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March 5, 2015

Apps lead the charge in brand loyalty battle

CA Technologies study reveals the importance of applications in business.

By James Nunns

A CA Technologies study has revealed that mobile and desktop applications have become the new battleground for brand loyalty.

The global study shows that if businesses fail to deliver a positive application experience, then they risk losing as much as a quarter of the customer base.

The "Software: the New Battleground for Brand Loyalty" study looked to reveal how various characteristics of applications impacted user experience, and how well different industries delivered on those characteristics.

The biggest impacts found for consumer experience were quick loading, simple functionality and assurance of security.

68% of consumer respondents said that they had left a brand because of poor load times and that a load time of 6 seconds or less was acceptable. However, more than half of those respondents want to see load times of less than 3 seconds.

For 70% of consumers the ability to perform tasks with little difficulty is very important and 80% ranked applications that have easy to use features as the top driver to buying or using an application.

Andi Mann, vice president, Strategic Solutions, CA Technologies, said: "Consumers no longer view applications as nice-to-have novelties. They now have a huge impact on customer loyalty."

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"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."

The study also found that there is a difference of thought between how well business decision makers think industries are able to provide app technologies, and how well consumers believe the same industries are actually delivering the tech.

Mann, said: "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."

"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."

Applications have become a crucial meeting point between consumers and organisations according to the survey, which found that 49% of consumers are using applications to bank and 48% use applications to shop.

More than half of the 6,770 consumers and 809 business decision makers responded to say that they’d be willing to use applications to perform tasks such as paying taxes, managing healthcare and voting in elections.

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