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Retailers need to keep up with the ‘digital reflex’ era to remain relevant

The way that consumers interact and engage with digital services – such as websites, shopping carts, social media and connected devices – is changing, with higher demands for a flawless customer experience and increasing intolerance of performance problems.

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The use of digital services has become an unconscious extension of human behaviour (or a ‘digital reflex’) with 70% of consumers admitting that digital services are so intrinsic to their daily lives that they don’t realise how much they now rely on them, according to the App Attention Index research from AppDynamics.

The research found that many consumers are unaware of how much their use of digital services has evolved with the average person estimating that they use seven services each day, when in fact, they use nearly 30 services on a daily basis.

Three quarters (75%) of consumers report that their expectations of digital services performance are increasing and two-thirds (66%) of respondents claim to be less tolerant of problems. Further, 50% would be willing to pay more for a product or service from another organisation if its digital services were better. More than half (60%) of consumers now place a higher value on their digital interactions with brands over the physical ones.

AppDynamics has provided three steps for brands to meet the above challenges and exceed increasing expectations:

  1. Implement a robust application performance management solution to safeguard the performance of mission critical applications and user experience in production.
  2. Measure and analyse the performance of applications and correlating this to business performance to ensure digital services are always aligned to business objectives.
  3. 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. This monitoring of data needs to be turned into meaningful insights quickly or automatically using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

AppDynamics regional chief technology officer, Gregg Ostrowski told Retailbiz it’s common for retailers to be high-profile victims of digital disruption and brands have gone out of business as a result of failing to keep pace with more customer-centric digital retailers.

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“With pressure to stay competitive, any outage, inconvenience or a poor user experience of any kind for customers is going to cost retailers dearly. The recent App Attention Index Report from AppDynamics highlights just how unforgiving customers will be, due to their rising expectation levels when it comes to digital customer experience.

“Continually making technological enhancements to ensure the customer experience remains seamless and in line with evolving expectations will separate the winners from the losers in the Australian retail landscape.

“This involves a critical assessment of both online and in-store functionalities, and importantly, acknowledging that digital performance directly impacts buying decisions in the retail world. We see this in the research, which notes some 63% of global consumers choose retailers according to how quickly they can get access to a product or service without visiting a store. This shows brand loyalty can no longer be solely attributed to a quality product or a good marketing campaign – it’s all about providing innovative digital experiences for customers.”

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