with Excel, it is simple and easy to create test cases. Even a manual tester can write test cases once he knows about customized methods and how to trace elements from the application.
  • Manual test cases and Automation test cases can be maintained in the same sheet
  • Highly productive and scalable
  • Cost Effective since it reduces man efforts.
Top-PHP-Frameworks-For-Developers-W3Professors
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3 PHP frameworks compared: Symfony, Laravel, and Yii

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages around the world, and the recent PHP 7 release made this server-side programming language better and more stable than ever.

PHP is widely used in major projects. Facebook, for example, utilizes PHP for maintaining and creating their internal systems. WordPress uses PHP to power its internals, which in return is powering more than 26% of the web. Currently, PHP powers more than 82% of websites (whose server-side programming languages the Web Technology Surveys site can track).

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most popular PHP frameworks: Symfony, Laravel, and Yii. We’ll examine how they compare to help you decide which one might be the best fit for your needs.

 

Why pick a PHP framework?

What’s the point of using a framework instead of developing your application from scratch? A few benefits of using a framework include:

  • A PHP framework makes development faster. For example, you don’t have to write complex queries to retrieve the data from the database. PHP frameworks provide CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, and Delete).
  • Frameworks enable developers to scale systems easily.
  • Code maintenance is easier with a vanilla PHP application. The application code is concise and easy to work with.
  • The MVC model ensures rapid development.
  • Frameworks are better in securing the web application from common security threats.
  • The don’t repeat yourself (DRY) principle ensures that minimal code has maximum impact.

The above benefits are too significant to be ignored. Even though raw PHP can be used to create any application, the current development standards require tools and time-management skills to meet the market demand.

 

How to choose a PHP framework?

Answering a few questions can help you choose a framework:

  • What are the features and functionality of the framework? (Does it offer what I need?)
  • What is the learning curve of the framework?
  • How scalable is the framework?
  • Is the framework actively developed and maintained by the core team?
  • Does the framework provide long-term support (LTS support) ?
  • Does the framework have a strong community support?

Before diving into technical specifics, here’s an overview of the contenders:

 

Symfony

Symfony is a set of reusable PHP components, enabling the developer to create scalable, high-performance applications. With 30 components to choose from, the developer has the complete freedom to experiment and work in a RAD environment. Symfony APIs also enable easy integration with third-party applications, and it can be used with popular front-end frameworks, such as AngularJS.

 

Many popular projects, including Drupal and phpBB, also use Symfony framework. In fact, Laravel, the most popular PHP framework, is build off of Symfony.

 

Laravel

Laravel, which is known as the “PHP framework for Web Artisans,” offers an excellent community and wins as the most popular framework. Many hosting companies provide Laravel support and offer hosting solutions for Laravel applications. Check out “Built with Laravel” site to see great example projects.

 

Yii

Created by Qiang Xue in 2008, Yii is a secure, fast, high-performance application/web-development framework. Yii utilizes the Composer dependency manager for PHP for handling different dependencies and installations (more on it later). Yii also is the fastest PHP framework, thanks to the lazy loading technique.

Another great feature of Yii is jQuery integration. The integration enables front-end developers to embrace the framework quickly, and it uses scaffolding to generate code. Like Symfony, Yii also utilizes components to enable rapid application development.

 

How they compare

All three frameworks are great for building Web 2.0 applications, but each framework serves a different purpose. Let’s look at their features and how they stack up.

  1. Templating engines

Templating engines minimize developer effort and provides better functionality in writing front-end code. Templating engines provide features such as automatic HTML escaping and filters, and fill the gap left by raw PHP.

Symfony Twig template system:

Twig is a modern templating system for PHP. Symfony utilizes Twig to its advantage and enables developers to write clean, concise code and the ability to do more than with raw PHP.

Laravel Blade templating system:

Unlike other templating systems, Blade lets you use PHP code in the views. Also, Blade has zero overhead to application performance because the blade view files are stored in .blade.php extension. All the code in the view files is converted into raw PHP during processing.

Yii Default templating system:

Yii doesn’t utilize any third-party templating system by default, but that doesn’t mean it lacks templating system support. The choice of the templating system depends on the development team. Twig and Smarty are recommended. Symfony uses Twig, so if you have used Symfony in past, you might want to utilize Twig for your next Yii project.

There is no clear winner here. All three frameworks use templating engines for better front-end coding and maintenance. A small advantage to Yii is that the framework does not have a pre-defined templating system.

 

  1. Framework differences

Every framework is created differently. Symfony works on reusable components and provides the best modularity. Symfony also utilizes the model and controller for developing a web application, which may look rusty for many new developers, but it works. Also, Symfony is a good example of the modular framework. You can use the 30 components provided by Symfony in your project in a modular fashion.

Yii uses an MVC framework.

Symfony can be used for rapid development and complex projects. Even though there is a debate on which framework is better for complex projects, Symfony does showcase brilliant complexity handling compared to other frameworks. Yii also utilizes components, but is not as modular as Symfony. Laravel doesn’t provide a modular approach as sharp as the other two frameworks.

