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Key Challenges with Retail Testing


Shobhit Sethi

October 27, 2014

Retail industry is one of the major pillars of many economy now and accounts to a higher percentage in its GDP. Life is changing dramatically after the increase in the day to day activities with digital technology and mobile era. One bad experience with retail customer, online or on mobile devices can change the life of the provider. IT systems are expected to provide supreme quality and user experience in retail sector to customers.

I would like to highlight some of the key challenges that are faced in retail testing which demand for an efficient testing process:

 Peripheral Devices

Every retail chain has peripheral POS devices such as swipe cards, bar-code reader, pad entry, etc which are required to be up and running all the time. Any down-time of these peripheral devices directly impacts to revenue of the client. With the increase in peripheral devices usage, demands for an effective testing with all the permutation and combinations.


The nature of retail sales processes and devices being used makes infrastructure & security testing very critical. Recently a top US retail chain had major security issues with its Point of Sale system. Credit card reader was storing and transmitting credit card number to attacker’s website. This resulted an alarm in their customers and a dent in the retailer esteem. Increasing POS applications, in-store mobile, POS credit card devices demands for an effective security testing and a thorough testing of the underlying infrastructure.

24 x 7 Support

POS applications such as store billing, kiosk, back office, etc are top customer facing applications that need to function accurately all the time. 24 x 7 support for POS applications is another big challenge for retail IT which require application testing to be performed on every single retail POS application.

Legacy applications

Now a days most retail customers demand one-stop shop making retail owners carry millions of merchandise items in a single roof. The major concern here is that IT systems were designed few decades ago and there have been endless software releases completed, which results in a much complex code and testing today. Hence, retailers should opt for an end-to-end testing process and generate test data with all permutation and combination in all environments to successfully test all applications.

Advertisements and Promotions

Unlike other domains of industry, most retailers publish marketing fliers for daily or weekly merchandise promotion. Additionally, coupons and price match policies now require IT applications be available on multiple retail channels. Any delays or error in configuring and testing the promotion systems, can impact market of the product and promotions. Here strong competition demands rigorous and effective regression testing.

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is one of the most critical vertical of retail industry and very much dependent on IT as it tracks even the tiniest detail of the goods. Any anomaly in the order management, payment processing or merchandise tracking, has huge potential to impact retail business.


Large retailers now aiming for their global presence demand for application and mobile services to be independent of region in terms of languages, currency, etc. and should be constant everywhere. This again demands efficient and effective regression testing. This brings additional testing needs i.e. localization testing, specifically for the global retailers.

Above challenges with the retail industry sector can be fulfilled by Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) at InfoBeans which would definitely Create WOW for our clients.

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