6 Ways in Which Testing Can Transform Your Startup
It’s become cliché that startups are “too lean” to support quality control teams.
But here’s the thing: the best testing doesn’t require a dedicated team. It simply requires a focused effort from everyone in your organization, especially your developers and product managers.
Testing early and often delivers numerous benefits to fast-growing companies, including fewer bugs that slip through to production and happier customers who won’t leave for the competition due to critical errors on your website or mobile app.
It’s always a good idea to ensure your project is working properly before launching it, and here are six ways testing can transform your startup and boost growth.
1. Validate Your Ideas
Testing your idea before investing in it is the best way to know if it will work or not.
It also helps you identify whether there is a need for your product or service. You can test this by talking to your target customers and asking them what they think of your idea, how likely they would be to buy it, and why?
The results from your testing efforts can help you understand their needs better, which will help you make improvements before deciding to move forward with creating a new product or service.
2. Make a Good First Impression
The second way testing can transform your startup is by helping you make a better first impression. You can start by creating a teaser video or presentation video, then analyze the engagement.
As we all know, first impressions are essential. If someone walks into a store and doesn’t see anything that catches their eye, they probably won’t even bother to try it out. The same goes for new products or services: why would anyone bother if they don’t look appealing enough to use (or buy)?
Using A/B and multivariate testing, you can determine how people will react before the product launches. These methods allow you to test different designs or features without investing too much time or money in them until they prove worthy of further investment.
Complex systems require immense testing to ensure proper function. For example, self-driving vehicles utilize edge computing to gather and analyze massive volumes of data to operate. In this space, failure to conduct adequate testing not only diminishes faith in your brand from consumers but may also get you into loads of legal trouble later on.
3. Iron Out the Kinks
The third way testing can transform your startup is by helping you iron out the kinks with your program.
Ironing out the kinks is just another way to say that through testing, you can identify bugs and potential issues with your product to help make sure that everything is working as it should. Testing can also improve upon existing features or add new ones based on customer feedback.
For example, suppose users are constantly asking for the ability to save their favorite items while shopping online (a feature that many e-commerce sites do not currently offer). In that case, this could be worth exploring further using A/B testing or user interviews.
Software is an incredibly complex and intricate thing that can be difficult for even the most experienced developers to build on their own. As such, if you have no plans for testing and are simply launching your app as soon as possible without any real scrutiny, then there’s a good chance that it won’t properly function when released (and may even crash).
For example, launching a parental control app requires extensive user testing to ensure the app functions as it’s supposed to and to uncover any hidden vulnerabilities, especially since the application is necessary for kids’ safety on the internet.
Testing early and often means catching errors before they reach your customers. The longer you wait to try, the more likely you’ll find something wrong in the final stages of development. Which can be very costly.
4. Save Thousands (Or Millions) Of Dollars
Even if you don’t think you have time for testing, it can save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Testing your product can help you save hundreds of dollars. If you identify a bug or problem during the quality assurance phase, it’s easier to fix it before it gets released.
Otherwise, if you don’t catch the problem until after pushing to production and customers start complaining, thousands of dollars could be lost trying to fix it ASAP.
If you’re a developer, there’s no doubt that you have an enormous amount of pressure on your shoulders. Your role is to build the best possible product for your users, and this can be extremely challenging.
It’s also important to understand that many different types of errors could cause problems in your application. These errors can be costly to fix later on in the product lifecycle and even lead to users abandoning their use of your app altogether if not appropriately handled.
For example, imagine this scenario: You finished developing a new feature and handed it off for testing before the production launch.
During testing, your successful team discovered an error message while playing with the new feature. That doesn’t sound so bad, right?
Unfortunately, this error could cost thousands or even millions of dollars because it prevents customers from purchasing anything through your platform or using certain features.
A recent scenario occurred in April 2022, where Authentic Brands Group (the owner of Forever 21) sued Bolt Financial for $150 million due to glitches in its one-click checkout software that cost the retailer hundreds of millions in sales.
Skipping the testing phase is not worth the risk of losing thousands (or even millions) of dollars.
The ability to demonstrate that your technology is up-to-date and working flawlessly is a key factor for valuation when you’re getting ready to sell your business. Investors will not want to put money in a business that has not successfully passed the user-testing phase.
5. User Feedback Is Priceless
User feedback is one of the most helpful ways to improve your product, which can be gathered by your dedicated team.
By asking users how they feel about your product and what they want to see added, you can make it easier for them to use. It will help you understand what works well (and doesn’t) and use this as a basis for future iterations of your product or service.
It will make them happy and increase their loyalty to your company and encourage them to share with others how great it is.
Additionally, user feedback can influence how you market, sell and support your product.
You may be wondering where to start when it comes to collecting user feedback. Luckily, there are many ways in which you can measure user satisfaction with your product.
Here are some common ways to obtain user feedback:
- Use surveys and interactive quizzes that users can fill out after using the app or website for some time;
- Invite users into focus groups where they participate in discussions about their experiences with various aspects of your offerings;
- Ask people who haven’t yet used your product what they think about its potential (also known as concept testing);
- Customize static and floating feedback button designs, placement, survey styles and questions as per your requirement.
In addition to gathering information about user satisfaction with the product itself—and by extension, finding out what features need improving—you should also ask customers how they feel about how those products were marketed or sold to them.
Every cog in the buyer’s journey is vital to convert leads into sales and sales into repeat purchases. Repeat purchase equals business growth.
6. Build Trust with Your Early Customers
As a startup, you’re always looking for ways to build trust with your early customers.
Testing is one way to do so: it shows that you care about their needs and wants and that the product they’re paying for aligns with what they need to solve their problems—even if that means changing directions from where you thought the product might go.
Your testing results can also help you understand what parts of your product are most important for users, which features are most valued, and how much work would be involved in making changes or additions to make them happy.
All these insights give you valuable insight into how customers think about your brand or product—and what they expect from it going forward.
Early customers are one of the best things to happen to a startup. You learn from them and discover what works, doesn’t, and is missing in your product. The insights you get here will help you retain a higher percentage of them.
As a startup, you have a lot riding on your initial launch and customer feedback. That is why it is important to test your product before sending it into production.
Testing gives you better insight into how users interact with your product, service, or application. Feedback can help you iron out any kinks in your features and enhance their functionality.
When testing your product, use as many tools as possible to get more information about errors, bugs, or any other problems that may occur during testing.
If you want your startup to achieve a high rate of success, don’t skip out on this step. Testing is an investment, not an expense, to help you design, build and deliver the highest quality product or service.
About the author
Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She’s also an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and eCommerce startups.