If you are looking for a modular framework, go for Symfony. Otherwise, Laravel and Yii are both great choices.

 

  1. Installation

The three frameworks provide multiple installation procedures. If you are using Composer for handling packages, you will be happy to know that all the frameworks can be installed via Composer.

For Symfony, the role of the Composer is more crucial. The idea of component handling is best done by using the Composer PHP dependency manager. There are other ways of installing the respective frameworks. For example, you can install the frameworks using simple archive method.

After installation, Yii provides you with a web app and a basic template to work on. Symfony 2 also provides a demo app to get started.

Laravel is also easy to install using Composer create-project or via Laravel Installer.

 

  1. Rapid development

From the perspective of the company or the client, quickly getting the application to the market to meet consumer demand and beat competitors is important. Symfony stands out for being a robust framework with a strong community standing behind it. Laravel is growing rapidly, but still has a long way to go before being considered the de facto choice for PHP development. On the other hand, if you have no knowledge of any PHP frameworks and want to get started as quickly as possible, consider Laravel. Laravel has an easy learning curve, and you’ll find lots of tutorials online to help get you started. Yii takes performance to the next level, and provides code scaffolding for faster code generation and development.

 

  1. Performance

The performance of any application only matters if it is a real-time application using critical data. How many web-based applications depend on high performance? Not many, but the performance of frameworks can play a crucial role in many projects.

Social networks are prime example of real-time events and one of our star streamers, jadson, built a mobile social network using Yii2. When it comes to choosing the best framework for coding a high-performance application, Yii stands out as the fastest PHP framework in our lot.

Laravel performance is highly debatable. It is slowest, but does that matter? You’ll find online resources for speeding up performance, including a guide on GitHub for making your Laravel application faster.

 

  1. Database support

Symfony 2 offers better database support. You can work with an array of databases, including NoSQL and DynamoDB. Yii and Laravel are also useful in this regard, but they support fewer databases than Symfony.

 

  1. Community and resources

A big predictor for an open source framework’s longevity is the strength of its community. All the three frameworks have solid communities, although Symfony’s might be a bit more mature. Communities evolve, so predicting the dynamics of the communities in the future is challenging.

When it comes to learning material and documentation, Laravel stands out, although Symfony and Yii aren’t lagging far behind.

 

  1. Expendability

Frameworks are structures that can be extended with extensions or packages, improving their functionality and scope. When it comes to extensions, Laravel is the winner. Packalyst, a directory of Laravel packages, offers more than 9,000 packages. Yii and Symfony, on the other hand, offer around 2800 extensions and 2830 bundles, respectively. With three times the number of extensions, Laravel seems to be the best framework in this regard.

 

  1. Similarities

 

We have looked at the differences between the frameworks. Now let’s look at their similarities:

All three frameworks are full-stack PHP frameworks and offer the functionalities for creating web application, from front-end code writing to back-end data retrieval.

The frameworks are well documented and supported by large communities.

They each support ORM (Object Relationship Mapping). ORM is highly favoured for writing OO code for your application.

They are robust, secure, and reliable for creating Web 2.0 applications.

 

Still stuck? Maybe these checklists will help you narrow down an option:

Symfony:

  • offers an LTS release,
  • comes with loads of features,
  • is currently the most stable framework
  • is a component-based framework and offers extensive modularity
  • and has a great community with lots of learning resources.

Yii:

  • comes with Ajax support,
  • is great for developing real-time applications as it offers faster operations,
  • is highly extensible.
  • error handling is spot on,
  • is good for creating Restful Web Services,
  • and has a great community with lots of learning resources.

Laravel:

  • is the most popular framework in 2015-2016,
  • supports Composer for package management,
  • does unit testing well,
  • offers tons of packages for extending framework functionality,
  • and has a great community with lots of learning resources.

 

Conclusion

In the battle of Symfony vs. Laravel vs. Yii, all three PHP frameworks are excellent options that provide a full-stack development environment for developers. For me, Laravel is a winner that is emerging as a star with no sign of stopping.

Still, Symfony and Yii are both excellent frameworks. Symfony is well-established and with a bigger, more mature community. Yii is a unique framework that is robust, secure, and gets the job done.

 

For more details, please contact the Author: suresh.g@expedux.com

flaky-the-testers-f-word-blog-post-header@2x
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Applying Agile Principles to Test Automation Development

Agile software development illustrates a suite of principles for software development, which leads requirements and solutions that evolve by way of collaborative efforts of cross-functional teams. Agile architecture recommends flexible planning, evolutionary development, delivery before time, and continuous improvement.

The application of test automation often leads to budget and schedule overruns and branch of from test objectives, which should be complemented by this application. The reason for this is that test automation is a kind of software development but it is seldom treated so. Therefore, by applying certain best practices in software development, particularly agile principles to test automation, you can bank on a reliable and maintainable solution in line with your testing as well as business objectives.

