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DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS

Lockdown Sees App Usage Surge 20%

Consumers Spent Record $23.4B Via App Stores In Q1

At the best of times, we spend too long on our phones. Usually with our nose in one app or another.

In a month, we use around 40 different apps, and typically spend 3 hours and 40 minutes per day in them.

We also spend a bit via those bad boys, last year shelling out US$120 billion in app store purchases.

However, that was before COVID-19.

As with most forms of content consumption, these figures are off the chart now.

According to analytics firm App Annie, daily time spent in mobile apps mushroomed across the world as the outbreak expanded in Q1 2020.

In China, the first country to deal with the impact of Coronavirus, daily time spent grew 30% to 5 hours per day on average from 2019.

Worldwide, the average weekly time spent in apps and games on Android phones grew 20% year-over-year in Q1 2020.

Dollars Follow Attention

As we adjust to our new pandemic paradigm, new habits, patterns and solutions are being formed.

Whether it be using Zoom, UberEats, Skip or educational apps.

According to App Annie, there were also over 31B new app downloads, a 15% increase from Q4 2019. 

On Google Play non-gaming apps accounted for 55% of all downloads, while on iOS the figure was slightly higher at 65%

With burgeoning attention, the last quarter also saw app spending balloon.

In Q1 2020 Consumers spent over $23.4B through the app stores, the largest quarter ever in terms of consumer spending.

Consumer spend on iOS grew 5% year over year to $15B in Q1 2020, and 5% year over year on Google Play to over $8.3B.

Non-gaming apps accounted for 35% of consumer spending on iOS and 15% on Google Play.

What Does It All Mean For Marketers?

From a marketing communications perspective, there are two standout considerations which flow from these shifts in consumer behaviour.

One, how does this impact marketing communications moving forward? And, two, how does it shape the way we do business in future?

It would appear both have similar paths, according to marketing legend Sir Martin Sorrell, executive chairman of S4 Capital and former chief executive of WPP.

Martin Sorrell via PR Week

"Longer term, we will see existing trends accelerate. Consumers are becoming more tech-proficient, media owners will accelerate their shift to digital, and enterprises that were hesitant to disrupt the status quo will now forge ahead with digital disruption.

What we will see is an acceleration of what packaged-goods firms were already doing. They will cut budgets and shift to digital. We realise that people are at home talking to each other via digital technology. They are also using home deliveries as never before.

Yes, we saw clients briefly put big ecommerce projects on ice, but they were deemed mission critical, so they have already come back."

COVID-19 will not only accelerate digital transformation, as per Sorrell, but it should also serve as a timely opportunity to recalibrate and to take stock of existing digital activity.

How many organisations can honestly say that their digital marketing performance from the past 12 months has yielded that much more business value than the 12 months prior?

According to Sorrell (and economists globally), we are headed into a very bumpy business spell over the next two quarters, before picking up towards year-end.

"I think Q2, which starts today, will be terrible. Q3 will be slightly better, but we'll see a sharp recovery in Q4; brands will let rip. This will be a V-shaped recession."

As we snoop on our colleagues' houses via Zoom and make lunges in our living room with Joe Wicks, now is a time to think and act differently.

Business and "marketing as usual" belongs to another era. Reassess and plan your 2020 marketing activity, starting from here. Now. What are you going to do differently?

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