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Why more businesses need mobile apps

A recent study by Compuware reveals that 85 percent of consumers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites.

With people increasingly buying mobile devices everyday, companies are taking advantage by launching smartphone apps to connect their customers to their brand. But often times they are not delivering apps that cater to what consumers really want.

Technology performance company, Compuware Corporation, recently conducted a global study with 3,500 respondents to find out what consumers’ expectations are when it comes to mobile applications.

While studies indicate that 85 percent of consumers prefer mobile apps over mobile websites, primarily because apps are more convenient (55 percent), faster (48 percent) and easier to navigate (40 percent), they are also very quick to criticise when an app is not performing to its utmost capabilities.

“With consumers expecting greater experiences with mobile apps now more than ever, fulfilling those expectations doesn’t just happen – it takes a conscious effort throughout every stage of the design and development process to get it right,” said Stephen Pierzchala, Technology Strategist, Compuware APM Center of Excellence.

“Performance is a crucial contributor to providing a dependable mobile app user experience, so performance should be considered a key driver in the design process. Mobile applications need to focus on a core utility, and they need to be fast and reliable in order to be valuable.”

Here are some of the key findings outlined in the Mobile Apps: What Consumers Really Need and Want report:

1. Consumers want their apps to take full advantage of the specific capabilities of their particular mobile devices.

One of the biggest appeals of purchasing a smartphone or a tablet is the apps that are available to download and use, so being conscientious of why consumers are buying particular devices is important in the design process.

2. Consumers want proactive and relevant information and services.

Three key things that consumers want our of mobile apps include easy access to product and store information; help planning and navigating trips; and the ability to communicate in real time.

3. 4 out of 5 users expect an app to launch in 3 seconds or less.

App users expect their mobile apps to load as fast as, or faster, than a mobile website so businesses need to strive for optimised satisfaction levels in both mobile web and app channels.

4. 79 percent of consumers will retry a mobile app only once or twice if it fails.

Poor mobile app experience is likely to discourage users from using that app again. Consumers would also be likely to not purchase from the company and switch to a competitor’s app, so increasing user satisfaction and engagement through optimised design, functionality and ease of use is critical.

5. 64 percent of mobile phone time spent using apps.

Apple’s App Store has now reached 25 billion downloads Android’s app store has reached 15 billion downloads so apps are a true global phenomenon with mass consumer appeal.

Given consumers spend over half their mobile phone time using apps, businesses would benefit from developing an app to allow customers to connect to their business.

6. Optimise your app for the device your customers use most.

Businesses need to prioritise based on customer profile. This means that they need to gather and analyse data to determine which device their customers are using the most and optimise their mobile app for that device.

7. Apps that look great but perform poorly can damage your brand.

While apps are generally efficient and convenient, consumers are not afraid to vocalise complaints about an app’s shortcomings. If a mobile app is not fast and responsive, it will get poor reviews, low ratings and low adoption numbers which impairs brand perception.

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Tasnuva Bindi

Tasnuva Bindi

Tas is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She has a passion for visual and performance arts, feminist politics, and animal rights. In her spare time she likes to paint, write poetry, and read courtroom drama novels.

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