Benefits of implementing agile principles to test automation include enhanced client involvement and visibility, scope management, budget and schedule control. There are several strategies for matching agile processes, artefacts, and tools for testing automation development jobs.

 

Client Involvement, Changing Requirements, and Incremental Development 

With agile techniques, there is better stakeholder visibility and expectation management. Customer input happens all through the development process and emphasis is given on their feedback. The inputs usually come at the beginning during requirement gathering and sometimes nearly at the end of the project. The customer might have had some requirements to start with, but after a few months, he changes his mind and hence there are changes in requirements too. You are obliged to develop the project in agreement with customer’s changed requirements. Even so, after a couple of months, there are further changes. Agile methodologies welcome changing requirements, even late during the development, but in small increments. The delivery is done in small iterations and if customer wants some changes, they can be done in the next iteration (7 to 15 days away) from that iteration. As soon as a feature is developed, it is tested and demonstrated and thus the chances of deviating from the track are pretty slim.

 

Faster Delivery 

With agile practices, generating data for other test objectives becomes easy, executing smoke test or build verification test takes lesser time, and there’s better support for automation. Focus is given on delivering working software frequently, with minimum time span. The deployment of iterative planning and feedback in teams can continually side with delivered products that reflect clients’ expectations. A product might not be precisely as per the client’s expectation, but it’ll be delivered on time. As soon as the client provides feedback, the product that the customer envisioned will be achieved.

 

Scope Management 

There’s improved scope management with improved and shorter feedback frequently. The improvement architecture level begins by defining the goal, scope, and context, resulting in an improved approach. A continuous process where improvement against desired result is checked constantly will result in continuous improvement. Also, transparency in any modifications done in scope management can be maintained.

Because of these advantages, the software developers have changed their methodology from the conventional “Waterfall (Sequential, non-iterative design process, used in software development)” to the effective “Agile methodology (Incremental, iterative work sequences, and called sprints).”

whenand how
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

When & How Software Development Becomes R&D?

 

In tough economic times, if product companies or independent vendors don’t get time or funds for innovation, who will spend time and energy for that activity? It has been a million dollar question for product firms as product owners often spend their time and energy to think about new version releases, retaining customers, maintain older versions and thinking of staying ahead of the competition. But they tend to forget one important thing – Increased R&D spending is vital to product firms.

There are couple of unanswered questions for CxOs of product firms:

1. What is the appropriate rate of investment in R&D for software development companies in a bear market?
2. As budgets tighten across the software industry and beyond, how can they ensure that the software remains one of the hotbeds of innovation in the global economy?

Independent Software Vendors tend to reduce the cost of software projects and invest that money into software R&D without knowing how Software Development can become “technically” R&D. One thing is pretty clear: R&D budget should be kept separate

R&D = experimenting with ideas/technology with the probability that the ideas may never become a product/ prototype Vs.  Software development = working on a product/service desired by the organization’s end customers i.e a working product/ solution that is giving product firms the bread and butter.

There are two primary models:

  • In the development model, the primary function is to develop new products/ improve existing products
  • In the R&D model, the primary function is to discover and uncover development of valuable new products, processes, and services.

Organizations are so concerned about delays and quality problems in software development projects, both in-house and outsourced, that when they find a reliable, timely, high-quality software R&D arm, they are willing to pay competitive rates. It is important to distinguish between ‘Development’ and ‘R&D.’

Expedux addresses the all-important WHEN AND HOW SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT BECOMES R&D? question with 6 points:

  • R&D is all about developing new solutions for a specific problem domain. The end result is “research toys” or “Product/ idea prototypes/ proof of concepts/ pilot projects. To be a software product, the prototype has to be completely re-implemented and it has to be accessible and loved by the end customer.
  • Software R&D has different motivations and outcomes but it should be driven by a single minded focus – potential for profit/ dollar.
  • All development of new products has to be inducted into R&D. It is important to create a product to
    sell and not just guys sitting around messing about with whatever they feel like.
  • R&D in the technical world = finding ways to do something interesting or important, using known techniques and technology as a starting point.
  • Managing software development is different for various sized companies and R&D takes on different meanings depending on the size of the company, customer base etc. In a small software company, with only a hand full of employees, the line between R&D software and Production software is usually very small. What one day is a software R&D project, may the next day be shipping as production software to customers. As software companies grow and have one or more production software lines, they tend to create greater separation between R&D software projects and Production software products (for obvious reasons). This R&D gap is typically created to create greater diversification in their software products for tomorrow, while allowing the production software development to continue to produce today.
  • It is a wrong perception that R&D is the luckiest team in the planet who get to do anything they want without accountability.

Identifying R&D in software development

Product firms should take R&D seriously if:

  • The solution is unique to a larger set of problems for a particular industry/ domain
  • There is a potential for the prototype to become a cash cow within 2-3 years.

How can we help:

Our vision is to help software development organizations achieve one simple thing – Develop your software product/ platform within 60 days, test it within 15 minutes and achieve the envisioned profits 2x faster.  Our solution accelerators give you both speed and customization without compromising quality.

