According to the latest Mobile App Trends Report from Adjust, mobile app growth has continued to accelerate globally in 2021. After a year of industry changes and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, app installs, and sessions have grown across industries. Apps in the fintech, e-commerce and gaming categories are the frontrunners and recorded the highest monthly in-app sales in 2021 ever measured, Adjust revealed.
With the introduction of Apple's iOS 14.5 and the AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework in April 2021, the mobile marketing industry was forced to fundamentally rethink how it deals with data protection and the tracking of iPhone users. Early forecasts assumed that only around 5% of iPhone users would agree to the use of their data. However, Adjust data shows that opt-in rates for iOS 14.5+ are higher than forecasted. Across all categories, the global opt-in rate was 16% in May 2021 and has increased to around 25%. Apps from the gaming category even achieved opt-in rates of 30% in 2021.
Key findings of the Mobile App Trends Report include:
Global fintech app installs and sessions increased 34% and 53%, respectively, year-over-year.
- While trading and crypto apps accounted for just 7% and 2% of all app installs in the fintech category, respectively, they recorded 17% (trading) and 6% (crypto) of all sessions in this category. Crypto apps also had the longest average sessions with over 15 minutes.
- Comparing fintech app installs internationally, North America led the way with a 69% increase in 2021, followed by LATAM (62%), APAC (29%), and EMEA (16%).
- In-app sales in fintech apps increased consistently from January 2020 to December 2021, with March 2021 being the busiest month.
Mobile e-commerce is performing better than ever: installations of e-commerce apps increased by 12% in 2021 compared to the previous year. The top month was November with 20% more installations than the annual average.
- The two top growth markets for e-commerce app installs were EMEA and LATAM, up 18% and 14% year-over-year, respectively.
- In May 2021, e-commerce apps had the highest in-app sales that Adjust has ever measured in this category. Global sales here increased by 46% in 2021 compared to the previous year.
- Marketplace apps showed significantly higher user retention than other e-commerce apps: the retention rate was 27% on day one and 10% on day 30, versus 19% and 7% in the year 2020.
Hyper-casual games are on the rise and made up the largest percentage of installs (27%) in the gaming category, while action games made up the largest percentage of sessions (30%).
- Global installs in the gaming category increased by 32% in 2021 compared to the previous year, continuing the 2020 pandemic-driven growth. The second half of 2021 even exceeded the first half by 12%.
- Gaming app installs grew steadily in 2021 in several key regions. LATAM and EMEA recorded the highest growth rates at 35% and 33%, respectively, followed by APAC and North America.
- Session length, sessions per user per day, and time spent in apps all increased in 2021.
- In January 2021, the highest in-app sales worldwide that Adjust has ever recorded were measured.
The Mobile App Trends Report is based on the 2,000 apps that account for 90% of all traffic and additional data from the entire Adjust database. The report analyzes long-term trends in installs, sessions, length of stay in the app, user retention, reattribution rates and more in an international comparison.