India transformed itself into a mobile-first consumer economy in 2020: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 19, 2021

India transformed itself into a mobile-first consumer economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to InMobi’s Annual Mobile Marketing Handbook 2021.

According to an InMobi report titled ‘Marketing in the era of Mobile’, India accounted for around 14 per cent of the global app installs in 2020.

App downloads in India increased 28 per cent year-over-year, the growth rate being four-times higher than the global average of 7 per cent YoY.

India also ranked second in terms of average time spent on the mobile, with a 37 per cent spike in usage in H1 2020.

Globally, 321 million new internet users were added, with a 25 per cent spike in app downloads in H1 2020 as compared to H2 2019.

Overall, global spending on app stores reached $143 billion in 2020.

Emerging mobile app categories

The evolution has been significant in India with “several new categories of apps such as Health & Fitness, Gaming, Entertainment, Long-form & Short-form video content, Hyperlocal delivery and Learning & Education gaining prominence following the unprecedented developments during the year,” the report said.

The time spent by users in India on entertainment apps grew by over 22 per cent from January to April 2020. This has also resulted in around 47 per cent growth in OTT subscription and an over 26 per cent increase in revenue, according to the InMobi Annual Mobile Marketing Handbook.

“Vernacular language content has played a critical role in empowering both content creators and consumers. Users are consuming content across a variety of genres be it news, food, health and fitness or entertainment, accounting for an average of 40 viewing minutes per day,” it added.

Between March to mid-April, digital payment apps also witnessed an increase of over 42 per cent in usage as compared to the pre-lockdown period.

The mobile gaming industry is another segment which witnessed a massive surge last year. India now accounts for 1 out of 10 of the world’s gamers, the report said. It is poised to become one of the top mobile gaming markets in the APAC region, the report added.

Impact on marketing

According to a consumer survey by InMobi, during August and September 2020, 63 per cent of survey participants said they used their phones to learn about and discover new products, 77 per cent used their mobiles to research and explore, and 62 per cent of participants made new purchases through their mobile phones.

The pandemic has changed the way consumers think. This also has a major impact on marketing strategies.

“The clear demand for mobile-first services from consumers has laid the foundation for India’s app economy. Depending on the headwinds, 2021 promises to be a positive year for the Indian mobile marketing sector – marching steadily towards the next decade of advertising and marketing innovation,” said Vasuta Agarwal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, InMobi.

“Covid-19 has caused a major shift in the way consumers think, feel, and act. With market disruption dramatically shifting long-conditioned behaviour in just a matter of weeks, digital has become the first prerogative in the way consumers choose to interact with the world. Marketers today are re-evaluating their priorities and strategies to not only survive but thrive in a post-Covid world,” said Jayesh Ullattil, Vice-President & General Manager for India at InMobi.

According to another InMobi survey, “e-commerce and BFSI segments lead the way when it comes to Digital Marketing Maturity, emerging as the more connected and multi-moment sectors.”

According to the report, 69 per cent of marketers increased their spend on digital channels in 2020. Apart from this, 87 per cent are planning to increase their investments in in-app advertising by up to 40 per cent.

Published on January 19, 2021

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