The Benefits of No-code Test Automation in Ecommerce

In software development, automation frameworks have meant testers should learn how to script automated tests. Organizations are adopting codeless test automation to run a faster development lifecycle. Here is why.

E-commerce has grown two to five times faster than before the pandemic.

McKinseyThe Future of Work After Covid

Since COVID, eCommerce businesses are pushing to do more with less. They have to release faster, fix flawed user experiences, and prevent system downtime. Removing all possible risks that lead to expensive fixes and, consequently, losing customers is a must. Testing is a crucial part of this. It is during the testing phase that teams work hard in preventing buggy code or system downtime.
With the pressure of deadlines and quality requirements, businesses are after reliable, easy-to-use solutions that keep manual work down to a minimum. The more automation there is, the more time available for creating valued tasks.
So why are the solutions of today so incompatible with The Agile approach to work? And how do no-code solutions fit in the big picture?

Why automation frameworks can be challenging to scale

Test automation frameworks are essentially guidebooks on how to build automation for try-outs. The practical problem derives from the fact that frameworks don’t make it easier to automate. They can overcomplicate testing and act as breaks, unnecessarily slowing down the test process. Frameworks make it hard for testers to define valuable guidelines for their daily work. Let’s sum up the downsides of automation frameworks:

  • They don’t match the pace of development
  • They’re costly and take valuable time away from testing
  • They are limited in scope, making them difficult to scale
  • Their lifespan can be short because they are person dependent

Most popular test automation tools are developed with a programming mindset.
This approach creates a problem: testers, at heart, are not programmers. We expect them to be and ignore the years it takes to master the practice. Of course, compared to the actual testers, programmers look like superior test experts, but their attention is naturally needed elsewhere. So how do we make actual testers better at what they do?

Fortunately, not all test automation tools need coding skills. No-code automation makes it easy for businesses to put AI to good use without the practical requirements of an experienced software engineer. No-code development is an intriguing concept with proper attention and deserved. It does propose ideas that support businesses that otherwise would have never even existed.

What is no-code test automation?

No-code, or scriptless test automation, is a solution that helps software development. Its easy and intuitive nature enables teams to run agile development cycles.

Non-technical people can build and maintain test automation without having to write code. This phenomenon is possible because of the intuitive nature of the visual interface. Drag and drops blocks use drag-and-drop blocks to create complex test cases, even without any prior knowledge or practice with any other tools or languages.
The benefit of no-code is that you use the same approach for automation, whether it’s an eCommerce website, a desktop application, or a virtual environment.


Match the pace of development

IT leaders are facing increasing pressure to maintain the quality of their services. At the same time, their customers expect them to deliver more in a shorter time frame.
Companies adopted test automation tools to meet this demand and match the pace of development as their best practice. It has helped people automate time-consuming and manual processes when testing their systems.
In theory, it helps teams to shift-left their testing. The problem is not all automation tools are accessible to those testing the system. Testers are experts in understanding business needs and have domain knowledge—QA engineers or developers, who will build the underlying framework needed to automate. Even so, testers must have developer-like skills to cope.

We see a trend towards wanting QA engineers who have developer - type skills, who yet retain their quality mindset and business-cum-user centricity. Is this expecting too much? Yes, we think so. Only a few QA professionals can have all these skills in their repertoire.

With no-code automation, all code is hidden under the hood and away from the user. This condition makes it much easier for testers without technical experience to learn about automation and apply it best. Moreover, it speeds up the building of automated test cases since an internal test framework is not required.


Lower maintenance

Scripted automation requires a lot of maintenance. It’s a task nobody wants to do, and it often gets ignored. If the task remains undone, something could break. Even the most minor changes to your eCommerce website have the potential to break a test.
One example is with the most common script-based automation tool, Selenium. It’s open-sourced, free, and based on JavaScript. Because JavaScript relies on locators, if an element on your page were to move, the locator would carry with it. If tests aren’t updated, the wrong locator can get selected.
To update the test, you must change the script. On a small scale, this is a quick fix. As soon as your test cases enter the thousands, performing this maintenance becomes time-consuming.
If you do not have testers with programming experience, finding the resources to make maintenance happen is challenging. Developers are, after all, an expensive resource. A business would rather have them spend time creating and maintaining new features than creating automated test cases.
But what happens when you lower the maintenance required for automation. And is it possible to oversee the automationwithout a development team? The short answer is yes.


Maintainable automation

Automated tests with visual UI workflows make it easier to maintain and scale automation. The ability to adjust automation according to system changes becomes a more straightforward process.
Identifying issues is faster through automation; there is no need for a programmer to scour through code to identify and correct errors. Nor is there a need for a comprehensive locator strategy. Instead, codeless automation operates through the native identification of objects. Every time the SUT changes, it’s not necessary to adjust a test case.


Free up resources

Automation, in theory, should free up time for value-creating tasks, but it still requires the resources needed to build it out.
For example, suppose a tester has a background in functional testing, and the tool or your adopted framework requires a programming language expert. In that case, you need to invest in upskilling your testers.
Upskilling your testers in programming can take months, and mastering the technique takes years. In any case, you need a skilled and expensive developer who could produce script-based automation.
When testers and developers are free from spending time writing code for their automated test cases, they can spend it on tasks that bring more value to the company.
For testers, they can spend time testing where human intervention is necessary and define more exploratory tests. The developers have more time to focus on more significant, complex problems like improving the software’s functionality or developing new and innovative features for better user experiences.


Improve adoption

Businesses are investing in new technology to improve their automation, but they don’t necessarily have the skilled workers available to use these new technologies. This problem perhaps makes the most beneficial aspect of no-code test automation: the ability for testing teams to adopt no-code automation because of its short learning curve quickly.
It doesn’t require that you become an expert in programming but instead relies on the tester’s primary skillset, a strong familiarity with the eCommerce system, and their ability to test it.

Key takeaways

  • Agile development can increase the speed of a development lifecycle, but it requires the adoption of new tools and technologies.
  • Tools that enable more collaborative behavior, like codeless automation, mean functional testers can quickly and easily build test automation. Testers can then keep pace with the development lifecycle.
  • By lowering the maintenance needed for automation, teams can ensure that their releases will be of higher quality.
  • With the time saved by using codeless automation, businesses will be better equipped to scale their automation initiatives.


David Dorr, Head of eCommerce

David is the Head of e-Commerce at CodeCoda where he is responsible to lead several teams of eCommerce specialists. In his previous role as a data scientist for London Metropolitan Police, he was developing deep learning NLP algorithms as part of the Crime Prediction initiative. He then switched over to combine AI with e-Commerce.
He received a B.Sc in Physics from the University of Surrey, Guildford in 1996. With this scientific background, he switched relatively early in his life towards Neural Networks and e-Commerce and has ever since been fascinated with what AI and Machine Learning can do for Online Commerce.