Application Performance is Key to Retail Customer Satisfaction
July 15, 2015

John Rakowski
AppDynamics

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For today’s always-on consumers, the performance of retail websites and mobile applications is strongly linked to customer satisfaction, loyalty and spend, according to a new study by AppDynamics.

Mobile apps play an increasingly important role in consumers’ lives – 20 percent of respondents admit to making purchases on their phone while at work in front of their computer, and 70 percent said they make more than a quarter of their purchases online.

The AppDynamics report "An App Is Not Enough" indicates that consumer expectations of retail websites and mobile apps are evolving in response to the growth of mobile and emerging technologies, with 70 percent of consumers stating that the performance of a mobile app impacts their perception of the retailer.

According to the report, 67 percent of consumers would be put off shopping with a retailer if they had a negative experience with its app, putting the onus on brands to deliver flawless application performance.

“As the lines between work and personal, digital and physical, continue to blur, retailers must ensure their apps function at all times across multiple platforms in order to retain and nurture always-on consumers,” said Jyoti Bansal, founder and CEO of AppDynamics. “Technology has transformed the retail landscape significantly over the past decade, and now more than ever, software defines business success – with revenue and reputation often hinging on customer interactions with apps.”

While digital technologies have provided consumers with more choices in how and where they shop, they have never been so time-poor, which may be why 40 percent of those surveyed say they would trial a new app if it promised to deliver a more convenient shopping experience. Furthermore, a third of consumers are now using apps for convenience when they visit a store or to make a swift purchase on the go.

The study, which surveyed 4,000 UK, US, French and German smartphone and tablet owners, also found:

■ 43 percent of consumers want mobile apps that allow them to purchase products while in the store, instead of queuing for a sales assistant.

■ 57 percent would like retail apps to provide store assistants with details of past purchases for a tailored omni-channel experience.

■ 56 percent would be encouraged to visit brick-and-mortar stores if apps provided them with personalized offers when they were close by.

■ If unable to complete a purchase, three quarters of consumers stated that a prompt and personal apology would persuade them to revisit the retailer.

“Today’s consumers expect a seamless shopping experience across online and offline channels, with minimal friction points,” said Paul Hobbs, head of e-commerce at Shop Direct. “This puts increased pressure on retailers to innovate, using the latest technologies to improve and augment the online e-commerce journey so it delivers the thrill of visiting the high street in a more convenient way. As an example, Very.com has recently introduced image recognition technology that allows shoppers to take photos of clothes they like and search for similar styles across the brand’s product range. At the same time, mobile continues to play an integral role in increasing online sales – allowing consumers to shop when they want, how they want, and on any device. With retailers using a combination of technologies to deliver a competitive and flawless experience to shoppers, ensuring the performance of these applications is mission-critical.”

About the Study: The study surveyed 4,000 UK, US, French and German adult smartphone and tablet owners (1,000 in each market) and was conducted by Atomik Research in June 2015.

John Rakowski is Director of Technology Strategy at AppDynamics.

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