Everything one can imagine is already within reach of the thumb. From doing the weekly shopping to applying for a mortgage in just a few minutes. The possibilities offered by smartphones today have multiplied unimaginably in just five years. And it seems that they have caught on with most of the public. The typical digital user is already connected to the Internet for an average of seven hours a day, according to a study carried out by Hootsuite and We Are Social. That translates into 48 hours a week staring at a screen. At the end of the year, about 2,500 hours. Most of this time – three hours and 45 minutes – is spent in front of the mobile phone. So much so that digital investment in the cell phone sector has skyrocketed around the world in recent years, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic. According to Rocket Lab, a mobile marketing advertising technology company, in 2022, 339,000 million dollars were invested in mobile platforms worldwide, and the forecast is that the figure will exceed 542,890 million in 2026. In Europe, the sector moved 88,000 million euros, while in Spain the value of the operations stood at 12,000 million.
Santiago Campos is the sales director of Rocket Lab in Spain, an adtech company—advertisements on digital platforms and applications—born in Mexico in 2019. From his office in Madrid, he relies on data and statistics when explaining the growth of this sector. , especially in regards to the last three years. “85% of the time we use a mobile device we do it through applications. They already account for 50% of digital advertising investment worldwide, and it is expected to exceed 60% in less than four years.” Although the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine and inflation have shown a certain decline in investment in the last year, it is expected that between the end of this year and 2024 the ghost of uncertainty will finally disappear and there will be a rebound without precedents. “We have experienced a drop of between 5% and 7% between 2021 and 2022, but the trend this year and the forecasts for next year point to a recovery that will far exceed the slight downturn in recent months.”
“When examining the trends, we observe that 90.4% of Spanish users access the internet through their mobile phone. This shows the importance of Spanish companies having a mobile first vision and investing in the mobile ecosystem,” says Juan Echeverría, CEO and co-founder of Rocket Lab. 40% of online purchases are already made through applications on smartphones. . According to a study published by this adtech, last year 76% of Spanish users made purchases from their mobile phone. A figure that barely reached 56% in 2017, and that plummets to 25% if we go back to 2014.
The three economic sectors with the greatest growth in recent months have been mobility, food delivery, fashion and financial services. “Fintech is growing a lot. Traditional banking is trying to get on the bandwagon, but it cannot compete with digital native companies, which have growth rates never seen before,” says Santiago Campos. According to data collected by Adjust, a digital analysis consultancy dedicated to the growth of applications, Spain is in 16th place in the world ranking in investment in marketing apps. “We are seeing more and more banks, ecommerce platforms or distribution companies, which had traditionally been focused on web commerce, giving priority to the app market. In Spain, furthermore, the gaming market is gaining a lot of strength. “It is probably the sector where there is the most money at the moment,” says Carmen Benito, head of Adjust for southern Europe. In 2022, the three most downloaded video game applications in the world – Subway Surfers, Stumble Guys and Roblox – had a total of 696 million downloads.
Investment in the textile sector has also skyrocketed. “The use of fashion applications has grown by 27.6% in this last year compared to the previous one,” indicates Isabel G. Benayas, analyst at Smartme Analytics, a customer observation and digital audience measurement platform. Last year, according to the Mobile app trends study, of all the e-commerce applications in the world – among which are Amazon, Shopee or Alibaba – the most downloaded was Shein, from the Chinese low-price clothing giant, with 229 millions. The second was Meesho, which offers quality clothing and home products at the lowest wholesale prices, with 209 million downloads. The most reluctant sectors, says Benito, are health and insurance companies. “They still haven’t found a way to make the apps really useful for the service they offer. In the medical sector, for example, there is great progress in technology development in many areas, but they do not invest in the app market and have not found the formula to be able to use them.”
According to Benito, paid applications have increasingly lower prices, and subscription methods are gaining ground over one-time payments. “The user is increasingly willing to contract services that are not free. This is because companies offer applications with higher quality services. The plans for a few days without paying to show the added value they offer are working better and better.”
The projection of direct income for 2023 is 200,000 million dollars worldwide. “As with any monthly fee, if the user has a recurring payment commitment for a good service, they will end up using it. In this way, companies ensure an adept audience that spends more time and money than before.”
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