App Crashes Are Hurting Mobile E-Commerce Revenues
As the world settles into its purely digital lifestyle, consumers continue to rely on online shopping. In fact, historic numbers were achieved last year, with Cyber Monday becoming the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history.
With the onset of the pandemic, three different types of apps emerged. Some apps are proving to be “pandemic thriving” and have experienced significant boosts in usage during COVID-19. Others are “pandemic-proof,” continuing more or less as usual. The third group, “pandemic rebounders,” have seen a drop-off in app usage, but are likely to rebound when things start to return to normal.
E-commerce apps fall into the “pandemic thriving” category. Consumers are turning primarily to apps for their shopping needs, which means retailers are under pressure to deliver a digital experience that drives loyalty in a crowded, competitive retail space. With this boost in app usage, now is the perfect time for retailers to meet the moment and ensure a consistent, frictionless online shopping experience.
Unfortunately, mobile and web applications don’t always live up to customer expectations. Bugsnag recently published an App Stability Index Report, which analyzed performance for the top 2,500 mobile and web applications within our customer base. The report found that median stability for mobile apps sits at 99.63 percent, while median stability for desktop apps is 99.39 percent.
In layman’s terms, that means almost one of every 250 customers could be having a completely broken experience with mobile apps. Applications are not meeting the industry-standard “five nines” stability, or 99.999 percent target that infrastructure and operations teams use to measure uptime and availability.
How can retailers track and evaluate app experiences and assess the health of applications? Development teams can use a stability score that's similar to the “five nines.” This measurement is calculated using the percentage of app sessions that are crash-free.
Alternatively, you can think about the stability score as a “user experience metric” that tells you what percentage of your daily active users encounter an error. Knowing that any bug or crash is much more likely to lead to an abandoned shopping cart and result in revenue loss, how many poor user sessions are you willing to have? And what if those bugs impact your high-value customers? Does that change the math?
What makes monitoring app stability so powerful is that it provides the exact visibility you need into the user experience vis-a-vis the health of your applications. Developers can see at a glance the stability of every app release, and the percentage of crash-free sessions provides an answer to the question: Is it time to fix bugs or build new features?
During surges in app shopping, such as what we've seen during the pandemic or during the busiest holiday seasons and events, retailers benefit from executing code freezes that reflect stable application code. It’s the only way to deliver smooth shopping experiences that cultivate brand loyalty, keep high-value customers happy, and ensure maximized sales and increased revenue.
By measuring app stability against the “five nines” industry benchmark, retailers are better able to deliver the customer experiences that consumers expect. With insightful data around stability and application health, retailers can get to the root cause of critical app problems quickly, which is often the difference between losing online shoppers to competitors and retaining loyal customers that come back time and time again.
James Smith is the CEO at Bugsnag, an error monitoring and reporting software with best-in-class functionality for mobile apps.
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