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Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, calls the current situation an economic Tsunami. The IMF has declared that the world is heading to a global recession.
However, not everything is bleak for businesses. Zoom, the video conferencing app, for example, had reported a whopping 1900% spike in usage in three months, while Skype and Microsoft Teams have reported an increase of 70% and 110% respectively.
You might contend that the work from home policy in most countries is responsible for this spike.
You may wonder how an e-commerce app or a food delivery app ensures user engagement during and after the lockdown? How can they thrive during this slowdown?
In this article we’ve answered such questions along with key findings and examples of brands that have successfully navigated through this pandemic in this article. We’ve included:
The COVID-19 Impact Quadrant for Mobile Apps
To gain a high-level overview of the impact of the pandemic on various consumer apps, we published the COVID-19 Impact Quadrant. This is a plot of active users mapped with the number of downloads for various consumer apps. Here, the industries are divided into 4 quadrants:
Source: MoEngage report
downloads and active users. Apps for verticals such as Video Chat apps, Media and Entertainment worldwide, and the Online Shopping, Healthcare apps from the U.S. fall into this quadrant.
Users are coming to terms with the changing dynamics of inter-connectivity and the way a day in their lives look right now. This also means that there has been a huge shift in their buying behavior. From purchasing luxury goods to essentials, from offline to online shopping - there’s much that’s changing.
For example, our study shows that online shopping apps have seen a steep rise in both new and daily active users in the United States, particularly for essential services like groceries, milk and medicine.
Source: MoEngage report
Another interesting industry is online food delivery. While the user activity in the United States and Southeast Asian countries have seen increased activity on food delivery apps, we’ve seen the opposite trends for India.
Source: MoEngage report
Consumers respond to crises in different ways and to truly understand the impact of the pandemic, it is important to overlay the consumer mindset to the behavior data for your business.
Has the Consumer Behavior Really Changed?
As consumers navigate between working remote full-time to living in isolation, their behavior has changed drastically in the last few months. A report by EY shows that 78% of people are shopping less, and 64% are buying only essential items.
The report further states that the trend may not change soon, even after the pandemic ends. 45% of the consumers say that there will be a permanent change in the way they shop.
Undeniably, the pandemic has caused some major shifts in consumer behavior whether it is the apps they’re using, or the way they choose to shop, or even the content they consume. We’ve grouped these changes into three broad categories:
To summarize, consumers today are going through uncertainty and would prefer to over-prepare rather than under-prepare. Also, they now focus more on wellness and staying healthy, while also being cautious about their expenses.
Tips to Improve Engagement on Your Mobile Apps
Brands Winning With Engagement During the Pandemic
The number of people considered to be gathered safely at a single location has slipped from thousands to hundreds to handfuls. As the world stays in lockdown, travel and other non-essential businesses have had to close their operations. Consumers worldwide are trying to adapt to these uncertain times, and so are brands.
Here’s some examples of how some brands have continued to engage and stay relevant to their audience even though their core business has taken a hit.
1.Oyo: OYO Hotels and Homes is one of the world’s leading chain of hotels and homes. Naturally, with travel restrictions all over the world, Oyo’s app engagement should have spiraled downwards - but that’s not what happened. Through the last two months, the DAUs on Oyo’s app have dropped just by 2%. How did they achieve that?
Oyo puts out COVID-19 updates through a newsletter that’s highly informative and shares heartwarming stories from the community, safety tips, and hygienic practices. They also have a gaming zone where their app users return for Coronavirus themed games.
2.DoorDash: DoorDash, an on-demand prepared food delivery service app in the U.S. and Canada, has waived off the delivery fee during the pandemic. Small steps like this have helped them grow their overall downloads by 11.9% and DAU (Daily Active Users) by 4% over the last couple of months.
3.Jimmy Brings: Jimmy Brings is an alcohol delivery service across Australia that promises the delivery of beer, wine and spirits within just 30 minutes. However, during the lockdown, the brand wanted to be more helpful. They offered to deliver toilet rolls to their users within 30 minutes to consumers in Sydney. They encouraged users to stay at home and shop for wine, beer, spirits, snacks and even panadol using the Jimmy Brings app or website.
While these are some examples to show how brands can will consumers over during a crisis, your response and engagement strategy might differ based on your industry and audience. We hope this article has helped you understand the key shifts in your users’ mindset and will help you carve out a unique engagement strategy for your app users and serve them in the best ways you can.
About the Author
Akshatha Kamath, Head of Content Marketing, MoEngage
Akshatha Kamath leads content marketing at MoEngage, the preferred customer engagement partner for Fortune 500 brands in the mobile-first world. She is a content marketing leader with close to 12 years of experience in writing, strategizing, and managing content for various organizations. Akshatha also volunteers with AMA-SF as a writer.