App Annie, the leading mobile data and analytics company, and AppsFlyer, the marketing measurement and experience platform, released a report on the State of App Marketing in Australia & New Zealand, exploring the impact of the pandemic on the local mobile industry.
In the face of widespread social distancing measures and lockdowns, consumers throughout Australia and New Zealand explored digital alternatives, adopting mobile apps en masse.
This led to a sustained year-on-year increase in consumer in-app spending across the majority of categories measured from Q1 2020 to Q2 2021.
However, the ever-present threat of mobile install fraud continues to loom, particularly among Shopping and Finance apps, where fraudulent installs account for more than 50%.
Overall, the report estimates that ANZ apps had a financial fraud exposure of over AUD $21.3 million (USD $15.7 million) in the first half of 2021 alone.
Effect of the pandemic on App usage
Although the pandemic triggered app downloads, lockdowns are bad for retention.
With consumers trialing apps to find out which ones spark joy and enable them to navigate this new normal, Australia and New Zealand have seen a significant rise in ‘app tourism’.
In fact, Shopping, Gaming and Health & Fitness; categories that enjoyed a surge in interest during the height of the pandemic, saw consecutive year-over-year dips from 2019 to 2021.
However, the introduction of Apple’s privacy-centric iOS 14 and the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework earlier in 2021 has undoubtedly made remarketing a more challenging feat, as reliance on user-level data becomes a thing of the past.
Cindy Deng, Managing Director, the Asia Pacific at App Annie made the following remarks.
“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-first habits.”
“But if the pandemic created ‘app tourism’, the challenge for marketers moving into 2022 will be how to get consumers to settle down more permanently.”
“App Annie acts as a bridge between brands and their consumers to understand fluctuations in mobile preferences and values, and how to therefore fuel winning mobile experiences.”
Antony Wilcox, Director of Growth, ANZ at AppsFlyer made these remarks.
“Six months into the enforcement of Apple’s ATT, marketers in the ANZ region are struggling to understand the impact of these privacy measures in mobile marketing strategies.”
“With Australia and New Zealand being an iOS dominant region with a whopping 80% user penetration, we encourage all advertisers to find that balance between consumer privacy, while providing personalization through a smart approach to data insights.”
“Our mission at AppsFlyer in this region is to empower app marketers and technology partners to create better and more meaningful customer relationships.”
Other key insights and statistics from the report include
- Finance apps in Australia and New Zealand grew 35% and 25% respectively year-on-year between H1 2020 and H1 2021 as the pandemic accelerated the trend away from cash
- Entertainment and Lifestyle (primarily dating) apps have been identified as standout areas of consumer spending growth, registering a 75% and 45% year-on-year increase respectively in Australia in Q1 2021, and a 45% increase all around in New Zealand
- Shopping apps have almost doubled in-app purchases year-on-year across both markets
- Food & Drink saw a 66% increase in remarketing conversations in Q2 2021 as residents turned to food delivery services to ride out the stay-at-home orders
- A bump in iOS budgets and install spend post-ATT enforcement, averaging at 66%
The State of App Marketing in Australia & New Zealand report leveraged App Annie’s mobile estimates used by over 1 million registered users, measuring downloads among 3,250 apps across ANZ between Q1 2020 and Q2 2021 that have AppsFlyer’s SDK installed.
The report covered 237 million app installs, including 136 million non-organic app installs, across Gaming, Shopping, Finance, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness and Social apps.