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UAE consumers blame brands when apps fall short of expectations

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 20, 2021
Around 69 per cent of people surveyed in the UAE believe it is the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly. — AFP

The global study, which examined the digital behaviours of more than 13,000 global consumers, also identified consumers now have a zero tolerance policy for poor application experience.


A new research finds that 91 per cent of UAE consumers (15 per cent higher than the global average) say their expectations of digital services have increased since the start of 2020 because of their growing reliance and use of digital services.

However, when their expectations aren’t met, 74 per cent of UAE consumers will now automatically blame the application and the brand no matter where the issue actually lives, according to the study conducted by Cisco AppDynamics.

“Whether it is 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,” said the App Attention Index research report.

The global study, which examined the digital behaviours 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.

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 per cent more applications today than they did before the pandemic.

“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.”

While 69 per cent of people surveyed in the UAE believe it is the responsibility of the brand to ensure that the digital service or application works perfectly, 98 per cent 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,” said the report.

The research found that the majority of UAE consumers (95 per cent) 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.

While 85 per cent of respondents in the survey 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 per cent 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 is the responsibility of the brand to ensure that digital services work perfectly, and 73 per cent of consumers in the Emirates (16 per cent higher than the global average) state that brands have one shot to impress them with their digital experiences before they switch to another provider,” said the report.

The study found that 74 per cent say they simply don’t care who is responsible for problems with digital services, they just want them fixed and to work while 68 per cent consider it disrespectful to users for brands to offer a poor digital experience in this day and age. Some 74 per cent of the respondents believe most problems with digital services and applications are completely avoidable while 82 per cent of 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. — issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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