Consumer reliance on applications and digital services has soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to the latest App Attention Index report from Cisco AppDynamics. The global study of 13,000 consumers, also indicates that there is now zero-tolerance for poor application experience while blame is placed on the application and brand, no matter where a performance issue stems from.
Consumers blame the brand when the application experience fails
Since the start of 2020, consumers have experienced a sudden and total reliance on digital services, altering how they engage with brands, consume goods and services, and make purchasing decisions. The research shows that people are using 30% more applications today than they did before the pandemic.
The research highlights that because of their increasing reliance and use of digital services, 76% of consumers say their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of 2020.
Alarmingly for brands, when their expectations aren’t met 60% will now automatically blame the application and the brand no matter where the issue actually lives. Whether it’s within the application itself – such as pages loading slowly, downtime, or security failures; or external factors like internet connectivity, slow payment gateways or technical issues with third party services – to the consumer there is no distinction and they will now place responsibility firmly on the brand.
- 72% believe it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly.
- 92% expect digital services to have reliable, consistent performance.
Loyalty lies with brands that invest in application experience
Consumers have not only come to rely on applications and digital services to function in everyday life, but they also used them to facilitate social interactions in the absence of traditional ways of connecting in person. The research found that for the majority of consumers (85%) digital services have become a critical part of daily life, with 84% stating they helped them get through the pandemic in a positive way. Additionally, consumers are now loyal to brands based on how significantly they invested in digital services during the pandemic.
- 72% feel grateful to the brands that invested in digital during the pandemic so they could get access to the services that they love and rely on.
- 67% feel more loyal to brands that went above and beyond with the quality of their digital service during the pandemic.
Brands have one shot to get the ‘total application experience’ right
61% now state their expectations for digital services have changed forever and they will no longer tolerate poor performance. The research goes on to find that 72% of consumers believe it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that digital services work perfectly, and more than half (57%) state that brands have one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider.
- 72% say they simply don’t care who is responsible for problems with digital services, they just want them fixed and to work.
- 68% consider it disrespectful to users for brands to offer a poor digital experience.
- 57% believe most problems with digital services and applications are completely avoidable.
Linda Tong, VP and general manager, Cisco AppDynamics