Consumers’ high expectations of mobile apps revealed

By Chris Lee

A new report has shone the light on how demanding consumers have become when it comes to their expectations of mobile apps. The vast majority (85 per cent) of more than 3,500 consumers from across the world quizzed by application and website performance specialist Compuware – including more than 500 from the UK – said that they preferred mobile apps over mobile websites, given the choice.

But consumers demand a lot from their mobile experience, which Compuware warns is putting increasing pressure on brands to provide a seamless user experience in line with these expectations if they want to remain competitive.

For example, Compuware found:

  • 80 per cent of consumers expect mobile apps to launch in less than three seconds
  • 78 per cent expect apps to be faster or load at an equal speed to mobile websites
  • 47 per cent have been frustrated by slow mobile app launch times, whilst 62 per cent have reported crashes
  • 48 per cent are less likely to use a poorly performing app again
  • 34 per cent would switch to a competitor’s app and 31 per cent would actually be less likely to purchase from the company at all following a poor experience with a mobile app
  • 84 per cent of consumers base app download decision on app store ratings

Platform interaction links consumers and brands

Michael Allen, director of Application Performance Management at Compuware, said that the findings provide “an undeniable indication” that mobile apps are becoming an increasingly important platform for the interaction between businesses and their customers.

“With 85 per cent of consumers favouring mobile apps over mobile optimised websites, it seems clear that businesses need to invest heavily in this area if they are to succeed at m-commerce and capitalise on this lucrative marketplace,” he told NMK. “However, with 80 per cent of consumers expecting apps to launch and load in less than three seconds, it’s equally apparent that their expectations are incredibly high.”

With 31 per cent of consumers saying they would be less likely to buy from the company following a bad experience with a mobile app, Allen believes this demonstrates there is a significant potential for lost revenues if apps fall short of expectations.

First impressions count in the app store

A good first impression is essential to the success or failure of an app, Allen warned, with 79 per cent of respondents claiming that they would only retry a mobile app once or twice more if it failed to launch on the first attempt.

“Furthermore, with app store ratings so vital in consumers’ decisions to download an app in the first place, word spreads quickly if people are experiencing what they perceive to be a sub-standard service which can be highly damaging to reputations,” he said.

Almost a third (31 per cent) of consumers would tell others about their negative experience; whilst 26 per cent would be inclined to leave a negative rating on the app store.

“Fulfilling such high expectations doesn’t just happen; it takes a conscious effort throughout every stage of the design and development processes to get it right,” Allen advised. “Application performance management is a crucial contributor in helping to not only troubleshoot issues as they occur, but also in forming a valuable function in the design process to ensure that apps are built with performance in mind and are rigorously tested to ensure they are of the right standard when they reach the consumer. Failure to do so, as these results show, could lead to companies squandering customers and potential revenues.”

One thought on “Consumers’ high expectations of mobile apps revealed

  1. It’s interesting. In what context were 85% of consumers asked if they prefer mobile apps over websites? If a consumer is looking to find information about a company or service (lets say there electricity provider) will they really go to the app store, download an app and wait to install an app? This can take quite a bit of time. It is far more likely they will open the mobile browser and do a quick Google search. If however the consumer is looking to install an application to perform a task, or use a tool offline, that warrants an application (like a map software), it is more likely they will use a mobile app. In short, to say that consumers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites depends on the context of the task.


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