Cisco has unveiled its latest report, the App Attention Index, shedding light on consumers’ escalating expectations for digital experiences and the growing pressure on brand owners to optimize application performance and security. The global study, examining over 15,000 consumers worldwide, highlights a new wave of demanding users shaping the digital landscape.
Consumer Expectations Surge, Yet Unmet
Amid a surge in digital service usage during the pandemic, consumer demand for applications continues to soar. However, despite this increased reliance, 62 percent of respondents now hold significantly higher expectations for digital experiences compared to two years ago. An overwhelming 66 percent expect brands to consistently deliver exceptional digital experiences.
Alas, consumer needs remain unmet, with a staggering 88 percent encountering performance issues in applications over the past year, a rise from 83 percent in 2021. Dissatisfaction is palpable, with reactions to subpar experiences becoming more extreme:
55 percent feel disrespected by brands falling short of expectations.
64 percent are less forgiving of brand slip-ups.
77 percent have abandoned or uninstalled applications due to performance issues.
Consumers are increasingly discerning, meticulously evaluating and decluttering applications that fail to meet their standards:
68 percent seek to declutter unused or undervalued applications.
62 percent aim to control or limit the number of applications on their devices.
54 percent have deleted more apps than they’ve installed in the past year.
“Invest in your application experience or risk losing customers. Exceptional performance is now the baseline expectation, and any lapse could tarnish reputation and revenue,” Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Cisco Full-Stack Observability and AppDynamics, said.
The Emergence of ‘The Application Generation’
A distinct cohort, ‘The Application Generation’ (18-34 age group), has emerged as heavy users of applications, relying on them to navigate the pandemic and thrive in today’s hybrid world. These users, averaging 41 monthly applications compared to 30 among older demographics, are exceptionally discerning:
77 percent carefully consider installed applications.
64 percent exclusively opt for top-tier applications and digital services.
This group, weary of underperforming applications, poses a concerning trend for app owners. They’re quick to ditch apps and brands falling short and are increasingly vocal, with 70 percent more likely to share grievances about underperforming apps.
The study emphasizes a critical need for brands to prioritize and enhance their digital offerings to meet the evolving expectations of this empowered consumer base.