If you’re reading this in May 2020, you’ve likely had your life heavily disrupted in the past few weeks. I know, I certainly have!
Communities across the globe have had to accept some pretty dramatic changes in lifestyles and behavior. As with all disruptions, there are winners and losers.
Some of the winners are obvious. Toilet paper companies have had a windfall early on that could never have predicted; home office supplies are sold out everywhere and you’ll have more luck finding a purple unicorn than a set of dumbbells for sale.
But one industry winner you may not have considered is mobile apps. If you’re an app marketer then there’s a good chance that things have never been so good.
So what makes this a potential golden era app marketing?
- Mobile usage has increased up to 30%.
- Customer acquisition costs are up to 33% cheaper.
- Depending on your industry, App Revenue is on the rise!
Increase in usage
The more we’re stuck at home, the more we reach out for entertainment and information. Increasingly this is coming from our phones. The chart below from App Annie shows mobile usage in March 2020 increased as high as 30% compared to 2019 usage. With video chat and online conference apps leading the way with a 627% increase in downloads and a 121% increase in DAU. While already highly used social media managed to increase usage of 20% (Visual Capitalist).
Source: App Annie
App Annie also identified 6 countries (Indonesia, Singapore, India, China, Thailand and South Korea) where people are now spending over 4 hours a day on their phones. This is a huge amount of peoples waking hours and goes well beyond TV in the battle for users’ attention.
Increase in Revenue
It’s not just the time people are using apps that’s on the rise. People are spending like they haven’t before. According to AppsFlyer, 2/3rd of app categories saw a revenue boost in the first week of April. This is following on from Q1 2020 where $23.4 billion was spent through app stores. The largest amount ever!
These results fluctuate a lot by industry. But Fitness, Video Streaming and Games have been the categories getting up to a 20% boost in revenue.
So with what appears to be a perfect environment for app marketers you would expect acquisition costs to be soaring as everyone jumps in to take advantage of this situation. Well the exact opposite is true.
Many businesses have hit the breaks on their paid marketing strategy. The drop in competition has seen acquisition costs plummet with Liftoff reporting CPIs a 33% drop in CPIs from 1 March to 5 April.
My personal experience with Travello App
Since March 2020 I have been working with the travel social network app Travello. Being in the travel industry we were expecting a dramatic drop in usage and acquisition. But in fact, we’ve seen improvements in both. Engaged users increasing by 15% and acquisition cost plummeted 68% between March and April 2020.
How was this achieved?
The first thing we did was realise we must adapt to the current situation. And that meant a change in our app’s purpose from meeting travelers in real life to meeting them on the app instead. And so #TravelFromHome has become the driving thought behind everything we do for the next few months. Giving grounded travelers a much needed dose of wanderlust and keeping our app relevant for the current times.
We spread this message to our current users in-app and via push and email. The result has seen Travello increase engaged users and time spent in the app has increased. If you were to open the app today you’ll instantly notice the strong sense of community and camaraderie as you scroll the newsfeed.
Our new #TravelFromHome app purpose was also extended to our acquisition channels. With our ads and app store meta data now talking about the benefits of traveling from the couch.
With less advertisers and very current messaging, we were able to lower our bids and drop CPIs by 68% MoM in April.
Facebook App Install Ad
Apple App Store screenshots encouraging users to #TravelFromHome
So there you have it. If you’re in the app business and you’ve been sitting on the sidelines, I’d urge you to consider jumping back in the game if it’s appropriate for your business.
Increased usage, increased revenue and decreased acquisition does not come around very often. This may be a once in a generation event that you don’t want to let pass by.