App location opt-ins spike during pandemic

Anne Freer | October 5, 2020

App Business

With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, average location opt-in rates for apps rose 39% in March 2020 to 10.7% in June, according to a new benchmark report published by customer engagement firm Airship.

The report compares pre- and post-COVID global app user data for a more accurate picture of ongoing user behaviour throughout 2020.

It shows that mobile app audience grow was up 31% in 2020 compared to 17% in 2019.

Location opt-in rates had declined pre-COVID to 2.5% a year until February 2020. It highlights that coronavirus lockdowns had an enormous effect on people’s willingness to opt-in for location on their mobile devices.

The average opt-in for notifications for users was 66.7% until February 2020, up 0.3% from the previous year.

But both app opens and notification open rates rose 29% during lockdowns.

 “The results clearly show that the pandemic has further cemented the importance of mobile to support our everyday lives. With a strong growth in the use of mobile apps and consumer engagement with brands in response to their direct communications on mobile, more and more people are trusting mobile apps as a way to engage with the brands they love,” said Patrick Mareuil, Managing Director for EMEA at Airship.

“Consumers have adopted the new behaviours and greater mobile interaction during the pandemic for in-the-moment information and streamlined conveniences, and much of this will continue to grow in the future. Therefore, marketing teams should further invest in mobile to seize this trend, supporting customers with a direct, contactless experience to ensure they have access to all they need from the brand at their fingertips.”

The retail sector boasted some of the highest location opt-in rates at 23%. Medical, health and fitness opt-in rates jumped 150% during March to June 2020, while finance and insurance was up 128% and travel rose 116%.

Among the countries with the highest opt-in rates were India, Romania, Mexico, Japan, and Brazil.

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