Consumer spending in apps increases due to pandemic shutdowns

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Consumers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) explored mobile apps that were adopted in droves as the two countries introduced social distancing measures and widespread Covid-19 lockdowns.

This has led to a sustained year-over-year increase in consumer spending on apps across most categories, measured from Q1 2020 to Q2 2021, according to the joint study “State of App Marketing in Australia & New Zealand” from App Annie and AppsFlyer.

“In many ways, the mobile app market in ANZ has never been healthier, and consumer spending has never been higher as Australians and New Zealanders double down on new mobile-centric habits. “said Cindy Deng, general manager for Asia-Pacific at App Annie.

“But if the pandemic has created ‘app tourism,’ the challenge for marketers in 2022 will be how to get consumers to settle more permanently.”

Antony Wilcox, chief growth officer for ANZ at AppsFlyer, noted six months after Apple’s Application Tracking Transparency (ATT) was implemented, marketers in the ANZ region are still struggling to understand the material impact of these privacy measures in their mobile marketing strategies.

“ANZ being a dominant region on iOS with a whopping 80% user penetration, we encourage all advertisers to strike that balance between consumer privacy, while delivering personalization through a smart data insights approach,” added Wilcox.

The report used App Annie’s mobile estimates used by over one million registered users, measuring downloads among 3,250 apps across ANZ between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021 on which the SDK d ‘AppsFlyer is installed.

This covered 237 million app installs, including 136 million non-organic app installs, across games, shopping, finance, food and drink, health and fitness, and social apps.

What did the study find?

  • The pervasive threat of mobile install fraud continues to loom large, especially among shopping and finance apps, where fraudulent installs can account for more than 50% of total downloads.

  • Overall, the report estimates that ANZ apps were exposed to over 21.3 million AUD (15.7 million USD) in financial fraud in the first half of 2021 alone.

  • Even though the pandemic sparked a surge in app downloads, categories like shopping, gaming, and health and fitness that saw renewed interest at the height of the pandemic saw back-to-back declines in app downloads. year on year from 2019 to 2021.

  • The introduction of Apple’s privacy-focused iOS 14 and App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework earlier this year has made remarketing more difficult as reliance on user-level data now belongs to the pass.

  • Downloads of financial apps in Australia and New Zealand grew by 35% and 25% respectively year-on-year between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, as the pandemic accelerated the trend to keep species away.

  • Entertainment and lifestyle apps (primarily dating) were identified as notable consumer spending growth areas, recording a 75% and 45% year-over-year increase respectively in Australia in the first quarter of 2021, and a 45% increase across New Zealand.

  • Shopping apps nearly doubled in-app purchases year over year in both markets

  • Food and beverages saw a 66% increase in remarketing conversations in Q2 2021 as residents turned to food delivery services to overcome stay-at-home orders.

  • There was a rapid and sustained increase in iOS budgets and install spend after ATT was applied, averaging 66%.


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