Rapid Development Framework:

Develop and deploy new software product within 60 days using strategies such as prototyping, iterative development and time boxing.

Release Expeditor Framework:

Accelerate existing software development & release next version of powerful applications within 60 days by combining DevOps , Microservices architecture and 100% test automation strategies.

Selenium Accelerator Framework:

Manual testers & QA organizations can implement automation within 15 minutes without Selenium or any other automation tool knowledge.

eshopping
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

How Online Retailers can leverage the Psychology of e-shopping

 

Phase 1

Understanding the Psychology of e-shopping
Ecommerce seems to be going only in one direction –upwards. Forrester has predicted it to account for almost one tenth of the total retail sales in US by 2017, which amounts to a whopping $370 billion. This is in effect to the increase in access to shopping via different mobile devices in this digital era. But at the same time, for this year, the shopping cart abandonment rate is predicted to be around 70% which is nothing less than a $3 trillion lost revenue for companies across the globe.So, what is the trick here? Is there a way, technology can help us in taking up this $3 trillion challenge?

The Buying Journey
Let’s look at how a consumer ends up doing an online shopping. Basically we can categorize e-shopping into two types:
• Impulsive buying
• Pre-decided buying

Digital marketing can help retailers in both of these cases using different techniques. Let’s see how
we can do this. Each of the above mentioned categories takes a different path to reach the shopping cart.

Impulsive buying
Many of the times, people actually visits a product page just because they have seen a great offer or have seen a nice piece of content over a social networking site. So, if the retailers can tap into these there channels, there is sure to be an increase in impulsive buyers. It might lead to even more abandonment rate of the shopping cart, but there are ways wherein it could be balanced out. We will discuss about that later.

For now, you can start with:
Churning out great content according to the social channel
Floating out some great looking ads/offers.

Pre-decided buying
These buyers have already a demand and know what they are looking for. The question is – are they looking for your website? If not, are your products showing up in their research? So, you should tap into these areas using two things:

Search Engine Optimization/Marketing – This will make your products visible, while the buyers are doing their basic search.

Website optimization – This will lead to more loyal buyers and increase in the direct traffic.
There are many factors which can influence the buying decision of a consumer. Some times we are not even aware of these. So, if we can grasp the psychology behind these decisions, we would be able to reformulate our strategies in a more consumer-oriented way.

The Buyers’ Behaviour
Let’s look at what the statistics have to show and we can easily make out what a buyer expects during his e-shopping experience. Focusing on these areas will definitely help out the retailers.

90 seconds assessment
On an average, this is the time spent by a buyer to decide, whether to buy or not. It clearly indicates that all the features which can influence the buyer in a positive way should be present in the product page. However, we should avoid information overflow also. May be a nice product image with access to reviews and basic product info is good to start with.

Craving for videos
Research shows that, 50% of customers have more confidence in buying the product if they see it in a video. Nothing fancy is needed here. Even a small 5-10 seconds video will work out, depending on your product.

Building upon reviews
As many as 85% pf the customers read online reviews before making any transaction. This is, needless to say, builds up the trust on the brand. So, get your good reviews out there.

Coupon mania
57% of the customers are believed to have completed the online transaction just because they had some coupon code. Otherwise, these numbers would have been just an addition to your bandoned cart figures.

Trustworthy payment processor
Even when the buyers have decided to do the transaction, they look for a trustworthy logo in the final page. 80% of the buyers said to have felt safer when they saw such a card logo being displayed on the website.

Last moment drop-outs
67.4% of the buyers will drop out at the last moment. That’s a very big no. And huge revenue lost. Research says that it has got to do with these factors –

  • Hidden charges at checkouts
  • Lengthy checkouts
  • Registering before checkouts
  • Uncertainty about delivery terms, shipping cost, return policy, etc.

Gear up your remarketing

Even if a potential buyer has dropped out, the opportunity is not lost yet. Take help of remarketing tools like Google, AdRoll, Facebook, etc. to keep attracting them. Research shows that, they are going to send 55% more the next time they visit your site. Remarketing helps in improving your conversion rates, which is usually just 3%.

Shipping is a big deal
Free shipping has become a ‘critical’ feature in today’s e-commerce. It encourages the buyers to add more products to their cart. More than 66% of them are going to buy even more, if the return shipping is also free.

Influence of Ads
Visual ads may seem tempting, but if you go by the stats, google search results are still the frontrunners. Organic searches are resulting in more than 80% of the sessions. So, it’s advisable to go for search engine marketing and optimization. But, other channels shouldn’t be avoided as 20% of the pie is still a big chunk. And more so, when you would like to start your ‘remarketing’. visual medium. Even though twitter accounts for a very less percentage of the sessions, the average order value coming from them is the highest. So you

Search engine result pages
You might have your google ads up and running, but if your ads are not showing on the first two pages, you are missing the whole point. Data shows that more than half of the consumers never go beyond these two pages (SERPs). So, keep optimizing your ads and keep a look at your ‘ad quality score’ in adwords. As for the organic part, you need to work towards a better landing page experience and use of relevant keywords.

