Mobile app installs and sessions climb on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love and our loved ones, is fast approaching. While a typical Valentine’s Day may entail having a romantic dinner date at a restaurant or going out to local bars, many people opt for at-home experiences — an approach that’s been exacerbated by lockdowns and social distancing guidelines. As consumer habits continue to shift and mobile plays a bigger and bigger role in people’s daily lives, it’s no surprise that how people spend Valentine’s Day is changing, too.

In 2021, the National Retail Federation’s survey found that only 24% of people celebrated the special occasion with an evening out, the lowest in the survey’s history. However, 41% planned a special dinner or celebration at home. Some people didn’t plan on celebrating at all, with 26% planning to treat themselves and 18% planning a get-together.

For marketers, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to reach new users, engage existing ones and maximize ROI. That’s why we took a look at year-on-year growth for February 14, and Adjust data shows, for example, that global installs across all verticals increased 8.7% compared to the monthly average. We also hone in on key verticals including video streaming, food delivery and recipe apps, to show marketers where the big wins can be made.

Movie nights and ordering-in for the win

On February 14, 2021, global installs of video streaming apps saw a significant increase compared to February’s average — a whopping 43%. Sessions were also up 18%, showing that many people opted to (or perhaps had to) spend the night-in.

Complementing this is the increase in installs of food delivery apps, which saw a massive boost of 33%, coupled with a sessions increase of 19. Cooking was also on the agenda as installs of recipe apps jumped 16% compared to the monthly average, and sessions climbed by 20%.

Dating apps also feel the love

Valentine’s Day is increasingly being marketed as more than just a day for those already in relationships. For those who are single and ready to mingle, it can also be a great opportunity to meet new people and form connections. This is one of the driving factors for the growth seen by dating apps on the day, as romantic relationships are top of mind. On Valentine’s Day 2021, installs for dating apps were 14% higher than the monthly average, globally, and sessions jumped by 5%.

A hot moment for shopping

It has become customary to give gifts to loved ones on Valentine’s Day or to perhaps buy something for ourselves to show some self-love, or maybe just to take advantage of promotions and sales. On February 14, 2021, installs for shopping apps were 9.5% higher than the monthly average, and sessions grew by 3%, demonstrating that the date is also well worth pursuing for marketers in the e-commerce vertical.

What can mobile app marketers do to make the most of Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day spending in 2021 was $21.8 billion, and ‘online’ was cited as the top destination for making purchases. February 14 is expected to right around the corner, mobile app marketers can make the most of this opportunity to reach audiences that are celebrating and not celebrating. Apps in all verticals can take advantage of the day by choosing a position. A recipe app might take the easy route by advertising itself as the place to find Valentine’s Day friendly recipes, while a streaming app might opt for a ‘singles’ approach.

We recommend utilizing different types of discounts, offers, giveaways, and promotional deals. If your app monetizes via a subscription model, you could offer ‘premium’ for free for the day, for example.

Marketers can utilize different types of discounts, giveaways, and promotional deals that will drive installs, engagement, and ROI. For e-commerce apps, fast shipping options for those on the last-minute shopping boat could prove advantageous, for food delivery apps, free delivery could be the differentiating factor.

The author, April Tayson, is Regional VP, INSEA at Adjust.

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