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Brand loyalty and applications: Six seconds and you're out

Mobile and desktop applications have become a key decider for brand loyalty, and businesses who deliver a sub-par application experience risk losing 14% of their customer base, according to a study commissioned by CA Technologies.

The study titled, 'Software: The new battleground for brand loyalty', surveyed 275 consumers and 53 business decision makers.

The survey looked at the various characteristics of applications that impact user experience and how different industries deliver on these characteristics.

According to the study, three characteristics in particular impact consumer experience: quick loading, simply functionality and the assurance of security.

Of those surveyed, 67% left a brand because it took six or more seconds to load and this was not acceptable. Slightly more than half of those respondents demand a load time of less than three seconds, according to the study.

Almost half of the respondents ranked ‘perform tasks with little difficulty’ and 52% ranked applications that have ‘easy to use features’ as top drivers of their decision to utilise or purchase an application.

Out of users who had a fair or poor experience, 38% said that they were frustrated with their applications’ security issues but did not leave the brand.

“Consumers no longer view applications as nice-to-have novelties. They now have a huge impact on customer loyalty,” says Hope Powers, CA Technologies Australia and New Zealand managing director.

“As businesses navigate a new, always-connected reality that produces vast amounts of ambient data, they must react by delivering a personalised, secure and engaging application experience.”

“In order to tap into the growth potential of the application economy, businesses and governments must make software more than just a part of their business – it must become their business,” says Powers.

“To do this, they have to let their customers lead; listen to them, understand their needs, and apply the same rigour and predictive analysis to application development and deployment as they would to determine the best location for a retail store.”

Currently businesses think application delivery is largely better than consumers do: a difference of 26% in government administration, 19% in healthcare and 18% in financial services. 

The study also highlighted how applications have become a crucial meeting point between consumers and organisations.

According to the survey, 55% of consumers are using applications to bank, 45% use applications to shop and more than half of respondents say they use applications for messaging and accessing personal emails.