Conclusion
With ecommerce growing up every year, it is up to the creative and effective strategies of retailers, which can help in preventing and responding to the cart abandonments. To summarize all the points, retailers just need to focus on two simple formulae: help to smoothly consummate the purchase and engage enough to imbibe loyal customers. So, are you ready to take up the $3 trillion challenge?

References:
• http://mashable.com/2013/03/12/forrester-u-secommerce-forecast-2017/
• http://www.salecycle.com/cart-abandonmentstats/
• http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2014/03/ why-are-shoppers-leaving-my-site/
• http://www.iacquire.com/blog/study-onlineshopping-behavior-in-the-digital-era

• http://www.getelastic.com/the-psychology-ofonline-checkout-infographic/
• http://www.powerretail.com.au/research andintelligence/consumer-psychology-at-the-checkout/

choosingright
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

Choosing the Right Open Source Programming Language for Your Product

 

This question has been ranked as number 1 in the “Million Dollar Question” segment (We do not know the sources!)

Which Open Source programming language is better for product development or for legacy technology migration?

“Java is the greatest language ever and powers the Internet” “Ruby on Rails is the fastest way to get to Minimum Viable Product”, “Python is more sophisticated”. As a CxO of a product company/start-up, if you want to know that answer to that, then it lies on 2 important aspects: the Characteristics of the Language and your Local Ecosystem.

Characteristics of Languages

Java

The long commercial life and wide adoption of Java has created a robust ecosystem of documentation, libraries and frameworks many of which are aimed at e-commerce, security, and complex transactional architectures. There are experienced Java developers readily available regionally and globally both as contractors and full-time employees. The open source community embraced Java early on, creating an abundant free marketplace of Java solutions and tools.
On the flip side, concern over licensing rights since the acquisition of Sun by Oracle has cast some doubt for the future of the language and given rise to the phrase “Java is dead, but the JVM lives on”. Java can also be resource-intensive, requiring more memory for example, as compared to other language.

Python

Python is an open source interpretive language that has been embraced by many in the scientific community for its ease of learning and large set of scientific libraries. Django is a Python framework created for online newspaper publishers and powers popular start-ups such as Pinterest and Instagram. Django and Python together are mostly platform independent, although developers must still design programs specifically for independence in order to run on both Windows and Linux platforms.

One caution is that Python is notoriously difficult to scale across multiple centres on a single machine. This is due to the limitations of the Global Interpreter Lock (GIL).

Ruby

Ruby and particularly the web framework, Ruby on Rails, is also a popular interpreted language for start-ups. Ruby has some comprehensive training available online, both for beginners, with no coding experience, and experts in the field. Ruby has a repository of reusable libraries easily maintained and deployed in the form of RubyGems. Like Python, Ruby is suitable for automation with Puppet, which is an open source configuration management tool written natively in the language. Ruby powers popular web properties, including Airbnb, Github, and Groupon.

One valid concern is that Ruby does not scale up well on the server side for large numbers of requests to the application. Twitter famously made a migration from Ruby to Scala in 2010 in order to handle the back-end requirements of their explosive growth.

PHP

One of the early popular languages for Internet applications and websites, PHP has a vast ecosystem of developers, frameworks and libraries. Major companies including the likes of Facebook, WordPress and Magento are part of the PHP alumni. Because of the age of PHP and its long history, the quality of PHP code has a great variance.

PHP doesn’t have rules like compiled languages or strict standards as seen with Python, but rather guidelines available from the developer community. As a result, larger projects can become difficult to maintain, a problem known as “Spaghetti Code.”

Node.js

The newest entry in this list of programming frameworks is Node.js. Node.js is an event driven language and, having grown from JavaScript, the only one in this list designed from the start to serve web requests by taking advantage of JavaScript on the server side. Programmers will find that their client-side JavaScript skills are portable to server-side development tasks. Leaders such as Yahoo and LinkedIn have implemented portions of their applications on Node.js.

Because Node.js is newer, people with strong skills may be harder to find and more expensive to employ.

Local Ecosystem

Outsourcing is up for grabs but you will definitely want to have a “Leader of the systems” within your local ecosystem. Organizations should properly balance the factors such as finding good teams, time taken in extending efforts to offshore, shorten development cycles and increase the agility. The availability of a skilled workforce will vary by skillset for example, organizations can find many PHP developers and they get very little or no access to Node.js people. Ultimately, your costs for developers will go up if the skills you need are not readily available or are in high demand.

So which technology is the best?

  • Language Characteristics: If you are developing for the cloud, stick with interpretative, dynamic, open source languages for rapid and more cost-effective development. For enterprise applications that have critical security requirements or must integrate with legacy environments, compiled languages may be better.
  • Problem Domain: Take a look at the languages that are being used to solve your business problems and that is supported by the expanse of libraries. Somebody might have already solved 80% of your problem and have a general license available for you to build on.
  • Local Ecosystem: Research your local community to understand if you have a ready supply of skilled workers that can be tapped for affordable talent.

