Why is Cross Browser Testing critical for your business?
By Garima Tiwari, Community Contributor and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Manager - July 23, 2019
While half of the world is on the verge of going online, in the last two decades, the IT industry has witnessed massive growth. This growth has come on the back of easy access to low-cost internet and a plethora of affordable devices.
Due to this emerging usage of the internet, industries have changed the way they operate. 55% of the businesses are undergoing a digital transformation and 10% have already done so in the last two years.
Source: Smart Insights
This digital transformation aims to take businesses to new areas powered by the internet. While this internet user base has increased significantly, they use different devices and browsers. Thus, cross device and cross browser compatibility are key.
To deal with the distribution challenge, companies have to make their software cross browser compatible or lose a portion of their potential customers.
A study done by Salesforce suggests that 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. So, from the customer’s point of view, they expect similar behavior of online applications on all the devices they own.
For a good user experience, companies must understand their user’s preferences of platforms and devices, and build consistent, engaging experiences across them.
That is why cross browser testing came into existence. Cross browser testing can help enterprises develop software that is compatible with multiple platforms and devices, to ensure more extensive coverage of the user base. Also, it eliminates guesswork, as organizations can comprehensively test their application’s behavior on different browsers and devices, before taking them live.
What is Cross Browser Testing?
Cross Browser Testing is non-functional testing done to ensure that your website works on the required set of browsers, devices, and tools. It allows companies to ship website updates with confidence.
It involves testing the website by running it on different browser device combinations that include the popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc. and widely used operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Cross browser testing also tests the compatibility of your website with assistive tools such as screen readers, to help differently-abled users.
Optimizing Cross Browser Testing
The choice of browsers for cross browser testing is an important step. Companies would like to be comprehensive and test on all combinations. However, that is never practical. Therefore, they must carefully choose a set of browsers and devices that covers the maximizes test coverage. This way, cross browser compatibility can be achieved for a large user base.
Sometimes, popularity drives this choice. However, companies must also choose a diverse set based on other factors like user demographics, user preferences, and user behavior. For example, iPhone and iPad users could be lesser in number but are known to have higher spending power.
Amongst browsers, Chrome is the most popular browser, accounting for 70.95% of the total global market. Firefox comes second, with a 10.05% of the market share, while other browsers like IE, Safari, and Edge have 4-5% each. Thus, cross browser compatibility testing beyond Chrome is necessary.
In a nutshell
Given customers are the topmost priority for business to grow revenue, it is essential that they offer the best user experience. Given the widespread availability of low-cost internet and a multitude of devices, it is imperative to maintain a consistent behavior across a wide range of browser device combinations.
Cross browser testing is critical for your business to deliver a good customer experience and also meet the customer’s implicit requirements of consistent behavior and flexibility.