The retail industry, over the years, has seen massive changes. Retail organizations went from having in-person stores to e-commerce websites that enable online shopping. The introduction of ‘user-first’ methodologies paved the way for personalized shopping experiences. Customer support has seen a new high with the introduction of bots, removing the need for human interaction unless required.
However, implementing these technologies has been steady, and in some cases, many retailers are yet to begin their journey. Considering the numbers around the current buying trends indicates the reason for this holdup.
A report from Statista talks about the various demographics that interact with retailers and their preferred methods of buying. 60% of baby boomers prefer in-store shopping, while 22% prefer online shopping. 36% of Gen Z showed a greater interest in hybrid shopping methods, while 30% chose in-store shopping.
The numbers indicate that a more significant number still prefer in-store shopping or view it as acceptable. Could this be why retailers do not feel the need for a complete digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a terminology that is gaining popularity every day. The idea of integrating digital technology with legacy processes and evolving them into modern-day architecture is a captivating thought.
However, digital transformation does not mean a complete digital takeover and does not remove humans from the equation. It does not mean getting rid of in-person stores and replacing them with online stores. Agile methodologies help accentuate that digital transformation is more about collaboration.
Retail has seen a marked improvement in quality, rate of delivery, and cost reduction through the use of agile methodologies. Retailers who have adopted agile have a driven workforce with fewer managers and more doers, thus significantly reducing the cost base.
B1. Agile Principles Show The Benefits For Retail
1. Autonomous cross-functional teams
- Integrating agile methodologies means introducing autonomous cross-functional teams into your organization. These teams have the authority and the skill to make their own decisions, working with a clear agenda and transparency that blur the line between silos and collaboration. The organization knows what these teams are working on and how this work impacts its growth and success.
2. Dedicated Focus
- Agile methodologies involve introducing focus in the workforce. As opposed to having team members work on multiple projects simultaneously, agile encourages a complete focus on the project.
3. Productivity Without Fixating on Processes
- Agile teams focus on generating demand, value, and insights that benefit the organization. Since producing an MVP and getting market feedback is a continuous process, waiting for functional approvals will only slow things down. Instead, agile encourages coordination through accountability, boundaries, and clarity in scope.
The three principles show how agile encourages a unified work culture. The question, though, is how do you ensure agile does not fail? – Through Agile Testing.
Agile testing is a software testing process involving applying agile principles to detect and fix bugs in the software. This process improves product delivery time and quality.
Teams can introduce agile testing into the SDLC (software development life cycle) from the beginning of the project. Agile testing is a continuous process; teams can incorporate it endlessly during development.
C1. Benefits of Agile Testing
1. Constant Feedback
- Agile testing improves retail software quality assurance by delivering continuous feedback. Since testing is a continuous process, this feedback helps retailers understand and meet business needs and enhance product quality.
2. Customer Satisfaction
- Software testing in retail must account for the customer’s needs; this is no easy task since customer requirements are constantly changing. Agile testing involves including customers in the development process and taking their feedback. This method benefits the customer by introducing the element of personalization, while the retailer benefits by developing a high-quality product.
3. Clean Code
- Repeated iterations of the code can result in code degradation. However, agile testing ensures regular checks on code health to ensure easy and clean code.
4. Everyone Tests
- Retail application testing through agile methodologies is a step above traditional testing methods. In agile testing, instead of one team dedicated to testing, agile encourages business analysts, developers, and QA teams to join the testing process, thus improving product quality through collaboration. Involving business teams also helps with reducing feedback time and improving development speed.
Agile testing further benefits QA in retail by helping retailers meet challenges like:
- Adapting to new business models.
- Ensuring successful digital transformation.
- Keeping track of data and ensuring its protection when shared across various channels.
- Managing the data at the appropriate time and proportions.
- Understanding the usage of new technologies.
Instead of putting off digital transformation by implementing agile methodologies, retailers must put forth more significant effort to become agile. With agile testing leading the way, retailers can ensure that they can significantly improve customer experience through collaboration.
Becoming agile is more than just adapting to the current way of working; it is an investment for the future. In today’s society, change is constant. As such, existing ways of working are bound to change. As an agile company, you will set your organization up perfectly to adapt and meet changing trends automatically.