By Maximilian Clarke

The complexity of switching to a different smartphone, which results from a GfK report suggest is more complex than switching bank accounts, is driving consumers’ loyalty to their brands.

GfK’s report on user experience and loyalty in the digital ecosystem was undertaken across nine countries — Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, UK and the US — and examined consumers’ barriers to switching smartphone types and the impact of their attitudes towards the overall user experience.

Nearly one in five consumers who own both an iPad and an iPhone believe that changing types of smartphone is more difficult than changing bank accounts or gas or electricity providers, which in turn is fuelling Apple device users’ loyalty.

"The barriers to switching smartphones show the importance of the age-old mindset, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’” explains Ryan Garner at GfK Business & Technology. “This mindset has only hardened with the growth of connected devices and rapidly improving user experiences, while cross device accessibility of content is also delivering great benefits to consumers. Those who are satisfied with their current set-up will be difficult to tempt to a new platform and the more services they use, the greater a consumer’s loyalty to a brand.”

As consumers build digital ecosystems and their own world of content on handsets, the study shows that their loyalty to their smartphone brand increases with the number of apps and services they use. The research reveals that the tipping point for loyalty is when a consumer uses seven or more services on their device.

Consumers in the US are the most likely to use seven or more services (61%), followed closely by China (56%) and Brazil (53%). In comparison to this, European countries use fewer services on their smartphone; France and Italy (46%), Germany (45%), Spain (43%) and the UK (42%).

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