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For our success at Testlio, it’s crucial to understand app and consumer trends – after all, it’s one way to add value-by-expertise to our client engagements. And lately, app and consumer trends have been changing rapidly. We all know that streaming entertainment, videoconferencing, and food delivery have taken the world by storm. But what are the less obvious app and consumer trends of COVID-19? We interviewed five Testlions* to determine how their app usage and digital life have shifted in the pandemic and gleaned four exciting trends from their stories (*we call our team members Testlions as in Testing Lions).

Trend One: More time at home = opportunities for time-consuming setup

With some extra at-home time on her hands, one member of our marketing team used the pandemic as an opportunity to integrate her cacophony of entertainment platforms. She connected her TV to her phone, Alexa to her Samsung TV. It wasn’t a need, but the whole family was at home and looking for entertainment. Another Testlion uses an excessive amount of time setting up Minecraft playdates on Xbox for her son—but that’s how he’s spending time with friends, so it doesn’t matter how long the set-up takes.

A high-maintenance set-up can be a dealbreaker for some customers. But if the high-maintenance product fills a need, particularly in entertainment, now may be the time to roll it out.

According to the World Economic Forum, US consumers’ net spending intent on home entertainment is up 15-30% during coronavirus.

Trend Two: In-app experiences have to be flawless

New needs, such as the emergence of grocery pick-up, should be opportunities for businesses. However, if your consumers’ digital experience with your product or service isn’t up to standard, they will be quick to abandon your app. One senior member of the Testlio team ran into a buggy grocery pick-up app from a retail brand he had grown to love. To his surprise, a competitor (which he previously didn’t identify with) won his business with a more intuitive end-to-end app-driven grocery pick-up experience. It was crystal clear which products were available within the app and how to select pick-up delivery windows. The app also provided intuitive notifications when items were available for pickup. An equally powerful observation was how the digital and physical experiences were seamless. For example, the retailer created parking lot signage to quickly identify the pick-up location and know what to do once parked. The grocery delivery associates wore masks and loaded groceries for him.

Rolling out new features for changing consumer trends is an integral part of competing digitally, but make sure that your user experience is near flawless and that you’re ready for quick fixes when it’s not. Brand loyalty starts to wane when consumers learn of a better user experience aligned with their needs. 

According to a PWC report, 32% of customers will leave a brand they love after only one bad user experience.

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Trend Three: Re-evaluating and re-distributing digital inputs

When our social lives take a hit, our time online increases. And more time online has two Testlio employees reevaluating the role of their favorite apps. For example, one employee, feeling she was spending too much time on social media apps, now disciplines herself to wait until after work to scroll her Instagram feed. Yet another employee, who desired more “happy chemicals” in her day-to-day, decided to up her intake of TikTok during the week.

When consumers are more thoughtful about your app’s use, it’s time to be even more mindful about your development. Ask yourself: “What role am I playing in users’ lives? How can I be better?” Because those are the questions your users are asking themselves.

71% of people find themselves on the phone or computer more often, and 39% say they now need a digital detox (51% of millennials.)

Trend Four: Interactive featuring is key

We’re all spending less time with friends and family and have limited interactions with strangers. Even the most introverted of us are missing a human element. In turn, apps that are adding interactive features are winning, at work, and at home. At work, one Testlion has found himself writing more to-do lists and leaving more comments on Slack to replace the in-person cues, micro-conversations, and reminders of the office. At home, he noticed that Facebook’s like button has evolved beyond a mere thumbs-up – it’s a more expressive, interactive button with a full spread of emojis for all of your reactive impulses. 

No matter what space you are in, some additional interactive featuring for your development team could be a worthy undertaking.

Companies like Slack and LinkedIn are retooling their chat functionality. Tinder is adding video chat for digital dating. And Instagram introduced co watching– a streaming option for scrolling your feed with friends.

Whether you’re remarketing high-maintenance features, squashing some bugs, reflecting on your user flow, or adding a new commenting section, we hope that our stories at Testlio can inform your development. If you need a trusted testing partner on that development journey, set up a free demo with our team.

Sebastian is an avid reader and traveler, exploring fantasy and philosophy novels as well as adopted homes like Cape Town, South Africa, and Melbourne, Australia. From 9-5 (and often beyond), his goal is to add a beginner's eye and enthusiasm to a world-class Testlio team and its prospective clients.