We’ve got some bad news for tech startups….software bugs are inevitable.
That’s why testing is so important. Even with an extremely qualified and capable product team, mistakes do happen. We are all human. So, testing is essential for companies who want to deliver high-quality software, and spot bugs before their customers do.
But testing isn’t just for massive corporations with an endless QA budget. It can be hugely beneficial for smaller companies looking to scale up their product, provide great customer experience and build a brand people trust.
In a fast-paced startup, the whole team is passionate about the business, and want it to succeed. A lot of time, effort, and hours go into creating a product that people love, and the quality of the software should reflect this. If your start up is tech-first, especially, having a bug-free app could mean the difference between your companies success or failure. That’s why we’ve put together 5 main questions that CTOs and product teams should be asking themselves about QA, with answers that show the crucial important software testing can have.
1) It improves quality
You might be asking yourself:
“How can I ensure quality in the software I create?”
It’s not as hard as you might think! A well-executed testing strategy is a sure-fire way to ensure you are delivering a quality product time after time again. Why not take a retrospective look at your testing strategy from last year. What were the big wins? Where do you think you can improve? It’s not too late to rebuild or develop your QA approach. Here are some ideas your startup can implement into their strategy:
- Build a culture of quality in your company
- Use a blend of automated and manual testing, combined with crowdsourced testing to give you full test coverage
- Make sure your testing strategy adapts and changes with your product maturity
Check out our blog “How to Supercharge Your Testing Approach’ for in-depth tips on the best ways to make your testing approach go even bigger next year.
2) It builds customer trust
Here’s a scary statistic: according to HelpShift, 80% of apps are deleted after one use. That’s a worryingly low app retention rate! So the big question is:
“How do I improve app retention rates?”
The answer: customer trust. If a customer trusts your product, they are more likely to buy into it. A buggy app isn’t likely to inspire trust in your product or tempt users to part with their precious bank details. That’s why quality can play a big role in the trust of your product - a poor quality product is more likely to cause your customers to lose confidence in your brand.
3) It protects your revenue
“But what is the cost of software bugs?”
It’s more than you think! Let’s take a look at trading app Robinhood. The apps ‘Infinite Money’ software bug meant that traders were able to trade with an endless supply of borrowed money. The glitch was posted on Reddit, with one user showing how they used $3,000 and turned it into $1.7 million. Ouch….
Even if your company isn’t a banking or trading app, bugs can still be costly errors. The Systems Sciences Institute at IBM found that the cost to fix a bug discovered after product release was four to five times higher than if it was found during the design stage and up to 100 times more than if it was found during the maintenance phase. That’s a huge amount of wasted revenue. By investing in testing infrastructure early, you can protect your revenue and save money further down the line.
4) It enables you to scale
“How can my startup go about scaling?”
Any CTO and founder alike will be asking themselves this question. Startups are all about the dream, scaling up to become even bigger and better year on year. But for your product to scale, your QA needs to scale with it. Having 500 adopters using your app is very different to 5,000 active users. You need to have performance testing in place to test that your software can cope with new pressure.
Crucially, also, as you look to expand beyond your native market, testing is important for making sure your product doesn’t glitch on new, different devices, servers and locations. Your app needs to work as perfectly as it does in San Francisco as it does in Jakarta. That’s where localization testing can help you. By outsourcing to a crowdsourced testing company, like Global App Testing, you can have access to a crowd of testers across the world. That means you can launch your app in new markets, confident in the knowledge that it has been tested on real devices in local devices.
5) It increases sales
“How can I increase sales?”
Let’s say you’re online shopping on your new favourite beauty startup app. You decide the products you need and add them to your basket. Check out. Then, at the moment you press enter on your delivery address you see the dreaded message….. ERROR!
“*Unknown Error* - a Site About to Lose a Sale, 2020”
Bugs on your e-commerce site or app can have a direct impact on sales. Especially in online shopping land where a smooth customer journey is key and competition is high. By testing thoroughly, you can discover these crucial bugs before your customers do, and prevent lost sales.
Find out more about how to increase e-commerce sales with quality here.
