The Advantages of BDD

mıray tosun yurtseven | product manager

Nowadays, to prove the quality of a job, tests must be done immediately after the development. Tests are one of the most important evidences that prove a job is completed as desired. The other important evidence is the test carried out with business units. Business units test their usage habits according to the product they demand and their operations. Basically, they do their own behavioral tests. This approach brought a new test approach into our lives.

In these days, most people use BDD(Behavior Driven Development) which is an alternative method for TDD (Test Driven Development). Most people think that TDD is an expensive software development process and they prefer to use BDD.

The fact that the software development and test automation processes with TDD are considered to be costly, it shouldn’t be ignored that high quality software are developed with the TDD method. In today’s conditions, the necessity of completing customer demands as quickly as possible and in the meantime using a common language between Business Units and IT led to using BDD to solve communication problems.

In fact, as in all approaches, the main issue that the BDD focuses on is the production of quality code. In this context, in addition to solve communication problems between two different departments, BDD helps to find the bugs of a product very quickly with customer behavior tests.

There are two important workhops; first is SBE (specification by example), the second is TDD (test-driven development). In the first workshop (SBE), IT department representatives and Business unit representatives talk about a new product and its features, Business unit representatives give an example of where they want to use it and why they want to use it. The real purpose of this workshops is to decide how the system should behave in different situations . The second (TDD) workshop is carried out by runing the written automation codes to prove that the software has the desired behavioral functions. The test results are observed immediately right after runing codes, so that any inadequacy can be detected and turn into actions.Test automation for BDD has very simple writing method. Given-When-Then are the three titles of the test scenarios. Given is the heading of the test scenario to explain what customers want to do.  When is the timing detail of the action . Then is the explanation of the result of this action. For example, consider that we wrote the below steps for user to login to the system:

Given: User types a wrong password to the password field,

When: clicks the submit button,

Then: the system gives an alert message about the wrong password.

Another simple BDD writing method is Role-Feature-Reason matrix.   Role description begins with  “As a…”, for feature “I want…” and finally, “so that…” for the Reason. For example;

As a: retail customer,

I want: I want return the products I bought in 14 days.

So that: So that I will be able to payback.

The most important feature of the BDD is providing a simple platform where the codes are written in common language that lets everyone to read and write.. Due to its approach and creation of a common point for each stakeholders, it has become very popular recently and started to be used in many sectors.

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Online Availability and NOLA Effects


Considering the fact that 30% of the store customers also shops online in the markets where digitalization is growing, it is important to consider the online availability, its effects and possible solutions. Recently published “Online Availability: A Worldwide Study of Extent, Shopper Reactions, and Implications for Non-Food Online Retail Categories” report indicates that the rate of not online available stock situations doubles out of stock rates in physical stores. The research, which is the most recent and comprehensive research on Retail online availability, was carried out on the basis of non-food products(baby care, home textile, personal care & beauty) within USA, China, France, Germany, Japan and UK.

Online availability; the fulfillment of orders from an e-commerce warehouse, a physical store or open marketplaces, if the product is available for online purchase. Out of Stock (OOS) used for physical store stock-out situations, for online it is called Not Online Available (NOLA). If the product detail page is visible but retailer states out-of-stock or the product is not displayed at the online platform (void); the products considered as Not Online Available.
According to the research, USA has with 15% rate NOLA which doubles  8.3% physical store OOS rate. This rate reaches up to 20% in non-USA countries and 8% of it occurs because of the void. There are two explanations of this situation: the first one is the product is not displayed due to stock availability, the second one is technical problems cause the product not to be displayed. Based on our experiences at Obase, we believe that most of the onsite search engines don’t support smart searches within the product lists according to meanings, categories and themes.

One of the most striking results of the research is that when the product is not available online the shopper’s reactions differentiate from the reaction to physical store out of stock situation.  While the retailer loses more in the physical store, at online this negative effect is reflected on the brand. Online shopper mostly chose to make another online search and buy a substitute product. According to the research conducted by the same team, based on shelf availability in the physical store, 45% of the total loss was reflected on the retailer. Shopper changes the store when the product is not available on the shelf or delays the purchase. According to online availability research results, 30% online shoppers switch to other e-commerce websites. The reactions to NOLA listed in 5 categories: 1. Switch e-commerce website. 2. Switch brand. 3. Switch substitute of the item. 4. Give up to purchase or delay. 5.Purchase from another channel(physical store,etc.).

According to Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) which is one of the supporters of the research, the potential sales loss of NOLA in a year is 17 billion USD. This research and report was prepared by the team that previously in 2002 and 2008 prepared the most comprehensive and referred reports in physical store out-of-stock(OOS) for GMA. Daniel Corsten, professor of business and technology at IE Business School and Thomas Gruen, a marketing professor at the New Hampshire University prepared the report.

Online availability has now become an important issue. In order to prevent NOLA, product master data consistency, real-time stock tracking, search engines supporting semantic content search, information systems based on consistency in demand forecasting and solutions are more critical issues to be focused on. As we always emphasize, the most critical solution requirement is the collaboration of a data-driven retailer and supplier.

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