The world is an unpredictable place, as the COVID-19 pandemic has proven. However, one thing that continues to remain constant is the use of apps. Even during the health crisis, mobile application figures are pretty astounding. As you would expect, there have been winners, strugglers, and those that have stayed the same throughout the last six to seven months.
Screen time has skyrocketed, and the pandemic is to blame. With more people stuck at home with nothing to do, they turn to their phones to fill the void. In the first half of the year, there was a 220% increase in time spent on business apps compared to the same period in 2019. This highlights how habits are changing as a result of the new restrictions.
However, some things never change, and the amount consumers spend online and via mobile apps is continuing to trend in a positive direction. Consumers spent an estimated 1.6 trillion hours on mobile in the first half of 2020 and invested more than $50 billion globally. This is a 10% rise from the last half of the last year.
Of course, businesses were at the forefront of switching to mobile-first technology as entrepreneurs needed to implement remote-work strategies to keep the doors open. As a result, 80% of the top-rated business apps focused on video conferencing.
As always, there are winners and those in struggle in times of crisis, and several businesses have used applications to take advantage of the change in routine for the world's population.
Zoom and Microsoft are at the top of the list since everyone from companies to individuals required software to replicate face-to-face meetings. The ban on all-but-essential travel, as well as the extended periods of lockdown, meant entrepreneurs and loved ones had to find new ways to interact, and Zoom and Microsoft Teams were the preferred platforms of choice.
Out of the two, Zoom was probably the biggest winner as it was relatively unknown and unused, unlike Teams. Therefore, the fact its global user base grew by over 300% in less than a month was only a sign of things to come. By the pandemic's peak, the app hosted 200 million daily participants and was ranked the number one iPhone app for daily downloads in over one-hundred-and-forty markets. In December 2019, Zoom's daily meeting participant figures were ten million.
The health and fitness sector has always been a big money-spinner in the US, yet with gyms shut, people had to look for new ways to exercise without leaving the house. Mobile applications bridged the gap by providing people with healthy and accessible routines that were doable from the comfort of a living room. As such, the likes of the already popular app, Peloton, was downloaded five times more in March than in February in the States. On the other hand, Aaptiv recorded engagement with non-equipment programs of more than half in March.
The bump in media and entertainment traffic is not surprising, but it's still very interesting. With more time at home, people were bound to turn to Netflix and Amazon Prime to relieve the monotony. And, this happened - Netflix reported a 55% increase in app downloads by the beginning of April. However, other media and entertainment organizations were quick to raise brand awareness. For instance, DIsney+ had a week-by-week install rate of 46% before the official restrictions were in place in March. The crossover between platforms was considerable, too. For example, nearly 60% of Netflix users leaned on Snapchat in the second quarter of 2020.
Again, the gaming market is one you would expect to flourish during a pandemic, and it didn't disappoint. New installs shot up to 95% for the following games:
- Candy Crush
- Subway Surfers
In general, two-fifths of people who used apps said they played mobile games via applications and did so more regularly than ever. Spending-wise, Amazon's streaming platform, Twitch, topped the charts with $20 million in user spending.
Unfortunately, some businesses can't adapt quickly enough and struggle to make ends meet. Yet, this doesn't mean the game is over as several of the companies on the list below are expected to bounce back if they can survive the pandemic.
The tourism and travel sectors are finding it hard right now since a considerable chunk of people aren't willing to take the risk in case they are caught out abroad. The fact travelers must self-isolate on return and that rules can change in-transit means the industry's spending is down by 41% from last year (a $9bn loss). As a result, projected job losses are set to hit the 4.6 million mark and could reach as far as 6.6 million if the health crisis continues into next year.
With fewer people going out to eat and drink, the hospitality market has declined accordingly. Even those who already have apps for COVID-secure ordering aren't doing as well as they might imagine. Weatherspoon's is a British chain that utilizes such technology, yet it didn't stop the company from a $100+ loss, the first loss in its history.
The eCommerce industry is strange as it will soak up the lost business from brick-and-mortar stores, yet it relies on shoppers' disposable incomes for steady sales. Therefore, while consumers are 30.6% more likely to purchase online than they were a year ago, it might not be enough for companies in different sectors. For instance, food and takeout services are booming, as are supermarkets, but retail shops face challenges if they are to break even in 2020.
The big winners are the telecommunications, health and fitness, gaming, and media and entertainment sectors. As the stats show, they are not only recording steady sales but are increasing their market share. The travel and tourism and hospitality industries have been hit the hardest, as have some commerce and eCommerce organizations. However, the hope is that they will rebound if they make it to 2021. This article was originally written by Parceltracker.com
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