SilkFred was born in 2011, underpinned by a vision of a fashion ecosystem that puts the joy back into online shopping and allows independent brands to thrive. From small beginnings, SilkFred has grown a million-strong following, and created a website and app that its customers love. Together with a community of over 800 independent brands, SilkFred built a personal service that will never give customers a copy-and-paste response, or cookie-cutter clothing.
Consumer Expects Seamless Omni-Channel and Multi-Device Experience
SilkFred is the fastest growing online fashion label in the UK. Its website and mobile app are clearly crucial to its business success and the product development teams are constantly looking for ways to make the customer experience more appealing and streamlined.
In an omni-channel world the shopping experience and the product information displayed need to be consistent across both mobile and web channels. Stephen Jackson, Co-founder at SilkFred, explains further: “Not only do we deliver omni-channel, but we also need to drive a seamless multi-device experience to our customers.
They may use an iPad to browse and build their basket, but we often find that the shopping experience is continued on a different device, and may be completed with payment transaction on yet another device, often a laptop as customers feel this is the most secure platform to finalize payment. This multi-platform experience is expected by consumers, but is not straightforward to deliver. To pass product details effectively between different platforms and devices requires changes to be made at the backend. Although our developers are a clever and very creative lot, we needed some extra help.”
UFT Family Ensures Consistent Multi-Platform Customer Experience
For support and consultancy in this area, SilkFred turned to Digital Assured Worldwide, for their relevant expertise in functional and performance testing in the fashion industry.
Daniel Wainwright, Chief Digital Officer at Digital Assured, comments: “One of the first things we discussed with the SilkFred team was the need to support both iOS and Android for their mobile app, rather than favor iOS. Though this poses development and testing challenges, it is important that all users have a consistent experience. We knew from experience that Micro Focus UFT Mobile would be a great help in this process. Working with designers on the lay-out of the app, we leveraged UFT Mobile to map out the functionality and write tests that physically run on hundreds of different iOS and Android devices to create a model around the customer journey.”
Micro Focus UFT One is ideally positioned to accelerate test automation across the web and mobile channels. Within just 48 hours the team created automated UFT One test scripts which follow the path of a customer executing common actions through the purchasing process including payment and populating credit card info. Testing these core behavioral areas in the early prototyping phase is critical to ensure a smooth adoption. “UFT One is data-driven and works well with pull-down menus to drive the users’ behavior and reproduce bugs through native style gestures, for example to refresh a page you would swipe down,” explains Wainwright. “With UFT One and UFT Mobile, we were able to implement effective automation within 48 hours.”
UFT One enabled the creation of a set of tests for the multi-device, multi-platform experience that run across a typical multi-platform path taken by a customer. Notification strategies were carefully considered in this context. SilkFred deploys push notifications within the mobile app, for instance ‘we missed you’ to returning customers, or ‘here is a 10% discount code’ for a specific promotion or demographic, and UFT One was able to test that the push notifications worked correctly on all of the supported platforms.
Great App Adoption and Increased Order Success Rates
The team realized that SilkFred employees would have some great input on the look-and-feel and what would be really cool in an app. So, with an effective prototype for the mobile app in place, they did some internal enterprise crowd-testing to gather opinions and further enhancement suggestions.
Apart from helping to user test and finalize the first generation of the app, the internal crowd-testing threw up many new ideas, such as creating live-stream videos of models and allowing customers to directly interact with items they are wearing through embedded image URL links. These types of next generation ideas will require thorough and efficient testing for which the UFT Family is the perfect fit.
Jackson, SilkFred, concludes: “Our partnership with Digital Assured and the use of the UFT Family of solutions have led to a 10-fold boost in the adoption of our app and increased our order success rates by 500% throughout our omni-channel customer engagement.”