Lockdown fuels 55% growth in app downloads across sub-Saharan Africa in 2020
The Sub-Saharan region recorded a 55% surge in the total number of apps downloaded during 2020 compared to 2019, higher than the global increase of 33% over the same period.
This is according to data released by global attribution leader AppsFlyer, which analysed more than 48 billion installs of over 30 000 apps, with a minimum of 5 000 installs per month.
The global COVID-19 pandemic was one of the main drivers of this increase, as more people than ever were forced to be on their mobile devices this year, with apps that enabled users to shop, play games, keep fit, stream or indulge in social networking proving vital during the protracted lockdown period.
AppsFlyer’s mobile marketing analytics provided crucial insights for app marketers globally. Here’s a summary of the top trends:
In sub-Saharan Africa, key app trends throughout 2020 include:
- A 93% growth in in-app purchases between April and May 2020 in South Africa, driven by strict COVID-19 lockdown measures and better access to online stores. This is compared to a 43% increase between September and November 2019
- Nigeria saw a 57% increase in organic app installs (and a 44% jump in non-organic app installs) in 2020
- The average number of purchases per user in South Africa in general retail apps increased by around 20% between March and April
- An analysis of 27 billion app installs across 495 media networks and 14 000 apps revealed that Google was the best platform for driving performance for app marketers in Africa, while Facebook was the best platform for remarketing across Africa and the Middle East
- A platform breakdown showed Google dominated on Android thanks to its leap in developing countries where the operating system dominates, while Facebook controls much of iOS.
Reflecting on the app trends for the year, Daniel Junowicz, MD LATAM & Africa at AppsFlyer, commented: “Africa’s mobile-first economy has been one of the key markets that has shifted quickly to digital in recent years.
Brands here understand more than any other region that mobile needs to be at the forefront of their business activity. Looking ahead to 2021, the signs look positive for SMEs looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices.
“2020 was a challenging year globally for all businesses, but with more users seeking to conduct numerous activities on their mobile devices, marketers need to meet consumers where they are to drive sales and mimic the in-person experience as some physical activities increasingly become digital experiences.”