App marketing analytics platform, Adjust, has released its annual Mobile App Trends Report, which shows mobile app growth continuing to accelerate globally in 2021. After climbing 50% across all verticals year-over-year (YoY) in 2020, app installs are up 31% YoY in the first quarter of 2021, while sessions, which increased by 30% in 2020, are up by another 4.5%.
The report — based on Adjust’s top 2,000 apps and its dataset of apps tracked across gaming, e-commerce, and fintech — analyzes long-term trends in installs, sessions, time spent in-app, retention and re-attribution rates across the globe. These insights enable developers and marketers to better understand their audience and the state of the app economy. Additional takeaways include:
Fintech apps posted the best YoY growth in installs of all verticals — 51% — in 2020.
- Installs are up again in 2021, by 12%, compared to the 2020 average. This is no doubt buoyed by huge adoption rates for trading apps such as Robinhood, Acorns and Gatsby.
- Fintech app sessions also boomed in 2020 — representing a significant move toward digital banking and payments. Sessions increased 85% YoY and are already up 35% in 2021.
Gaming reached new heights in 2020, particularly in hyper-casual, where installs increased 43% — compared to 26% for non-hyper casual.
- Sessions for non-hyper casual games increased by 27% in 2020 YoY, while hyper-casual sessions increased 36%.
- So far in 2021, hyper-casual game sessions are down 21%, but with the huge “first-lockdown” spike removed, YoY performance is roughly the same — and growing steadily, with February outperforming January by 47%.
E-commerce’s install growth was relatively small at 6% in 2020, but performed consistently throughout the year.
- Sessions, however, grew 44% — showing just how highly engaged shoppers on mobile have become.
- 2021 is off to a very strong start in both installs and sessions — up 11% and 14%, respectively — over their 2020 averages.
- The vertical’s highest weeks ever for sessions were at the end of February and beginning of March 2021 — up 23% YoY.
As the mobile ecosystem becomes ever more competitive with iOS 14, apps that build data-driven and UX-focused strategies will be well-positioned to come out on top. With insights into how users behave in-app, and when they return and why, mobile marketers can create a comprehensive strategy, incorporating highly personalized campaigns and communication that build brand trust.
Paul H. Müller, Co-Founder and CEO, Adjust