Mobile Business Surges in Response to COVID-19
Despite the economic turbulence the world is facing due to COVID-19, digital business, and more specifically the mobile app economy, is seeing a dramatic spike.
Download and App Revenue Boom
Mobile app spending and the total amount of app installs, the two leading indicators in the space — besides usage and engagement metrics which will be discussed separately — have grown significantly during the first half of 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new report from Sensor tower.
Working from home, quarantine, and lockdown scenarios accelerated digital transformation and the overall use of mobile as the leading platform.
“Digital is more critical than ever. Business risks are higher. Continuous testing strategy is key for mobile/web business continuity.” — Tzvika Shahaf
According to the report, in the first half of the year, consumers spent $50.1 billion worldwide across the App Store and Google Play — a figure that’s up 23.4% from the first half of 2019. Revenue grew 20% between the first half of 2018 and 2019, for comparison.
In addition, first-time app installs were up 26.1% year-over-year in the first half of 2020 to reach 71.5 billion downloads. Apple’s App Store accounted for 18.3 billion of those downloads, up 22.8% this year, while Google Play delivered 53.2 billion new app installs, up 27.3%.
Looking specifically at Q2 of 2020, new app downloads reached around 37.8 billion globally, a figure that represents 31.7 percent growth over last year. App Store installs grew 23% to 9.1 billion, and Google Play downloads increased 34.7% to 28.7 billion.
The COVID-19 impact on the digital space is pretty substantial as both revenue and downloads grew quarter-over-quarter this year compared to past periods. Consumer spending in Q2 jumped up about 11% from Q1 of this year, a significant increase from the 1.4% growth between 1Q19 and 2Q19 the year before. Downloads were also up 12 percent in the second quarter this year compared to just 2.5 percent growth between 1Q19 and 2Q19.
Black Friday Levels Are the New Normal for Online Shopping
While numbers of physical store visits have dropped dramatically, online retailers are focused on redesigning their entire relationship with customers due to growing digital demand. Some even call it the “Digital Retail Apocalypse.”
Physical interaction and in-store experiences are now being replaced with the digital user experience. Geography restriction is now turning into shipping guidelines and e-commerce experience takes the front seat.
The COVID-19 impact on online shopping reflects a 49% increase during April 2020. This gave e-commerce companies a sales boost similar to the day after Thanksgiving when Americans shop holiday sales, according to data from Adobe's Digital Economy Index report.
According to Adobe, buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) transactions jumped 208% year-over-year in April.
Overall, digital purchase power — a measure of how much more consumers can buy online compared with 2014 — increased by 4.1% in April from a year ago, Adobe said.
In the U.S., online grocery shopping grew by 110% in daily online sales in April, the report found.
So whether you buy cloths online, groceries, electronics, or other goods, online retailers understand now more than ever that there are no more one-size-fits-all solutions. Despite the great momentum for retailers, many have left behind as they did not set a clear digital and mobile strategy.
When Was the Last Time You Visited Your Bank Branch?
The COVID-19 impact over the retail banking industry is probably the most advanced transformation in terms of a digital-first mindset. With consumers forced to use online or mobile banking alternatives, or face long lines at drive-up teller windows, the use of non-branch banking solutions has increased dramatically.
Financial institutions that have digitally transformed their business are now enjoying the fruits of this shift, while some followers or lagers are now required to play catch up.
Unless a massive return of consumers to branches will occur (unlikely), organizations with the strongest digital solution offerings will be in the best position to increase their market share and user satisfaction.
The Rise of Digital Banking
Recent research by J.D. Power highlights trends that many industry followers had predicted for years, but which transpired slowly. Over a period of less than two months, years of behavioral shift have occurred that will reverberate through the industry forever. Here are some of the early findings of the 2020 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study:
- Approximately one third of retail banking customers plan to increase their use of online and mobile banking services post COVID-19. This percentage is expected to increase as the duration of the crisis extends longer.
- Key digital banking functions that will be impacted the most include mobile check deposits and P2P payments.
- The youngest consumers will be the most likely to increase digital banking use.
- Online banking consumers who have not used mobile banking are more likely to use mobile services than branch-only consumers.
- Large financial institutions have a greater penetration of high-engagement digital customers than regional or midsize banks.
- Midsize banks have a significantly lower online and mobile banking satisfaction index than larger banks.
So, how can banks and businesses position themselves for success through COVID-19 and beyond? They need to implement testing best practices for higher digital quality with continuous testing.
Teams need-up-to-date testing environments — with real user conditions so they can test like their users. Automating as many of their test cases as possible will help them to move faster and avoid time-consuming manual testing.
Fully integrating with the CI/CD pipeline is another best practice that can help teams get faster feedback for a quicker MTTR. And because more automation means more data, teams need the right tools to dig into the data to drive smarter decisions — and fix defects fast.
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