Hear it from the experts
We asked other testing experts why they thought software testing was so crucial for startups. Here’s what they said:
"When you're a startup with zero brand recognition, you have ONE chance to make a good first impression. That means your onboarding process and first-time usage of your app needs to go off without a hitch for your users. As a startup, you realistically don't have the budget or time to acquire and test your app on every possible configuration of devices/OSs and app environments. At the same time, you can't possibly conceive of the ways in which users of your app will misunderstand how your app works or otherwise do the "wrong" thing. You'll still never catch every single bug, but respecting your users' time by catching and fixing those bugs you can identify through testing your application before launching is the least you can do for them. "- Alex Trup, Co-founder of Rolo
"Software testing is vital at every stage of development. At times, it's necessary for a startup to release the MVP of any given feature or functionality to get a sense of how users will engage (or not engage) with something. At Cover, we always have the customer top-of-mind, and we want to make sure that every touchpoint they have with our company is a positive one. You need to move fast but you also need to be intentional and cautious with your decisions –– this can mean rolling out a feature to only 20 or 30 percent of our users or doing more background research before implementation."
– Anand Dhillon, CTO & co-founder of Cover
“Startup companies are usually made by fresh and budding entrepreneurs who may have either little to no business experience or little to no funding. Testing products helps entrepreneurs develop and rate the effectivity of business models before fully committing to it. Simply put, it’s a phase wherein entrepreneurs are free to research and experiment, giving them more insight into what path or technique would work best for their companies. This extensive research and testing allow entrepreneurs to mitigate risks and open new ways for advancement. When done right, testing can make or break you and your business’ future.”
- Simon Hansen, founder of Home Brew Advice
“Testing is incredibly important for startups as they have very little space for mistakes in the beginning. Business owners must be careful about the first impression they make, which is why testing needs to be an essential component of a business process. Both automated and manual testing have their benefits as they reduce the chance of malfunction and ensure better quality. Therefore, startups shouldn’t rush to join the market as soon as possible. Instead, they should invest time in performing detailed testing and remove all of the bugs before presenting their products to the public.”
- Jovan, co-founder of KommandoTech
“You only get one chance at a first impression, and as a start-up that could be the difference between success and failure. Investing in the testing process means that your users aren’t going to be turned off by a buggy app or website right off the bat. And it’s not just processes that need testing, make sure you’re doing cross-browser and device testing too. It’s just as important and often forgotten. You want to give your start-up every chance of succeeding, so don’t fall at the first hurdle - it might increase your budget, but it’s money well spent.”
- Mike Gilfillan, Lead Developer, Edge of the Web
"Testing is not only important: it's crucial for every business. A/B testing improves all segments across functionality, CX, trust, sales funnel, basically everything. You only get as many chances of impressing your customers and if you do it right at the start, you will save yourself from managing problems in the long run, which of course means time, thus - revenue. So, the biggest question, considering that on an average a person dedicates 2 hours daily on app usage, is not if we can afford spending resources on app testing, but if we can afford not dedicating to testing and making customer satisfaction our priority."
- Rytis Jakubauskas, General Manager, Latana
"As a Bitcoin exchange startup, testing/fixing software errors was crucial in getting the business off the ground and helping our developers to improve their coding skills. It saves valuable time in the long-term and at CoinCorner, it continuously allows us to smooth out any bugs in advance, helping to prevent broken software from being made public. Time saved by our team is then put toward other priority projects. For startups, it’s important that every public part of a website/app is accuracy tested. Any software issues can be detrimental to the experience and may easily put customers off using the product/service."
- Joanne Goldy, Marketing Specialist, CoinCorner
"Launching a startup is difficult enough as it is. From fundraising to marketing and user acquisition there are many pieces of the puzzle that have to come together to be successful. The last thing you want to do is make it more difficult for yourself and your team by launching software that has bugs and a bad UX/UI. The best way to refrain from doing that is thoroughly testing the software before launching it. If you are putting out good reliable software with minimal bugs, the easier you the other facets of running a startup will be."
- Vivek Chugh, Founder & CEO, Listables
Testing is crucial for startups, especially those tech-first companies where their business depends on having an app that delivers on what it is selling. A buggy app, with costly glitches that customers don’t trust, could negatively impact your startup. But a well-tested app, where bugs have been fixed early in order to deliver a seamless customer experience - that’s the difference between a startup that scales and one that could fall flat. Remember the 5 reasons why testing is so important for startups"
- It improves quality
- It builds customer trust
- It protects your revenue
- It enables you to scale
- It increases sales