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How the App Ecosystem Is Rocking in Latin America

By Jesús Juárez - Adjust
Country Manager


By Jesús Juarez | Country Manager - Wed, 05/25/2022 - 13:00

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Cellphones have become part of our daily lives. We can buy groceries, pay bills, rent services, check our health, play games and much more. According to Statista, there were around 3.8 billion cellphone users in the world in 2021. In Mexico, the number was 84.4 million, which is estimated to reach 95.2 million in 2025. 

Talking about e-commerce, mobile devices have already positioned themselves in first place with respect to online sales, with 67 percent of sales in e-commerce globally. The gaming vertical also represents an important point of contact to impact users through a mobile communication strategy, since 52 percent of users who play video games do so through their smartphone.

We are living in a mobile world; it’s the right time for companies to know and understand how the app ecosystem works. Business opportunities are there, whether it is for improving solutions for our products and services or to advertise them in the right spot, and the right time, to the right users to boost marketing results.

What Is Happening Now in the App Ecosystem?

Before looking for business opportunities, it’s important to know the “big picture” of what is happening in the global mobile app industry. What are the most popular verticals for app usage? What is the user behavior in the different regions of the world? And what is the market saying about trends for the future?

Last year, after all the industry changes and pandemic shake-ups, the app ecosystem saw growth in installs and sessions industrywide, with the fintech, e-commerce and gaming verticals emerging as standouts and seeing their highest in-app revenue months on record in 2021, according to Adjust’s Mobile app trends 2022: A global benchmark of app performance.

This report, which analyzes a dataset of the Top 2,000 apps from different sectors worldwide, offers insights and expert industry analysis on global and regional mobile app developments. It shows the interest and engagement of users for specific verticals, and a glimpse of the trends that marketing professionals should be looking at to understand audiences in the global app economy. 

A Global View of Mobile App Trends 2022

Adjust’s data shows that, despite the challenges over the past two years, the mobile app ecosystem has continued to thrive, demonstrating how robust, resilient and adaptable the app marketing industry is. The increased need for apps in markets all over the world, coupled with an immense UA drive across many verticals, has resulted in an unprecedented number of users downloading and engaging with mobile apps on a daily basis.

These are some highlights:

  • Installs grew year-on-year in 2021 in all verticals and regions tracked, with fintech up by 35 percent, e-commerce by 12 percent, and gaming by 32 percent.
  • Stock trading and crypto apps grew significantly and have highly engaged user bases. While they make up 7 percent and 2 percent of all fintech app installs, respectively, they account for 17 percent and 6 percent of sessions.
  • Hyper casual games make up the highest share of installs within the gaming vertical (27 percent) but it’s action that accounts for the largest proportion of sessions (30 percent).
  • Marketplace apps have significantly better retention rates than the averages for the rest of the e-commerce vertical (day 1, 27 percent versus 19 percent; and day 30, 10 percent versus 7 percent.)
  • Fintech, e-commerce, and gaming all had their highest in-app revenue months on record in 2021, according to Adjust data.

Mexico, Latin America Outperforming in Regional App Growth, Engagement

One of the most interesting highlights of the report is related to Latin America since the region played a key role in the app industry in the last year. We just need to take a look at some key findings:

  • Fintech app install growth percentages in 2021 versus the previous year grew up to 62 percent in Latin America. It was the second region with the highest increase just after North America.
  • However, when talking about fintech app session growth percentages in the same period, Latin America boasted the highest number — with an impressive 128 percent followed by North America with 111 percent. Other regions grew less than 60 percent.
  • In e-commerce app installs, the two most notable markets for growth were EMEA and Latin America, where we saw 18 percent and 14 percent year-over-year growth, respectively.  
  • All key regions reported increases in e-commerce app sessions in 2021, with Latin America coming out on top at 32 percent year-over-year.
  • The growth of installs in gaming was also remarkably consistent across multiple key regions, with Latin America posting the highest results with 35 percent, followed by EMEA with 33 percent.

One thing is clear from all of these numbers: For companies in a Latin American market, mobile marketing strategies informed by insights and data are a must, given the growth of the market in the last few years. For example, it’s clear that mobile commerce has witnessed an immense spike of new users; however, Adjust data shows that retention rates are slightly down, suggesting it could be time to revisit marketing strategies and ensure that retention is being properly balanced in accordance with user acquisition (UA). Apps looking to differentiate themselves in m-commerce need a solid re-engagement and retention strategy that leverages mechanisms like gamification and loyalty programs to push the needle in 2022.

Throughout the year, we will continue to examine global and regional app trends and benchmark data to aid in your efforts for finding, targeting, acquiring and retaining your most loyal users in a highly competitive and challenging space. The opportunity is there — the need and want for apps has never been greater.

Photo by:   Jesús Juárez

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