Over the last 18 months, and indeed during the current lockdowns, Aussies have turned to applications to give them a sense of normality or ‘business as usual’.
Applications connecting Australians to essential services such as grocery delivery and healthcare have been a lifeline for consumers, and they have offered new levels of trust and loyalty to businesses as a result.
However, this reliance on applications and digital services comes with a caveat. According to the App Attention Index 2021, Australian consumers are well aware of what makes up a fantastic digital experience, and for them, the experiential buck stops with the brand — even if sub-par app performance is not the brand’s fault.
This increases the pressure businesses are now under to deliver a ‘total application experience’ to users right from the first interaction, to ensure they don’t alienate customers with poorly performing apps before they even start.
App reliance has grown during the pandemic
Now in its 4th installment, the App Attention Index surveyed over 13,000 global consumers including 1,000 Australians to uncover new digital behaviour and trends during the pandemic.
It found the challenges of 2020 provided an opportunity for brands to go ‘above and beyond’ for consumers, and those that did were rewarded with loyalty throughout the first year of the pandemic.
In fact, the survey found 68% feel more loyal to brands that went above and beyond with the quality of their digital service during the pandemic, and 73% are grateful for brands that invested in digital during the pandemic so they could get access to the services they love and rely on. Even as life returns to normal later in the year, 75% of Australian say they will continue to rely on the digital services they utilised during the pandemic.
While the pandemic has certainly been difficult, and those challenges are not yet over, brands who stepped-up to meet the needs of consumers found themselves with opportunities to attract new, and even more loyal customers.
Poor app performance will no longer be tolerated
Consumers are turning to brands for the ‘total application experience’. They expect their mobile banking or grocery app, and even essential government services websites, to be reliable, personalised, secure and simple to use. And, now more than ever, it has become the norm to blame these applications and digital services — and the brands behind them — when things go awry.
While apps were a lifeline over the past year, consumer expectations have increased with digital service and application usage. 74% of Australians report their expectations of digital services have increased since the beginning of 2020, and 92% say they expect reliable and consistent performance from their digital service or application.
Importantly, 58% say brands have only one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider, 63% say their expectations of digital services has changed forever and they won’t tolerate poor performance anymore, and 76% say it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure the digital service or application works perfectly.
This highlights the reliance Australian consumers have on applications and digital services. There’s no denying the pandemic has had a lasting impact on consumer behaviour, and 72% of Aussies go as far as to say it is ‘disrespectful to users’ for brands to offer a poor digital experience.
Brands need to understand an application is no longer an extension of the brand or an additional channel to engage customers. Today, the application is the business.
There is little room for error
Given these shifting consumer expectations, technologists are now under more pressure than ever to deliver a ‘total application experience’ to users right from the first interaction. Because of this, technologists need to leverage new technologies, such as full-stack observability, that will help them to see, understand, and optimise what happens inside and beyond their IT architecture — all through the lens of business impact.
This pressure technologists are under to tackle the complexities of modern architectures in order to deliver flawless digital experiences isn’t going away.