30 Days of Ecommerce Testing Day 21: Alternative Ways to Buy

Day 21 of 30 days of ecommerce testing is:

Identify alternative ways that we can currently buy products without using a computer.

For me, it’s mobile. I rarely ever buy on a tablet or laptop!

When I think mobile though, I always think android (guilty) but this post from Sauce Labs (particularly focussing on ecommerce) suggests I’m probably not focussing on the most popular areas

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Not sure if I am clear about this topic- if I say that we can order online for physical pickup, will that be considered as one of the ways?

My take is that if there is software, there is a computer, so my first reaction to the question was “We are trying to disrupt the shopping experience here, why list all the traditional ways when we’re talking about e-commerce?” :smile:

But even leaving out the obvious desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones, a dumbphone would definitely count and in the developing world where a lot of bandwidth is not readily available, both SMS and even WAP based solutions are used quite extensively.

SMS payments are also often available for small transactions such as unlocking a single paywalled article (however that would require a computer to deliver the bought item). A code sent via SMS could also probably work for some other types of transaction though.

Then, there are the self-service POS. I wouldn’t consider all vending machines to be e-commerce although one might argue that anywhere a credit/debit card is supported there is already enough software involved.
Also self-service ordering in a restaurant wouldn’t count as e-commerce for me even if the entire service chain was automated as the customer must be physically present at the same place as the goods are.
However, ticket vending machines which are connected e.g. to a railway reservation system meet my criteria for an e-commerce application.

Another such channel could be ATMs where you can add airtime to a prepaid mobile phone.

The latter two types typically run Windows though, so I’m honestly not sure that they count as non-“computers”.

And finally, if Google get their way, we will perhaps soon be chatting with bots on the phone to order stuff remotely, no need to touch a computer.


At my workplace (a payment processing company) we still always run tests for “MOTO” (mail order, telephone order). Ecomm is sort of replacing MOTO to the point where MOTO has almost become synonymous with e-comm. (source)

I searched around to see if I could find who was still using mail order, and had no luck. As for telephone order, think food delivery. I get my pizza via an app now, but Chinese take out is almost always telephone order. The Home Shopping Network is still a thing, although you can now by directly from their website as well.

I’d say MOTO is fading fast, as in “I can’t even find data on how fast it’s fading” fast.

-Dave K


An alternatives way to buy products without using a computer would be:

  • Mobile
  • Tablets
  • Phone

And if we want to avoid technology we could use physical approach(?) and maybe send messagers…
This is a difficult challenge… jaja

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Alternative ways to buy other than using a computer is to

  1. walk in to the store directly
  2. some retail and online shopping sites have kiosk machines with select products, so using the kiosk

Other than above options, using the technology gadgets

  1. Mobile
  2. Tablet
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Sorry, a little bit late, but:

Tablets and Mobiles are no computers? They have a processor and a network-card - things for doing an ecommerce-trade. Meanwhile also TV’s are computers :wink:



@maos Multiple likes, hearts and other good stuff for your post, for
a) noting that software->computer (ulfh - you as well, but she was quicker ;] )
All IoT devices have computers, and most smartphones/tablets are computers are computers - e.g. the most powerful computer @my home at the moment, GPU-wise, is definitely SamsGalaxy s6)

b) the wonderful source you’ve found (i.e. the developing world brochure), reminding us that although
the future is already here, only it’s unevenly distributed (~ W.Gibson), the past is also here, distributed in abundance where the future hasn’t yet reached.

That being said, let me add my own bit for the challenge (assuming that we agree that the topic is “buying without using the desktop”):

IoT - TVs, sure, but I’m more enticed with connected refrigerators (e.g. https://www.samsung.com/us/explore/family-hub-refrigerator/overview/)
allowing you to order groceries directly from the fridge panel.

Imagine - ordering groceries, a delivery man who lets himself in (Amazon Key) - so many tasty places to hack! I only miss auto-checking the state of the fridge for auto-ordering.


Thank you @krzy_solar :bowing_woman:

And rejoice, for smart packaging that could report back to your fridge is in the works already:

All that’s missing is the fridge shaming the user on Twitter for letting food go to waste… Or reporting back to health insurance on the unhealthy eating habits tracked per person in the household. Oh, the possibilities :smiley:

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Our friends on Twitter:

All right, Saturday rejoicing commenced.

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Day 21 https://wp.me/p9EXXo-5G

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Currently, the smartphone, tablet, smart TV… are computers too. A Smartphone is a fully equipped computer with Integrated circuits, Input Output Devices, Primary and Secondary Storage, Processor, GUI (Graphic User Interface), Operating System, CPU, ALU, cache, Registers, Executable Softwares/Applications, Drivers, and pretty much everything a computer would have and even more, like proximity sensor, portability, gyroscope, compass, Camera, a touch sensitive display, ALONG WITH THE FACT that you can call another person with this computer!

Alternative ways to buy other than using a computer is to

  1. Shopping directly at a shop
  2. Order by calling to a shop
  3. Order by emailing to a shop (this way used the computer too, but a little difference)
  4. Order by mailing to a shop box

And some ways to come back the past in 1960s…