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Time flies when you’re having fun, or in the case of pandemic life, time flies when social distancing is required to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe. Which is why Valentine’s Day feels sudden to a world still trapped in March 2020. 

But for e-commerce sites, Valentine’s Day is far from a surprise. The National Retail Federation predicts that over half of Americans will celebrate the holiday, spending an estimated $21.8 billion. Much of that will be spent on gifts like candy, flowers, and cards. 

For e-commerce sites specializing in these product categories, Valentine’s Day is the equivalent of the Super Bowl. Their businesses depend on high-traffic days like Valentine’s Day to grow and thrive in an industry with low margins and little room for error. Optimizing the user experience and ensuring that all customer journeys are seamless is critical when it comes to these moments. 

Ritual + mabl = thriving in DTC health

Friend of mabl Ritual is a health-meets-technology company that offers clean, vegan multivitamins direct-to-consumer on Ritual.com. The brand prides itself on traceable, high quality, and evidence-based nutrients backed by a fully transparent supply chain. Its product range has grown from a women’s vitamin to a full range of supplements created specifically for the entire family, with each vitamin formulated to help fill nutrient gaps in the average American diet and support foundational health. As a leading e-commerce company at the forefront of the $4.2 trillion health and wellness industry, Ritual relies on a culture of quality to ensure its UX is as premium as their multivitamins, especially on days where demand is expected to surge. 

When Ritual was preparing to launch their highly anticipated line of men’s multivitamins, QA Director Chris de Steuben knew his small team needed to be certain that the entire digital experience was prepared to handle an onslaught of demand and introduce the new vitamin line to the world. 

The demands on his small team were intense. First, the team was operating fully remote, adding complications to their cross-functional process. They were also managing a large number of priorities across rapidly evolving schedules. The launch timeline was ambitious and required UX testing and increasing additional complexity, which posed additional challenges to quality management. As the user journey evolved, architecture changes made (or even planned) became irrelevant. To handle the complexity of this situation, Chris and the Ritual team relied heavily on mabl for intelligent test automation.

Segment Integration enables UX management at scale

One of the main challenges to launching a new product is that it introduces an unprecedented amount of uncertainty into the user journey, particularly when expanding to an entirely new audience. The best way to get ahead of the curve? Data-driven testing. 

With mabl, Chris was able to integrate Segment into his team’s testing strategy. This made it possible for his team to compare test coverage with user traffic and scale testing in lockstep with how users actually navigate Ritual’s e-commerce platform. 

Segment identifies key pages in the user journey on Ritual.com

Using Segment, the Ritual QA team was able to identify potential weaknesses in test coverage, particularly test concurrency. Given that they expected a surge in new users on the day of the men’s multivitamin launch,  Chris and his team needed to test concurrency limits and ultimately, decide if an increase in test concurrency was necessary to handle transaction volume. Thanks to data produced by mabl through the Segment integration, the Ritual team was able to identify resource bottlenecks in their configuration that could have caused days-long delays if shipped to production. As a result, Chris made the data-driven decision to increase the concurrency limits, paving the way for a successful launch of the men’s multivitamin.

Managing an evolving visual identity

Ideally, e-commerce QA teams work closely with web designers and product marketing teams to build a high-quality user experience. Of course, this is often easier said than done. To keep pace with the rest of the Ritual launch team, Chris relied on mabl’s visual change detection to prevent test failures due to copy or image alterations. Using AI and machine learning, the mabl platform is able to track hundreds of identifiers on any given site page, automatically alerting the QA team to any changes and taking the guesswork out of UI testing during a high pressure situation focused on a quickly changing user experience. 

For a small, fully remote team, automatic notifications of visual changes reduced the mental load on both the QA team and the design team since no one had to worry about managing communication between the two. The reduced effort needed to simply stay up-to-date on the new men’s multivitamin site pages meant that Chris and his team could channel more effort into resolving issues, reducing the turnaround time needed to synchronize design and engineering changes. For a brand like Ritual, which prides itself on a high-impact visual brand that communicates its distinctive transparency and science-backed approach to health, quality throughout the entire design and engineering process is crucial to standing out during a product launch. 

Staying ahead of demand surges

Whether you’re a quality leader at an e-commerce site focused on health or flowers, chances are that you need test automation solutions that equip your team to optimize the UX for high-demand days. Whether it’s a product launch or Valentine’s Day, mabl features like Segment integrations and visual change detection ensure that your organization is prepared to deliver a seamless experience with a culture of quality. 

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