During the COVID-19 Pandemic as countries grappled with social distancing, lockdown and quarantine policies, perhaps unsurprisingly time spent globally on mobile surged. The average weekly time spent in mobile apps on Android phones worldwide, for example, peaked during the week of March 29 – April 4, 2020, up 25% from the H2 2019 average.
Psychologists have found it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit. As the pandemic stretches into Q3 2020 from the first case near the start of the year, app habits are solidifying and mobile is becoming even more deeply rooted in our daily routines.
In other words, COVID-19 has advanced mobile trends we were already seeing by a 2 to 3-year adoption, speeding up the transition to a mobile-first world. Once consumers get used to the convenience mobile offers — such as the ease of ordering groceries compared to traveling to the store and lugging bags around — mobile becomes incredibly sticky, representing a significant opportunity for businesses.
Key findings from the report include:
- Consumer spend on mobile rose to $50B H1 2020 — marking the biggest H1 yet for iOS and Google Play
- Downloads of mobile apps and games topped 64B in H1 2020 across iOS and Google Play worldwide
- The average user spent 27% of daily waking hours, or 4.3 hours, on their mobile device in April 2020 — up 20% from 2019
- Four of the five top Business apps by time spent in Q2 2020 globally (excluding China) were video conferencing apps, including: #1 ZOOM Cloud Meetings, #2 Microsoft Teams, #3 Google Meet and #5 Cisco Webex Meetings
- M-commerce boomed in H1 2020, surpassing 2019 holiday shopping levels — propelling the mobile shopping industry forward by years
- Mobile ad placements grew 70% during the pandemic driven by interstitial ads. Despite a reduction in marketing budgets, mobile’s unparalleled reach and engagement is still luring strong growth in mobile advertising
COVID-19 propelled mobile usage forward — achieving growth that would have otherwise taken 2 to 3 years. As we head into the holiday season and 2021, businesses who prioritize mobile will outpace competitors, as mobile represents a significant driver of revenue growth for businesses.
Lexi Sydow, Sr Market Insights Manager, App Annie