 

4stages
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

4 Stages of highly successful Omnichannel Retailing

 

With the era of smart devices and social media networks, shoppers are demanding a seamless customer experience and defining the retail industry on how it should be now? & how it will be in future. Today’s retail end customers are ahead of retailers in adopting and using mobile technologies. 75% of store shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping in stores*. So retailers are forced to make every effort to merge the digital and physical customer experience across all the available channels such as mobile, web, SMS, call center and social media.

The retail industry itself is transitioning from retail Inventory based selling to customer focused intelligent sales with a more streamlined shopping experience.This has opened the Pandora box for retailers in exploring and investing customer facing channels and realizing return on investments within a shorter time frame. Since multiple channels cannot operate on silos, it brings out a special and effective approach termed as Omnichannel. Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a departmental store.

It distinguishes the innovators in retail with ordinary players because omnichannel customer experience is all about true integration between channels on the front and back end of the IT systems. The future of retail belongs to those who invest and implement omnichannel strategies efficiently and effectively. This whitepaper discusses the key aspects of omnichannel retailing and best practices in which it should be prioritized and implemented.

 

Future of Retail Omni channel Unique customer Engagement

Omnichannel if implemented correct can provide a number of benefits for retailers. 1) Opportunity to deliver enhanced business operating models 2) Increased sales and improved RoI 3) Improved stock management and visibility 4) Seamless and unified customer experience across all channels. Extremely eager to know how omnichannel retailing is evolving with big boys?Whether a retailer is just starting in the phenomenal path of omnichannel retailing or simply looking for ways to re-define the existing strategy, these examples should give you a better idea on how to do it right:

 

Story 1
Walmart has introduced an omnichannel strategy at Northwest Arkansas: A drivein pickup center for online grocery orders.

The outline is pretty clear and straightforward:
1) Cross channel integration between in-store and online – Re-defining omnichannel strategy
2) Build and optimize the performance of a store network that captures a larger share of spending &satisfying a broader range of shopping occasions for a large part of the population.
3) Adopt the strategy of following the trend towards the “click” enablement but the pickup center and delivery still need to be ruled by “In-store” operations.

Story 2
Crate & Barrely has identified that many shoppers have the habit of moving from web to smartphone to tablet before and after purchases. They have enabled an omnichannel value proposition – when customers are signed in, the C&B app saves their cart choices so they can access their details across multiple devices and browsers. This ensures the continuity during the shopping process.

They provide:
• Seamless experience to shoppers using its wedding and gift registry
• Unified omnichannel workflow for shoppers so that they can create and edit their registry, scan barcodes in the stores to add items, and view purchases made in real time.

Story 3
We can think of omnichannel leaders all the time that include Nordstrom, Wall greens and Cabela’s. But Macy’s has the edge over others and they are part of the elite pack in omnichannel retailing. Here’s why.
My Macy’s: Macy’s localized initiatives achieved strong performance and they target millennial shoppers as part of an “extreme growth” strategy.

Omnichannel fulfillment. This is the unique ability of Macy’s to fulfill online orders both from inventory at warehouses and from stores seamlessly.

Millennial strategy. Before the holiday season Macy’s launched 13 new millennial brands and expanded 11 existing ones. The brands are aimed at two demographics – ages 13 to 22 and 19 to 30 – that are perceived as being “trend focused” and more “target oriented” than other segments.

These examples are detrimental enough to showcase that the omnichannel is here to stay and the future retailing will not be e-commerce or click or mobile. It will simply be Omni-channel Retailing.

 

Stages of Omnichannel Retailing
The difference between customer experience and engagement defines the stages of omnichannel enablement and retailers should understand the mind share of customers before prioritizing the outreach channels. They always think towards how well they meet their customers’ engagement expectations because customers don’t buy from channels just because they exist. Customers purchase for value and experience thanks to the unrelenting emergence of new technology with the sky high expectations of anytime, anywhere and any device access with the brand.

 

Phase 1: Click and Mobile Enablement/ Mobile Responsive
Adopting web and mobile strategies are part of the omnichannel enablement. Since smartphone shoppers represent 4 out of 5 smartphone users, it has become imperative for retailers to offere-commerce sites with mobile responsive and mobile apps across all the platforms. In a shorter sense, web and mobile enablement is more than a norm for retailers nowadays.

 

Phase 2: Streamline omnichannel fulfillment and unique customer experience
Once retailers tick the mandatory boxes of web and mobile, the greater emphasis should be on implementing the right technologies and platforms to sell from all channels and streamline the order fulfillment cycle right from order placement to delivery. Major retailers including Macy’s, Walmart and Target have employed these methods with great success and smaller retailers have to adopt these initiatives with the same mindset and culture.

 

Phase 3: Omnichannel Analytics
Retailers definitely want to reap the benefits of omnichannel by serving their customers better. But where will they start? How will they do without proper analytics and integrated tools to gauge the customer’s mind share effectively? Analytics is the best of the lot to drive decisions to create a complete, enable a personalized dialogue across all marketing touch-points and measure results in real-time across channels.

