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Study shows how the pandemic has increased pressure on brands to avoid apps and websites downtime

A new study shows the scale of pressure brands now face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers flock to apps and websites as the priority destination to transact with brands.

The UK has experienced a huge leap in use of online services thanks to lockdown, with the public appearing to have less concern for the availability of a brand’s physical location. Research by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) has uncovered a “window of availability” that UK businesses now have before consumer loyalty changes:

  • If a brand’s website is down for 24 hours 32 percent of consumers would switch provider.
  • If a brand’s app is down for 24 hours 28 percent of consumers would switch provider.
  • If a physical store is closed for 24 hours 20 percent of consumers would switch provider.

The results by industry paint an interesting picture of the availability timeframes brands are expected to adhere to:

  • For online retailers, excluding grocery retailers, 23 percent of consumers would switch provider if they could not access online services for 12 hours, rising to over a third (34 percent) after 24 hours.
  • For financial services and entertainment streaming platforms 21 percent of consumers would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to 33 percent after 24 hours.
  • In the case of online grocery shopping 20 percent would switch provider after 12 hours, rising to one third 33 percent after 24 hours.

The findings also highlight that as digital reliance increases, so will consumer expectations towards availability in the future. Over the coming two years, a third (33 percent) of consumers expect online financial services to always be available, rising to 35 percent for streaming services. 

“UK consumers have become reliant on the constant availability of online services, and lockdown has only served to heighten this,” comments Chris Huggett, SVP, EMEA at Sungard AS. “What used to be a choice between physical and digital has now firmly accelerated into digital environments across various industries. As online worlds continue to outpace bricks and mortar as the face of businesses, ensuring constant availability and clear communications on downtime will be key for brands to build trust and loyalty.”

www.sungardas.com



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