Applause finds 65 bugs cost retailers more than $60 million in lost holiday sales

Posted Mar 20, 2019

Today digital quality and crowdtesting company Applause released its new report highlighting the digital and omnichannel mistakes that plagued some of the world’s top retailers during the holiday season. The report, titled The 2019 Retail Quality Report: Global Insights from the Holiday Shopping Season, provides retailers with six key recommendations and best practices to prepare for the 2019 season.

For the study Applause used its community of software testers and usability experts. Testing took place from Black Friday through December of 2018, during which the community completed functional and user experience testing on more than 50 top global retail ecommerce sites. In addition, the testers went through a specific omnichannel journey (buy online, return in store) in the US, UK, and Germany to compare the omnichannel experiences of each country.

Applause identified more than 3,000 software bugs and UX issues, many of which impacted retail revenues during peak shopping periods. In fact, just 65 bugs cost retailers more than $60 million in holiday sales.

“These results show retailers aren’t doing enough to meet customer expectations, especially during key junctures of the holiday season,” said Kristin Simonini, VP of Product at Applause. “We see this as a global problem. Retailers aren’t designing digital experiences with customers in mind and the overall quality of these experiences is lacking. Learning from these mistakes and putting more emphasis on testing will help retailers prepare for peak periods this year.”

Other key findings from the report include:

- A single severe bug cost, on average, $915,240 when left in production for 14 days

- Over half (53%) of all bugs found were classified as severe

- Communication breakdowns threatened omnichannel experiences, and many shoppers weren’t able to find in-store areas to return items bought online

- The most dangerous bugs were found in shopping carts, product pages, and account pages