 

Phase 4: Internet of Things & Innovation
“Today “is not just another day for Retailers because if they miss out today, then there won’t be any tomorrow for them. It is just not about consistency and meaningful relationship with the customer but constant innovation that drives the customer relationship management strategies to the next level. Google has kick started the innovation race with in-app and tap-to-pay purchases to cope up with increased penetration of smartphones, advances in technology, and frequent releases in IoT ( Internet of Things) products. Retailers should be ahead in the innovation cycle to provide a streamlined hassle free shopping experience and continuous engagement with the brand.

 

Conclusion
Every 50 years or so, retailing undergoes this kind of disruption. With the increased shoppers awareness and tech-savvy mindset, retailers go through transformation every year. As the retail space evolves, digital retailing is quickly changed into a new name: omnichannel retailing. The name reflects the fact that retailers will be able to interact with customers through countless channels websites, physical stores, kiosks, direct mail and catalogs, call centers, social media, mobile devices, gaming apps, televisions and more. Unless conventional retailers adopt an entirely new perspective—one that allows them to integrate disparate channels into a seamless and unique omnichannel experience by adopting the 4 stages of omnichannel retailing they are likely to be swept away by the fiercely competitive retail space.

 

Top10Reaspns
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

Top 10 Reasons Open Source Is Good for Product Development

 

As software products grow larger, identifying the right technology to develop a proper code base is a big challenge for product and platform organizations. New upgrades, version releases and compelling market strategies are greatly dependent on how quickly product organizations can make the desired new products or migrate from legacy technologies or improve the usability and scalability from previous releases. It is common that a B2B software release happens every 6-12 months and a B2C software release occurs every 2-4 months. Product firms are always feeling the heat in providing more digital strategies to customers with less R&D cost.

With many F500 organizations and Government IT systems using open source software as their back
bone for customer connectivity; it’s becoming apparent that price is not the only advantage that the open source community holds. While the discussion on Open source vs. Commercial is always a sweet topic over a cup of coffee, the fact remains that open source software (OSS) holds numerous compelling advantages for businesses apart from software’s low price.

Need examples? Let’s start counting.

1. Security

According to that maxim, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” What that means is that the more people who can see and test a set of code, the more likely flaws will be caught and fixed quickly. With the community evolving so quickly and rapidly, there are unlimited set of developers and testers who can test products and provide feedbacks to the workflow and algorithm of a particular product.

2. Quality

How does it sound? A software product created by a handful of developers can be validated by thousands of developers & testers. You can call it a “mess” or you can just say “wow” as there are many innovative new features and enhancements to the products from developers all over the world.

In general, open source software gets closest to what users want because those users can have a hand in making it so. It’s not driven by Enterprises rather it is defined by end users. In fact, technical superiority and the code quality are the primary reasons for enterprises to choose open source software.

3. Customizability

Product firms can always take a piece of open source software and tweak it to suit their needs. Since the code is open, it’s simply a matter of modifying it to add the functionality they want.

4. Freedom

When digital savvy product organizations turn to open source software, they free themselves from the vendor lock-in that can affect end users of proprietary packages. Commercial software development platforms dictate their vision, requirements, prices, priorities and timetable, and this limits what can be made with the products they’re getting paid for. With OSS, on the other hand, users are in control to make their own decisions and to do what they want with the software.

5. Flexibility

When your business uses proprietary software, you are on a treadmill that requires you to keep upgrading both software and hardware ad infinitum. Open source software, on the other hand, is typically much less resource-intensive, meaning that you can run it well even on older hardware. It’s up to you–not some vendor–to decide when it’s time to upgrade and what kind of support resources you need to hire.

6. Interoperability

Open source software is much better at adhering to open standards than proprietary software is. If you value inter-operability with other businesses, computers and users, and don’t want to be limited by proprietary data formats, open source software is the way to go.

7. Auditability

With proprietary software, you have nothing but the vendor’s claims telling you that they’re keeping the software secure and adhering to standards, for example. It’s basically a leap of faith. The visibility of the code behind open source software, however, means you can see for yourself, have sense of ownership within you and be confident.

8. Support Options

Open source software is generally free, and so is a world of support through the vibrant communities surrounding each piece of software. The support is exhaustive for the open source community and it has been embraced with excellent documentation, forums, mailing lists, forges, wikis, newsgroups and even live support chat.

For businesses that want extra assurance, there are now paid support options on most open source packages at prices that are still fall far below what most proprietary vendors will charge. Nevertheless, support services have been paramount for commercial software providers since support is where their revenue is focused.

9. Cost

Between the purchase price of the software itself, the exorbitant cost of mandatory virus protection, support charges, ongoing upgrade expenses and the costs associated with being locked in, proprietary software takes more out of your business than you probably even realize. With open source software and tools like PHP, Python, WordPress and JavaScript, You can get better quality at a fraction of the price.

