mobile appOnline mobile and desktop applications “have become the new battleground for brand loyalty,” according to a new study commissioned by business software developer CA Technologies. Businesses that fail to provide “a positive application experience” stand to lose as many as a quarter of their customers, according to “Software: the New Battleground for Brand Loyalty.”

In producing the report, Zogby Analytics surveyed 6,770 consumers and 809 business decision-makers across 18 countries regarding the impact of various application characteristics on user experience, and, based on these, how well they thought apps from businesses in various economic sectors performed.

Three application characteristics stood out among survey participants:

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  • Quick loading;
  • Simple functionality; and
  • Assurance of security.

The Business App Survey
Sixty-eight percent of consumer respondents who left a brand due to slow app loading said a load time of six seconds or less was acceptable, according to CA Technologies’ press release.

Over 70 percent of consumer respondents ranked “perform tasks with little difficulty” as a key driver of their decision to use or buy an app. Nearly 80 percent said “easy to use” features was a top driver.

Ten percent of survey respondents who had a “fair or poor experience” with an app said they would leave a brand forever because of concerns about security.

“Consumers no longer view applications as nice-to-have novelties. They now have a huge impact on customer loyalty,” Andi Mann, vice president, Strategic Solutions, CA Technologies, was quoted as saying. “As businesses navigate a new, always-connected reality that produces vast amounts of ambient data, they must react by delivering a personalized, secure and engaging application experience.”

Furthermore, CA Technologies found a large disconnect between business decision-makers’ assessment of businesses’ ability to deliver high-quality apps and those of consumers. Generally speaking, business decision-makers believe businesses are doing a better job of delivering apps than end-users do. CA Technologies found a difference of 15 percent when it came to apps in the financial services sector and 14 percent each in information and technology and government administration.

Survey results also indicate how ingrained app use has become, and how it now serves as “a crucial meeting point between consumers and organizations.” Forty-nine percent of consumers surveyed are using apps for banking and 48 percent for shopping. More than half said they would be willing to use apps to do things such as pay taxes, manage healthcare or vote.

“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,” Mann commented.

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

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