Monday, 25th May 2020

Beware the era of the digital reflex

AppDynamics has released the latest report in its App Attention Index research series, revealing the emergence of ‘The Era of The Digital Reflex’ - a seismic shift in the way consumers interact and engage with digital services and applications. The global study, which examines consumers’ reliance on applications and digital services, also identified how these digital dependencies impact consumers’ expectations of the businesses and brands they engage with, their increasing intolerance of performance problems and the urgency with which brands must take action in order to remain relevant and competitive in a world where application loyalty is the new brand loyalty.

Growing Reliance on Applications and Digital Services


Modern technology has transformed the way we live, work and play, making digital experiences a fundamental part of everyday life. However, many consumers are unaware of how much their use of digital services has evolved. While the average person estimates that they use seven digital services each day, in fact they are using more than 30 digital services on a daily basis. While 68 percent recognize they use many more digital services than they are consciously aware of, they also acknowledge the positive impact digital services have on many aspects of their daily lives.

●70% say digital services have helped reduce stress.

●68% claim digital services have improved their productivity at home and work, an increase from 43% in 2017.

The Era of The Digital Reflex

The use of digital services has evolved to become an unconscious extension of human behavior - a ‘Digital Reflex.’ While consumers used to make a conscious and deliberate decision to use a digital service to carry out a task or activity, they now happen spontaneously, with the majority (71%) of consumers admitting that digital services are so intrinsic to their daily lives that they don’t realize how much they now rely on them. As these digital reflexes become habitual, consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on devices and digital services, relying on them to complete many of their daily tasks.

●55% can only go without a mobile device for up to 4 hours before they find it difficult to manage tasks in their everyday life.

●61% admit they reach for their mobile phone before talking to anyone else when they wake up.

Poor Digital Performance Impacts Daily Life and Buying Decisions

The Era of the Digital Reflex sees more than three quarters of consumers (76%) reporting that their expectations of how well digital services should perform are increasing, compared to only 62 percent in 2017. This marked increase in consumer expectations is further evidenced with the majority (70%) of respondents claiming to be less tolerant of problems with digital services than they were two years ago. This increasing intolerance for problems is prompting consumers to demand a better and higher performing digital customer experience from the brands they engage with:

●50% would be willing to pay more for an organization’s product or service if its digital services were better than a competitor’s.

●Over the next three years, 85% of consumers expect to select brands on the variety of digital services (web, mobile, connected device, etc.) they provide.

●More than half of consumers (54%) now place a higher value on their digital interactions with brands over the physical ones.

Application Loyalty is the New Brand Loyalty

Businesses need to pay attention because consumers now have a zero-tolerance policy for anything other than an easy, fast and exceptional digital experience. The research shows that in the event of performance issues, consumers will take decisive action such as turning to the competition (49%) and actively discouraging others from using a service or brand (63%) without notifying the brand and giving them a chance to make improvements.

“In The Era of the Digital Reflex, consumers will no longer forgive or forget poor experiences. A great digital performance is now the baseline for any business, but the real winners will be those that consistently exceed customer expectations by delivering a flawless experience,” said Danny Winokur, General Manager, AppDynamics. “Cisco and AppDynamics help the world’s best companies achieve greatness with their applications by providing critical real-time data on application and business performance to pinpoint bottlenecks and enable immediate action."

How Brands Can Survive in the Era of The Digital Reflex

Many businesses are already investing heavily in digital innovation to drive customer loyalty and revenue, but failure to monitor the performance of those applications and digital services puts brands at significant risk of unhappy customers, or even losing those customers to another brand. However, there are simple steps that brands can take to meet these challenges and in turn, exceed increasing digital customer experience expectations:

●Focus on application performance - implementing a robust application performance management solution enables organizations to safeguard the performance of mission critical applications and user experience in production.

●Align performance to business outcomes - measuring and analyzing the performance of applications and correlating this to business performance ensures that digital services are always aligned to business objectives, such as customer experience and revenue.

●Make decisions and take action based on factual insight - delivering exemplary digital experiences requires real-time monitoring of the full technology stack, from the customer’s device to the back-end application to the underlying network. However, it's critical that enterprises choose solutions that take an AIOps approach, turning the monitoring of data into meaningful insights quickly or automatically using machine learning and AI.

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