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The Global Effect of Coronavirus on App Installs

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is quickly spreading and sending shock waves across the globe as we all try to adapt to a new reality. The Coronavirus is something none of us planned, from having to practice social distancing and getting used to life without the outdoors to regularly washing our hands and wearing masks, and watching loved ones and friends get sick.

Businesses are struggling to realize what they are facing, and what steps they need to take in order to continue going through an economic downturn.

What will Mobile Apps look like in 2020? When people remain home, they switch to their cell phones to perform various tasks, which gives other verticals an opportunity to do so. Yet in the longer term, an economic crisis would lower overall consumer spending and reduce lifetime value for the customer. During the past six weeks, the Appflyer data collection contained 2.5 billion organic installations, 1.4 billion non-organic installations and 620 billion sessions (app opens).

If we change the emphasis to particular sectors, we're going to get different statistics but one thing is constant- Covid-19 has had a resounding impact on each industry. We'll narrow it down to the mobile device industry here.

Although governments around the world are implementing immediate lockdowns, this has somehow enhanced consumer interaction with smartphones. Words such as 'quarantine,' 'social gap' and 'isolation' have become trends worldwide, as people across the globe use social media to communicate with each other for all the right reasons.

There are two aspects to take into account downloads and use. As people spend more and more time in their homes, there has been a rise in the use of such apps that relate to gaming, social media, fitness, editing, etc., while online shopping and food delivery are among the worst affected.

How are mobile apps impacted?

Ridesharing firms like Uber and Lyft are feeling the impact as people stay indoors and do not move out. The ridesharing apps that received massive profits immediately came to reel under the pressure of this widespread epidemic as people were strictly advised not to leave home. This has massively ruptured this industry's job scenario.

International estimates for non-organic installations (NOIs) for communication apps remained unchanged until March 15th, 2020, with no significant change in a continuous timeline. Ironically, as deduced by AppsFlyer, this was very close to 2019. The tables have turned dramatically though for organic downloads. You will see a flatline before mid-Feb, but you can see that the figures have risen by an incredible 15%.

Since lockdown means long hours of spending in homes and restricting going out, people have started to search for ways to combat boredom and make good use of their time. There was a colossal download of 22 million mobile gaming applications from China in the App Store during the first week of February when only the Chinese could feel the threat. Even the average download rate in February increased by 40% compared to February 2019.

In India, which is going through a national shutdown until May 3rd, some gaming portals that host a variety of games, including cricket, carrom, bubble shooter, etc., have seen traffic increase by 30 per cent. Participation of game users and spending average time shot by 'nearly 3x, setting an all-time high.'

Another popular platform, the Mobile Premier League (MPL) is on a roll as its daily user count for the game, the World Cricket Championship (WCC), increased by 400 per cent from March 2 to March 18.

Demand for healthcare and fitness products has increased for online shopping brands such as Amazon. After the outbreak, there has been tremendous demand for Yoga Mats, workout equipment, masks, gloves etc. This is just one part of it, however.

Another business which has been affected is the online food delivery market. The businesses have increased their prices after demands soared. This has also resulted in increased estimates of food delivery which means that the ordered food arrives at a later time than normal. However, restaurants faced a shortage of workers due to the pandemic.

Grocery delivery apps witnessing record business growth. When a global crisis strikes, some win and some lose. Grocery companies have witnessed an unprecedented increase in sales. Here are some figures that have been observed since the outbreak of Covid-19. Downloads for Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt increased by 216 percent, 160 percent and 124 percent.

The global digital health system is currently the most proactive sector in the world. While thousands of Covid-19 cases are occurring every day, it is becoming difficult for hospitals and medical practitioners to deal with the situation. That's why healthcare mobile apps have jumped into the situation to make people aware of the harsh realities and advise them with sound fitness tips while they stay in their homes.

The fitness app industry has also introduced newer apps for people who want to continue their exercise regime and workout routines in their homes. There has also been an increase in downloads of educational and mental health apps, as many people find it difficult to cope with loneliness during the lockdown.

Plainly speaking, in the current period of turmoil, almost every industry has taken a huge hit and they are all finding ways to connect and attract more audiences. And what's the source — the mobile app. Whether it's mobile apps for the hotel industry, mobile apps for the tourism industry or mobile apps for the fashion industry, all set their best foot in communicating with the digital audience. Apps for the hospitality industry are making a conscious effort to make people aware of the current situation and to advise them not to travel, but to plan for the future.

Although many mobile apps are facing a recession and some enjoy spectacular growth, everyone hopes the pandemic will clear the air for regular business routines to follow. The catch here is to stay healthy and follow instructions so the disease dies. Most smartphone apps have taken on the role of helping you preserve good health and safety to ensure good safety.

Obviously these are tough times, full of doubt. At Nebula, we aim to enable marketers and the consumer to make better choices.

If you want to develop a customized solution on web and mobile to streamline your business operations, we’d love to hear about your challenges and ambitions. Let's work together.


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