Cisco AppDynamics releases its latest report in its App Attention Index research series

Cisco AppDynamics has released the latest report in its App Attention Index research series, revealing consumer reliance on applications and digital services has soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global study, which examined the digital behaviors of more than 13,000 global consumers, also identified consumers now have a zero tolerance policy for poor application experience and automatically place blame on the application and brand, no matter where a performance issue stems from.

Linda Tong, vice president and general manager, Cisco AppDynamics

UAE consumers blame the brand when the application experience fails
Since the start of 2020, consumers, across the Emirates, have experienced a sudden and total reliance on digital services, altering how they engage with brands, consume goods and services, and make purchasing decisions. In fact, the research shows that people are using 30 percent more applications today than they did before the pandemic.

The research highlights that because of their increasing reliance and use of digital services, 91 percent of UAE consumers (15 percent higher than the global average) say their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of 2020. Alarmingly for brands, when their expectations aren’t met, 74 percent of consumers 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.

● 69 percent of people surveyed in the UAE, believe it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly.
● 98 percent say they 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 the majority of UAE consumers (95 percent) say that digital services have become a critical part of daily life, with 98 percent stating they helped them get through the pandemic in a positive way. Additionally, UAE consumers are now loyal to brands based on how significantly they invested in digital services during the pandemic.

● 85 percent say they 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.
● 82 percent say they 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
75 percent of UAE consumers 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 69 percent of consumers believe it’s the responsibility of the brand to ensure that digital services work perfectly, and 73 percent of consumers in the Emirates (16 percent higher than the global average) state that brands have one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider.

● 74 percent say they simply don’t care who is responsible for problems with digital services, they just want them fixed and to work.
● 68 percent consider it disrespectful to users for brands to offer a poor digital experience in this day and age.
● 74 percent believe most problems with digital services and applications are completely avoidable.

“Applications have become the lifeline to normality for people in every corner of the world and consumers are no longer willing to settle for anything less than a perfect digital experience,” said Linda Tong, vice president and general manager of Cisco AppDynamics. “Technologists are now under more pressure than ever to deliver the ‘total application experience’ to users within their first interaction. AppDynamics is the only provider that can help them meet users’ expectations by delivering a critical component of Cisco’s full-stack observability solution, which helps technologists see, understand, and optimize what happens inside and beyond their IT architecture — all through the lens of business impact.”

82 percent of UAE consumers stated that even as life returns to normal, they know they will continue to rely on the digital services they utilized during the pandemic. This means the pressure technologists are under to tackle the complexities of modern architectures in order to deliver flawless digital experiences isn’t going away.