The share of installs of Chinese apps slipped to 29% in 2020 from 38% in 2019, a report by analytics firm AppsFlyer said. Indian apps leveraged this opportunity by dominating the install volume with 39% share in 2020.
China’s loss was also captured by apps from Israel, the US, Russia, and Germany. These countries made further inroads too into India’s rapidly growing app market, the report noted.
“With app marketers increasingly expanding their remit to cover tier-2 and tier-3 regions, the demand from semi-urban areas is firing up India’s app consumption. In this highly diverse and fragmented marketplace, personalised content is critical to engage and retain customers,” Sanjay Trisal, country manager, AppsFlyer India, said.
States with semi-urban areas emerged as the sweet spot for mobile usage, the study showed. Around 85% of app installs came from tier-2 and tire-3 cities. Gaming, finance, and entertainment categories dominated in app installs outside in the smaller cities and towns.
With people spending more time at home, dependency on apps increased on the one hand. But, on the other, it also meant that users had more time to declutter their phones and remove unwanted apps.
In an indication of cut-throat competition across verticals, retention rate (number of users using the app after a certain number of days) dipped and day-1 uninstall rates (number of times users uninstalled the app on the day of install itself) increased.
For an average app, overall retention rate across verticals fell this year by around 12% as marketing budgets were slashed due to the pandemic, the report said. While on day one, the retention rate of apps was at 22.3% this dipped to 1.7% by day 30, the study showed.
Indian app users continued to prefer apps that take up less space on phones, consume less data, and are more seamless to use in spotty connectivity.
Overall, day-1 uninstall rates stood at 27% (marginally up from 26% last year). This was higher for gaming, food and finance apps at 32%, 32% and 30%, respectively.
While most players in India’s nascent app economy prioritise new user acquisition over retention, without a retention strategy, companies are essentially spending resources with no benefit, analysts said.
AppsFlyer’s study analysed 7.3 billion installs recorded in India between January 1 and November 30, 2020 covering 4,519 apps across verticals.