NEWS Report

Consumer expectations for digital experiences continue to soar, reports Cisco


Cisco App Attention Index reveals UAE Consumer fury as brands fail to deliver Seamless Digital Experiences, with 71% of consumers across the Emirates stating they are less forgiving of poor digital services than they were 12 months ago, and 65% reporting that performance issues with digital services and applications leave them feeling like a brand has no respect for their time.

As part of its App Attention Index research series, Cisco reveals’ escalating consumer expectations for digital experience and increased pressure on brand owners to optimize application performance and security. The global study, which examined the digital behaviors of more than 15,000 global consumers — including 1,005 in the UAE — also revealed the emergence of a new breed of application user that is more empowered, sophisticated, and demanding in its use of digital services.

While the use of digital services and applications reached new heights during the pandemic, consumer demand for applications has only continued to increase. As consumers enjoy ever more intuitive and personalized digital experiences, their demands on applications have reached an all-time high, with 71% in the UAE reporting that their expectations for digital experiences are far higher now than they were two years ago (the height of the pandemic), while 74% state they now expect brands to deliver an exceptional digital experience as standard.

“It’s a critical time for brands — invest in your application experience, or risk losing customers. Good performance is no longer enough; consumers expect only the best from their applications, and any single issue could be a reputation and revenue killer. At Cisco, we’re well aware of this, and we’re committed to helping organizations stay ahead by proactively optimizing their digital
experiences and keep their customers happy,” said Ronak Desai, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Full-Stack Observability and AppDynamics. 

But the needs of UAE consumers are not being met, with nearly all (97%) respondents experiencing performance issues when using applications over the past 12 months. Today application users in the Emirates have zero tolerance for poor digital performance and when things don’t work as they should, their reactions have become extreme. Globally, Cisco’s study has found UAE consumers to be the most selective about the applications they use, and the most conscious about the time they spend engaging with digital services. 

These shifts in behavior and attitudes towards application experience are even more prevalent in a new cohort of application users: ‘The Application Generation.’ Aged 18-34, this group has relied on applications like no generation before, having used them to navigate the pandemic and today, to live and thrive in a hybrid world.
They are constantly evaluating the relevance and value — or otherwise — of the brands they engage with and the digital services they provide. This unique group report being tired of poorly performing applications and frustrating digital experiences. A worrying trend for application owners, The Application Generation are voting with their thumbs — ditching applications that let them down and walking away from brands that don’t meet their digital experience expectations.

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