DUBAI: With consumers spending 3.8 trillion hours on mobile devices in 2021, it is no surprise that marketers are also spending more on mobile advertising.
UAE marketers spent $74 million in 2021 on Android app installs, representing a 35 percent year-on-year growth, according to a new report by global attribution company AppsFlyer.
A massive 84 percent of UAE businesses said that they consider mobile apps a “must” to remain relevant to their customers.
Overall app installs on iOS and Android devices grew by 15 percent last year. The study found that finance apps were among the most popular, with installs growing by 55 percent.
Retail or shopping apps also increased in popularity, especially during shopping seasons such as Ramadan and White Friday. Total installs of shopping apps in the UAE increased by 24 percent on White Friday (Nov. 26) compared with an average of the previous three Fridays in November.
“Propelled by forward-thinking government initiatives and use of apps, the UAE’s mobile-first economy has been one of the key markets that has quickly shifted to digital in recent years. Many brands are now recognizing that mobile needs to be at the forefront of their business activity,” said Samer Saad, Middle East regional manager of AppsFlyer.
Over 91 percent of UAE organizations now offer mobile apps, with the report highlighting “customer acquisition” and “customer retention and loyalty” as the top two reasons behind the focus on mobile apps.
The investment in mobile is paying off, with over 40 percent saying they believe there has been at least a 26 percent increase in mobile-driven revenues for their organization in the past 12 months.
UAE shoppers’ mobile-friendliness was most evident during the shopping periods of Ramadan and White Friday.
During the holy month, there was a 10 percent increase in overall installs for shopping apps and a massive 71 percent increase for finance apps, compared with the same period in 2020. In fact, in-app spending on both shopping and finance apps recorded triple-digit growth through Ramadan.
Overall spending on shopping apps during White Friday increased by 43 percent despite the number of installs dropping by 41 percent compared with the previous year, suggesting that the average spend per consumer is now higher than in the previous year.
“Looking ahead to 2022, the signs look positive for businesses looking to acquire more customers through their mobile devices. However, as this space becomes more competitive, just providing an app will no longer be enough. Organizations that leverage the power of mobile marketing to offer personalized experiences to their customers will rapidly pull ahead of the pack,” Saad said.