March 2014

 Are Mobile Apps Working To Improve The Customer Experience


Posted @ 1700:00 on 03 March 2014


The popularity of Mobile and SmartPhone Apps can not be denied. Billions of mobile apps are downloaded every year.

Nielsen (May 2012) showed on average US smartphone users have 41 apps downloaded to their devices and spend 39 minutes using apps per day.

We asked users of mobile Apps in the UK to review their experiences in the last 12 months . We asked them  about Apps from well know businesses in general

The infographic shows directional findings and provides us with a summary of the issues and opportunities

There are some clear successes , with around 20% very satisfied with the APPs they installed and updated over the last 12 months . There are also examples of retail mobile Apps being actively used in store and to make purchases

However for a large proportion of App users there appears to be issues with the technical performance and usefulness


Quality Control Technology

The challenge is clear , a multitude of devices and operating systems, potentially thousands of combinations

However it seems the failure rate is too high with up to 15% recording fatal issues with updates and new installs. And more than half who had removed an App gave technical issues as a reason for removal.

Is there a culture of less than rigorous testing? or simply a calculated risk approach to testing? where there is a focus on just the the most popular operating system versions and biggest selling devices?

Designing for the latest high performance devices will be inappropriate if the majority of  customers have  3 year old devices with poor battery performance, less than 500mb RAM and limited storage. It pays to profile the customer base

Mobile optimised web using responsive and or adaptive technologies have fewer headaches in this regard


Top reasons for removing Mobile Apps


More than half of those surveyed said they had removed at least one App in the last 12 months  and more than a third had removed an App within one week of installing it


In summary the top reasons for removing  Apps were

• Not Useful Half said the Apps they removed were not useful

• Do not Work  More than one third said they did not work properly and more than 10% said they were not easy to use

• Interferes with phone . More than half said they took up too much space/ memory  and one third said they drained the battery too quickly

• Not fun / entertaining One third said the Apps were not fun or entertaining


Privacy and Mobile Apps

Although not covered in our research Nielsen in 2012 identified  Privacy is a concern with the majority of app users. 73 percent express concern over personal data collection and 55 percent are wary of sharing information about their location via smartphone apps.



Checklist for launching Mobile Apps

Start with the customer journey. Identify where there are issues and opportunities and identify whether mobile apps are relevant and what features can be used to meet genuine customer needs

Some key questions to ask in the design build and launch phases

• adds genuine benefits to customers?

• easy to use?

• adds an extra level of emotional engagement?

• given customer base , works across devices and operating systems?

• given customer base , no interference with the customer's phone performance?


Online Poll of UK Mobile App Users Feb 2014

Sample size 50 or more

InfoGraphic Are mobile APPS Improving Customer Experience



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