Singapore – The change of consumer behavior into tapping into digital purchases has pushed the average growth of in-app purchases across Southeast Asia to 240% this year, with the Philippines tallying the highest growth at 371%, new insights from marketing analytics company AppsFlyer’s report show.
The region has seen a 13% to 35% rise in in-app revenue from March to July 2021, despite global in-app spend falling 2.05%. In order to capture and convert these first-time users, e-commerce marketers have also doubled down on their ad campaigns after March 2020.
This has resulted in an overall uptick in year-over-year non-organic installs (NOI) in the region, with Philippines (215%), Indonesia (104%), and Malaysia (69%) noting the highest growth. Meanwhile, marketers in Singapore dialed back on marketing campaigns due to user acquisition cost, with NOI increasing just 28%.
“Up until March last year, Southeast Asia was still a significantly offline market – at least when it comes to the mobile app space, and the majority of people did not have online banking or contactless payment options. Now, just 1.5 years later we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift as Southeast Asia is poised to experience a digital shopping wave; what businesses do now can determine their market share over the next few years,” said Sam Chiu, senior director of marketing for APAC at AppsFlyer.
Meanwhile, app remarketing on iOS saw growth in 2021 across all six SEA markets, even after Apple introduced new privacy rules and disabled Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) in April 2021. In fact, Indonesia – an Android-dominant market – saw the most robust growth, with remarketing conversions on iOS shooting up 98% from April to July 2021, and Android remarketing conversions falling 4.4%. This contrasts with global figures, where iOS remarketing conversions dropped 22.4% and Android observing an 8.2% increase during the same period.
“This is why it is crucial that marketers advocate for higher budgets to invest in ad campaigns to acquire new users and remarket to existing ones. Companies should focus on increasing brand awareness and building customer loyalty now, before they miss the boat,” Chiu added.
Despite all of this growth, brands should be more wary in executing ad campaigns, as the report found that e-commerce apps’ exposure to fraud was US$58m in APAC between Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. Although this number is high, it is improving: Malaysia and Indonesia both saw an almost 80% reduction in year-over-year fraud rates when comparing January 2020 to January 2021 – reiterating the importance of vigilance and anti-fraud solutions.