Despite the changes occurring in the European economy, there are several sectors that are expected to continue performing well as we wrap up 2022 – one of them being mobile apps. Total first-time app downloads in Europe are forecast to grow to approximately 29.6 billion in 2022, an increase of 22.7 percent from 2019, at a CAGR of 7.1 percent. In addition to this growth, the global mobile apps market is expected to increase by $957.44 billion from 2022 to 2026.
There are a few stand out mobile app verticals that are projected to be on the rise in Europe despite the economic downturn. These high performing verticals include retail, gaming, entertainment, and health apps. App marketers should shift their focus on retaining users in these growing verticals as they will be sources of success and ROI to finish off the year.
Europe and Mobile Apps
Even with the uncertainty of the pandemic and lockdowns, 2021 proved to be an incredible year for mobile apps in Europe. European consumers spent an estimated $18.3 billion across the App Store and Google Play in 2021, representing a 22.8% year over year increase. This year, however, has been a challenging one for industries across all sectors, and mobile apps are not immune to these changes.
In order to retain paying users in an unstable economic climate, app marketers need to hone on verticals that are succeeding and sharpen their re-engagement and app retention strategies for the upcoming quarters.
Where are the Mobile App Opportunities in Europe?
Shopping season is upon us, which means there are numerous opportunities for growth in the retail app space. During the first three quarters of 2021, installs for retail apps in Europe reached 572 million across the App Store and Google Play. User adoption of retail apps in Europe also increased 15% in 2021.
With back-to-school shopping and holidays coming up, European users are using apps to purchase what they need. In fact, 86% of consumers in Spain, for example, prefer to use their smartphones to shop online rather than on the web or in person.
In order to retain European users during the busy shopping season, marketers need to engage first-time users efficiently. It is recommended with app retention strategies, having push notifications ready to remind new users about your app will help bring them back in to make a purchase when creating mobile app opportunities. Almost 80% of users do not use newly downloaded apps after the first day. Having push notifications installed for these new customers can increase app retention by around 20%. Locking these loyal users in before the height of holiday season is crucial as there will be more distractions as the year draws to a close.
It’s no secret that when people are spending more time at home, they are also spending more time playing games on their smartphones. Mobile gaming has withstood the test of multiple dips in economies globally and even thrived during most of these periods. In fact, during Q1 of 2020, mobile app users spent $23.4 billion in app stores globally and there were 31 billion new apps downloaded during this same time period.
The mobile gaming segment in Europe is projected to reach $16.63 billion in 2022 and the number of users is expected to hit 221.5 million by 2027. This means that there are many mobile app opportunities in the gaming space for mobile marketers to retain and engage their valuable users. In Western Europe, mobile games generated $7.2 billion in revenue from consumer spending in 2021 alone.
Mobile gaming players are willing to spend money within their chosen apps, which gives app marketers opportunities to entice these users using gamification, rewards and other gaming re-engagement tactics. App retention strategies re-engage these users using messaging around the holidays coming up and give rewards based on days in a row played. For example, you could do a “25 Days of Christmas” campaign where users who play everyday for 25 days get some sort of reward. Incentivization is everything!
Entertainment and Music
There are many mobile app opportunities in the world of entertainment and music apps have continued to perform well in Europe with the music streaming segment projected to reach $8.22 billion by the end of 2022. Revenue in this sector is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 6.48% reaching a whopping $11.26 billion by 2027. Spotify remains extremely popular in Europe with 121 million annual users compared to their 40 million they had in 2016. Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ remain on the rise as well, continuing to gain popularity throughout the holiday and winter seasons as people spend more time inside with their families and friends.
Taking advantage of the holiday season for themed giveaways or discounts will attract users to continually engage with your music or entertainment app is one of many mobile app opportunities. Create video advertisements that are consistent with the theme of the season invoke a sense of nostalgia, personalized and communicate a sense of urgency to use the app before the holiday is over. Especially during economic times like these, it is important to think about what you can say to make your user feel happy and excited!
Leading Entertainment and Video App Downloads Worldwide 2022 Source: Statista
Health and Wellness Apps
Even with European gyms and fitness centers open and safe for public use, it seems as though mobile health and wellness apps are still on the rise even with the European economic impacts on mobile apps. And, with consumers still spending an increasing amount of time on their phones, fitness brands are continuing to invest in creatives on mobile channels and other mobile app opportunities. Across the App Store and Google Play, Europe health and wellness apps saw $382 million in consumer spending during 2021, which was a 16% growth from 2020. By 2028, the global fitness app market size is expected to reach 18.08 billion.
Q1 is often the most popular time for users to download new health apps given the age old mantra:“new Year, new me” . However, starting app retention strategies and re-engagement campaigns before the new year puts your wellness app at a unique advantage and creates many mobile app opportunities. Most users that rush in during January and February only interact for a few short weeks before dropping off. To withstand other economic impacts on mobile apps,launching these campaigns before the holidays allows you to build user loyalty within your app and retain your audience during the busy new year months.
Brands such as Strava offer their customers an all-inclusive subscription to their app rather than multiple smaller packages. This motivates users to continue participating within the app, rather than coming back every few months. Meditation apps that focus on mental wellness benefit from sending positive and calming messages to users that entice them to interact with the app. Another mobile app opportunity could be to highlight the importance of consistently prioritizing the wellness of your mind and body .
Takeaways of European Economic Impacts on Mobile Apps
Despite the changes in the European economy, there are several sectors that are expected to continue performing well as we wrap up 2022 – including mobile app opportunities. App marketers should shift their focus on retaining users with app retention strategies in these growing verticals to drive ROI as the economy shifts.
- Retail: The holiday season is upon us! In order to retain European users during the busy shopping season, marketers should engage first-time users efficiently. Having push notifications installed for new customers can increase retention by around 20%. Use push notifications to give new users discounts to incentivize them to come back and make purchases in your app.
- Gaming: The mobile gaming segment in Europe is projected to reach $16.63 billion in 2022, meaning there are many opportunities in the gaming space for mobile marketers to retain their valuable users. Try re-engaging these users with seasonal messaging and give rewards based on days in a row played when combating economic impacts on mobile apps. Incentivize, incentivize, incentivize!
- Entertainment and Music: Entertainment and music apps have continued to perform well in Europe. In order to drive users back to your app, create video advertisements that are consistent with the theme of the season to invoke a sense of nostalgia. Especially during economic times like these, it is important to think about what you can say to make your users feel happy and excited!
- Health and Wellness Apps: European health and wellness apps saw $382 million in consumer spending during 2021 and by 2028 are expected to reach 18.08 billion. Q1 is often the most popular time for users to download new health apps. However, starting re-engagement campaigns before the new year puts your wellness app at a unique advantage when working against the negative economic impacts on mobile apps and create a sense of loyalty before this busy time.