10. Try Before You Buy

If you’re considering using open source software, it will typically cost you nothing to try it out first. This will help you to have a vision towards your product with rapid prototyping, Proof of Concepts and Pilot strategies. You just need to pay for the resources that you are going to work but it is very common even for commercial frameworks like Dotnet and Dynamics. None of this is to say, of course, that your business should necessarily use open source software for everything and contribute to the community better. But with all the many benefits it holds, you’d be remiss not to consider it seriously.

5keytrends
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

5 Key IoT trends for Retailers that can create a “wow” factor with their end customers

 

Last year we saw Omni-channel retailing as the buzzword. Many retailers started trying some of the newer ventures like in-store analytics. This year too, it is anticipated that the stores will keep on finding ways and technologies that’s going to change the face of retail business. Let’s take a look at some of the technologies which are going to make it big.

POS Evolution
Cloud based POS technology has proved that there is no space for that old cash register. Considering the features like looks, functionalities, performance, etc. almost all the retailers have made this switch. A report by Aite Group shows that retailers who delay in upgrading to EMV chips will be exposed to US $ 1.1 billion in counterfeit credit card fraud losses. This need will accelerate the use of chip enabled POS sys tems. Apart from the EMV chip, another thing that is going to play a major role is NFC enablement which helps in mobile payment.

Wearables
According to a survey by Acquity group, 7 percent of the consumers own a wearable IoT device and another 4 percent own an in-house IoT device. Nearly twothirds of the consumers plan to buy one of these devices in the coming 5 years. There is a shift in consumer perception about connected technology and demonstrates a high rate of adoption to these technologies in the coming years.

Beacons
This technology is bringing about a paradigm shift brands communicate with their consumers. With the help of the Beacon network, retailer will be ableto know the exact location of the consumer and can send highly contextual meaningful messages to their smartphone. It’s like a digital extension into the physical world. According to a report, interactions with the advertised products increases 19 times due to such hyper local messages using beacon network technology.

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is going to play a big role in the coming years, both for the retailers and the consumers. More and more buying decisions are going to be influenced by AR. Customers will be able to find out the exact store they are looking for in their mobile app, search the inventory there itself and see if any offers are available. De Beers, like many others, uses an AR tool to let the customers try on jewellery virtually.

3D Printing
3D printing is going to prove its mettle in the coming years. In this era of customization, it will play a crucial role for retailers. Some of them have already started using this technology, like the jewellery store Brilliance.com. They help customers to get what they are actually in need of and not just pick up whatever is available. This is going to be the next big thing in retail, for sure.

Conclusion
At the end of the day, it’s all about customer experience, whatever new technologies come up. So, whenever you are in a dilemma as to which direction to take your business, always keep that point in mind. Keep making shopping faster, safer and more enjoyable for
your customers.

5effectivestratgies
Posted on / by root / in Uncategorized

5 Effective Strategies to convert your Online Store Visitors to Customers

 

Bring Them Back!

Let’s accept the fact that most of the consumers don’t buy anything on their first visit. They need a lot of nurturing through different means to attract them back. These different touch points will help them convert from a mere visitor to a customer, but it might take different amount of time depending on your business.

Let’s look at some of the tactics which can help you in converting your visitors into customers.

Follow up Emails
On an average 68% consumers will abandon their carts, which mean a lot of opportunity. Here, you are already sure that the users want those products as they have done a lot of research and added those items in the cart. If you can send a follow up email about their cart within 2-3 hours, it increases the chances of a complete transaction.

Retargeting
Retargeting helps in reinforcing your brand. If properly used, it acts like an alarm, tempting the customer to come back to your site right away. Tools like Google remarketing, AdRoll and Facebook remarketing are being used widely. It’s very easy to setup once your site is getting enough traffic. You can set rules, for your retargeting audience, depending upon which pages they are visiting.

Referral Marketing
Many of the retailers are using this strategy to get their most recent and happy customers talk about their purchase. Review/suggestion by a friend is still one of the crucial factors while making a purchasingdecision. So, it’s quite an important area to harness upon. You can start giving offers like a $25 for referring to 50 friends or a 10% discount if a referral buys from your site, etc.

Signup Popups
Whatever said and done, email marketing still plays a crucial role in getting customers. So, if you can buildyour list through sign-ups, nothing better than that. Many retailers show a pop up at the beginning and ask for a sign up before navigating into the website. It might not work all the time as customers don’t like to provide their details before shopping. But you can ask them to subscribe as an optional measure. You can even give some cashback offers for doing so.

Upselling Products
This works a lot in online retail. For example, if a person a buying a camera and your product page recommends him camera batteries; he will certainly buy those too. So, you can actually come up with some combo packs which will upsell your secondary products easily. Forrester says that, such product recommendations are responsible for an average 10-30% of the revenue. There are many such tactics which you can build upon and start getting more customers and eventually more sales. Pricing still plays the lead role, but you can bank upon other psychological factors which can help in shooting up your sales. End of the day, all customers are human and we need to heed to their psychological needs as well. Watch them closely and you will know what they want from you.