UAE brands must focus on digital experience, study shows

This is key to ensure consumers have a happy holiday season


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Legal views, consumer, online product, online shopping,

Published: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 9:50 PM

Research published today by Cisco reveals that consumers will be using more applications and digital services over the end-of-year holiday season than ever before. 78 per cent of people in the UAE now believe that applications and digital services are important to having an enjoyable holiday. But significantly, 65 per cent of the nation’s consumers (considerably higher than the global average of 45 per cent) are concerned that if a digital service doesn’t perform, it will ruin their seasonal celebrations. Consequently, 63 per cent of consumers in the Emirates say they won’t be able to forgive an application that lets them down over the holiday season.

“As brands look to take advantage of record demand for applications over the holidays, the findings provide a stark reminder about the importance of application availability, performance and security,” said James Harvey, CTO Advisor EMEA, Cisco Observability. “The pressure is on application owners in all sectors to ensure that their applications are operating at peak performance during the holidays; people will have zero tolerance for any brand that delivers a bad digital experience.”

Applications will play a central role during the holidays

The research uncovers the breadth of different digital services that people will be using over the holiday season. Whether it’s streaming movies and music, connecting with friends and family, keeping up to date with news, or managing finances, consumers will be relying on a huge number of applications as they celebrate.

However, with so many holiday plans reliant on digital services, the potential consequences of applications not performing properly are profound. More than half of consumers (53 per cent) admit that they are worried that if a digital service doesn’t work as it should, it will have negative implications for their family holiday. In particular, UAE consumers point to a number of scenarios that would affect their holiday mood. 45 per cent are worried about a banking application not working so that they can’t make an important payment, while 43 per cent are concerned about a messaging platform failing so they wouldn’t be able to speak to friends and family during the holidays. 38 per cent of people are anxious about the possibility of a retail application going down so that they can’t buy a last-minute gift or order some last-minute ingredients for their holiday cooking.

The stakes have been raised for application owners over the holiday season. And for IT teams, there is now massive pressure to optimize digital experience. “If technologists hope to relax and enjoy a well-earned rest without the constant worry that an application performance or security issue is going to interfere with their holiday plans, they must implement application observability,” said Harvey. “This can ease the pressure they face, flagging issues before they escalate into something serious, and giving technologists peace of mind and confidence that they won’t be facing a nightmare holiday scenario.”

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