Case Study: The Risk Mobile App Bugs Pose to Luxury Brands

Case Study: The Risk Mobile App Bugs Pose to Luxury Brands

Software bugs are inevitable. This is the reality for any brand that builds, updates, or simply owns a digital platform like an app, website, etc. Nonetheless, the consequences of bugs can be quite significant affecting every aspect of an app or website, for example, as well as the brand’s actual reputation.

To highlight the potential of software bugs, look no further than to the case of Mercedes-Benz’s mobile app for their line of connected cars.

The Potential of Mobile App Bugs

For luxury brands, quality is everything. From the products they sell to the experience customer receive in-store or online, luxury brands take extreme care to protect their image and the aura surrounding their brand by offering the very best quality to their customers.

The same is true for luxury automakers. Coupled with the rise of new technology and the digital transformation, the need for luxury automakers to offer superb quality extends to their digital platforms, namely their mobile applications.

Unfortunately for Mercedes-Benz, however, they became a victim of an embarrassing mobile app bug that exposed the customers’ personal information. The bug affected the German automaker’s mobile application, which provides car owners with a number of functions such as remotely starting or turning off their engine, locking or unlocking their doors, location tracking for their car, and more.

The app which contains personal information erroneously gave customers access to the personal information of other car owners. Although Mercedes was quick to take the app offline upon discovering the bug, it still raised concerns over the app’s security and protection of users’ personal data.

mercedes benz mobile app bug Source: TechCrunch 

What is worth noting is that mobile app bugs like this can damage a brand’s image, especially those in the luxury industry that pride themselves on providing the best quality to their customers.

The potential risks created by the bugged Mercedes-Benz app highlights the importance of mobile app testing as well as all Quality Assurance (QA) tests for all websites, IoT’s, and any form of software early and often.

While no one questions the importance of QA testing, properly designing and executing tests can be challenging for any brand. Below, we describe three testing challenges that many organizations face when testing mobile apps or any software program.

3 QA Testing Challenges

A Lack of Testing Experience or Expertise

A lack of testing experience or know-how is a major challenge that prevents organizations from effectively planning and executing QA campaigns. Part of this is due to the fact that software testing is a completely different line of work than software development. The ability to proficiently design and perform a QA test on a mobile app, website, or other software program requires specific skills and knowledge to understand a product’s specifications.

Furthermore, experience and knowledge play a large role in knowing which resources or configurations are needed to execute test cases. This is especially true when we recognize that people surf the web across multiple devices and browsers.

Without such knowledge, it becomes extremely difficult for testers to uncover the bugs that are most likely to have the greatest impact on the most commonly used operating systems, browsers, screen resolutions, etc.

The agile methodology can also contribute to the complexities of software testing. The vast majority of organizations struggle to fully implement or follow the agile method for a number of reasons.

The agile method requires agile testing, which often requires test automation to carry out regression testing during each sprint. This is a rather difficult task for many organizations.

42 respondents indicated that a lack of skills2Fexperience in agile posed challenges towards adopting and scaling in the agile model.

 

In fact, according to the World Quality Report 2019, the lack of experience in test automation is a major reason why more organizations cannot fully implement the agile method.

A Lack of QA Resources

There is absolutely no substitute for having the resources needed to execute a test campaign. Many organizations, unfortunately, lack several key resources including an internal QA team as well as a collection of testing configurations covering all relevant devices, brands, models, operating systems versions and web browsers, etc.

The costs associated library of testing devices is often to blame. Purchasing new devices every year as well as maintaining existing smartphones, tablets, and computers is extremely expensive.

Some organizations try to overcome this challenge by using for emulators or simulators to execute certain tests. While these programs are well suited for a limited number of test cases, they cannot be used to fully execute every test case including those that rely on geolocation, Bluetooth, biometric scanners, etc.

Furthermore, using real devices is vital when it is necessary to related test cases. The recent launch of more foldable smartphones also presents a limitation of emulators that lack the ability to properly assess how an app or website transitions between screen modes.

Insufficient Time

Last but certainly not least, time constraints are a major QA challenge that affects organizations. It is not uncommon for digital projects to fall behind schedule or get pushed back as a result of challenges that dev teams face.

These delays, however, can result in extra pressure being placed on QA teams to plan and execute a test campaign in a short amount of time. Time constraints can force test managers to scrap everything but the most essential test cases leading to important test cases being left by the wayside.


The lack of know-how, resources, and time are all reasons why organizations turn to third-party QA specialists like StarDust. With the experience and know-how, resources, and ability to test around the clock thanks to two QA labs in Europe and North America as well as a crowdtesting community in 60 countries, StarDust is the partner for a number of brands.

To learn more about QA testing, please do not hesitate to download our white paper on agile testing. 

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