A new breed of app user has emerged since the pandemic – one who relies heavily on applications for their day-to-day activity – research from Cisco AppDynamics has found.
According to the study – which was based on a global poll of 15,000 consumers – over the past two years, a new type of application user has emerged who is more empowered, sophisticated and demanding in how they consume applications and digital services. Cisco AppDynamics has dubbed this category of user “the application generation”.
The Cisco AppDynamics report – The app attention index 2023: Beware the application generation – noted that people leant heavily on digital services to navigate their way through the pandemic and are now turning to applications to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.
For instance, price comparison websites, budgeting applications, and voucher and discount sites are all playing a crucial role in helping people cope with rising financial pressures and make their money go further. According to the poll, 62% of consumers said applications and digital services were hugely important in helping them manage their personal finances during the cost-of-living crisis.
The study also found, however, that many people are realising that applications that were once useful are no longer relevant to their lives. “They’re finding and deleting forgotten applications on their devices, ridding themselves of a feeling of ‘application clutter’. And they’re thinking longer and harder before they download and install new applications on their devices,” the report authors wrote.
The study found that consumers now give more consideration to their application usage, classifying their apps in terms of value, necessity, enjoyment and fulfilment. These range from the “daily essentials” and the “personal pleasures” through to the “annual must-haves” and “rainy day fallbacks”. Cisco AppDynamics noted that, on average, consumers believe they could live without 40% of their downloaded applications.
The report stated that many are taking a more rigorous approach to the amount of time they spend using applications and digital services. While they still want to access the benefits that applications bring them in terms of accessibility, convenience and enjoyment, the study found that consumers do not want to feel they are wasting their time. In fact, 62% said they were keen to get rid of applications they do not use enough or value anymore. Just a third of downloaded applications are considered critical.
The 2023 poll reflected findings in the 2021 study, showing that the majority of consumers tend to blame the application and the brand behind it when they encounter a performance- or security-related problem with a digital service, irrespective of the actual cause of the issue. Even if the problem is external to the application itself – such as poor internet or mobile network connectivity, slow payment gateways, or technical issues with third-party plug-ins – consumers point the finger at the application, the report’s authors warned.
The study reported that 77% of consumers have stopped using or deleted applications from their devices as a result of performance issues over the past 12 months.