A look into the changing landscape of mobile consumption in Europe

A new report from MoEngage reveals that growth in mobile users is exploding. In Europe, two industries, Education and Dating, which have been primarily offline-focussed since their inception, have witnessed a massive migration to online applications, specifically mobile apps. MoEngage captured this migration in its recent Global Mobile Consumer Trends Report. In this report, the team compared mobile app downloads, daily active users (DAU), and duration spent on mobile apps in Q2 of 2020 (the months of April, May, and June) with Q1 of 2020 (the months of January, February, and March).

According to the report, industries like Healthcare & Fitness and eCommerce, which have been quick to launch mobile platforms, have also seen tremendous growth in Q2, 2020, from Q1, 2020.

Mobile adoption is on the rise across different verticals

The education industry has embraced technology with open arms
Edtech apps witnessed an increase of 26.36 per cent in downloads and 17.22 per cent in daily active users in Q2, 2020, from Q1, 2020. In the United Kingdom, schools started closing in the last week of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Educational institutes in Europe quickly adopted online education methods in Q2, hosting classes and taking assessments via the internet. Some of the top apps in this category include Google Classroom, Duolingo, and Photomath.

Although few countries had partially reopened schools toward the end of Q2, they were functioning at minimum capacity and focusing on online education. Since most educational institutes in Europe are reopening in September and the remaining months of 2020, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Healthcare & Fitness apps have become an important part of daily life
In England, gyms and fitness facilities reopened in August, four months after closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. Respecting lockdown rules all over Europe, people moved their fitness regimes indoors. This trend resulted in a 24.82 per cent increase in fitness app downloads and an 11.09 per cent increase in daily active users in Q2 from Q1.

Fitness brands invested heavily in launching home workouts and training videos directly to their mobile apps. The introduction of in-app achievements and gamification also helped propel the usage of healthcare & fitness apps. Some of the top mobile apps in this category include Strava,  Mi Fit, and YAZIO.

Virtual dating has become a new form of recreation
Wanting to connect with people is an essential part of being human. With COVID-19 related lockdowns in Europe in Q1, dating apps evolved into platforms to virtually meet and connect with new people.

In Q2, the number of downloads and daily active users of dating apps in Europe increased by 25.36 per cent and 8.29 per cent. Due to indefinite work-from-home policies and complete shutdown of bars, dating apps have been promoting virtual dating ideas, and it has worked! Another data point to support this is the 3.05 per cent increase in the frequency of use of dating apps during Q2 of 2020.

MoEngage’s report also revealed that the mobile adoption of virtual dating in Europe is much higher than the global average. Globally, dating apps’ downloads increased by 18.24 per cent, DAUs increased by 5.52 per cent, and the frequency of use increased by 1.72 per cent. This category includes top apps like Badoo, LOVOO, Mamba, and Happn.

Consumer trust in online shopping is increasing
eCommerce and retail brands were initially affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, as can be seen from MoEngage’s earlier report about the business impact of COVID-19 across the globe. However, in Q2, the number of downloads of online shopping apps shot up by 18.68 per cent, and user activity has increased by 2.91 per cent. 

MoEngage’s report suggests that essentials and grocery delivery apps were the primary drivers of this growth in online shopping apps. Additionally, across Europe, brands in this vertical have adapted to the situation and have changed their messaging accordingly to win back consumer trust. We believe this trend will continue until the end of 2020. Amazon Shopping, AliExpress, eBay, and Tesco Groceries were the top performers in this category.

People are consuming more content on mobile devices
The negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the box office has accelerated the adoption of direct-to-OTT releases. This trend was met with a positive response by mobile users, as OTT video streaming apps witnessed a 15.72 per cent increase in downloads and a 6.06 per cent increase in daily active users in Q2 of 2020. The frequency of use of video streaming apps increased by 10.47 per cent, which was higher than the global average of 7.89 per cent. The top performers in this category include Netflix, Amazon Video, and Disney+.

Similar to video streaming, mobile audio streaming is on the rise as well. OTT audio and music streaming apps saw an increase of 11.86 per cent in downloads and 3.50 per cent in daily active users. The frequency of use also increased by 4.42 per cent in Q2, 2020, which was significantly higher than the global average of 1.61 per cent. This trend’s primary driver can be attributed to the availability of more long-form audio content like podcasts and audiobooks on multiple mobile platforms. The top audio streaming apps include Spotify, Shazam, and YouTube Music.

Mobile consumption is on the rise across Europe. Traditional offline verticals like education and dating have seen an increase in mobile adoption in 2020. Mobile-first verticals like shopping and video and music streaming also witnessed an increase in new mobile users and user activity, even more than the global average.

With the COVID-19 outbreak in control across all the countries in Europe, lockdown restrictions have eased up, and life is slowly returning to the pre-COVID era. How this impacts mobile consumption in Europe will be an interesting trend to follow and analyse, but it is safe to say that mobile apps have become even more important to our daily lives than ever before.

You can download the report here