The outbreak of COVID-19 has upended economies throughout the world, but one in particular has shown extraordinary resilience: The App Economy. Global SaaS company Adjust’s annual App Trends 2020 report, which looks at long-term trends based on data from 2019, includes valuable insights into how COVID-19 has affected the app economy by comparing Q1 2019 and Q1 2020 figures.
- With the pandemic forcing the majority of employees to work remotely, it’s no surprise that Business apps have seen a huge rise in sessions (up 105% from Q1 2019) and installs (up 70%). Revenue events are also up 75%, as users opt for premium versions to help ease the transition to working from home.
- As many restaurants are forced to turn to takeout-only, Food & Drink apps also saw a significant increase in sessions — up 73% on this time last year, while installs increased by 21%.
- Gaming has also seen a large uptick in installs, as those sheltering-in-place seek entertainment. In the last week of March, the vertical saw an 132% increase in the number of installs compared to last year. In total, Gaming apps saw a 47% increase in sessions and 75% increase in installs in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019.
“Beyond these increases in installs and sessions, the report shows little evidence to suggest that there’s been a fundamental shift in user behavior post-install,” said Paul H. Müller, co-founder and CTO of Adjust. “Users are still taking the same actions in-app, such as averaging a little above two sessions a day, to churning at predictable points in the customer journey.”
The report also sheds light on differences between paid and organic installs, noting that app marketing is fast becoming a pay-to-play game — as the market becomes increasingly competitive. The number of installs from paid sources amounted to 30% of total installs in 2019, up from 24% in 2018.
Additionally, the report explores when users typically engage with app verticals throughout the day, offering insights into peak times and the windows of opportunity for reactivation campaigns:
- E-commerce apps see a peak of sessions both at lunchtime, between noon and 2 p.m., and again in the evening, with sessions between 7 and 10 p.m. accounting for a quarter of their daily total. Similarly, Food & Drink apps see a spike in use between 5 and 8 p.m., accounting for 31% of their total daily sessions.
- On the other hand, many Gaming apps don’t see significant shifts in use throughout the day. Casual game activity increases between 12 and 4 p.m., but it’s a modest jump of only 15%. Meanwhile, Mid-core games rise from very early in the morning (5 a.m.) to peak at 1 p.m.