Three key takeaways from Sensor Tower’s 2021 brands on the mobile report

Three key takeaways from Sensor Tower’s 2021 brands on the mobile report


The ongoing pandemic has impacted traditional brands in multiple ways. Brick and Mortar Retailers were encouraged to consolidate their applications, accelerating the migration to mobile as consumers took shelter in place. Other sectors like travel have been painfully disrupted for the same reason. The latest report from Sensor Tower, available now, is a deep dive into how traditional brands are behaving in the mobile market in the United States, particularly as in-person spaces begin to reopen.

Foodservice and Retail Applications Maintain Market Lead

Unsurprisingly, the US adoption of the best traditional brands in foodservice and retail spaces grew the most in 2020. The market share of the best foodservice applications grew to 37%, up from 4 percentage points from the previous year, while top general retail apps soared. 5 points to reach 30 percent.

Foodservice apps maintained their market lead in the first quarter of 2021, accounting for around 35% of installations among the top 100 traditional branded apps. General retail apps saw their market share decline slightly, dropping 3 percentage points to 27%, while airline apps started to see signs of recovery.

Traditional brands in foodservice and retail spaces collectively account for the majority share of mobile facilities

The fastest growing traditional retail brand in the United States was Nike, which jumped 81% year-on-year to 12.7 million installations in 2020 from 7 million in 2019. Among traditional restaurant brands, Chick-fil-A saw its facilities climb 32% year-on-year to 11.3 million, from around 8.6 million in 2019. The fast food chain has spurred adoption by offering special promotions for first-time registrations through its mobile app.

AT&T owned app installs Flourish

In one previous report, Sensor Tower data revealed that installs of America’s top streaming apps grew 13% year-on-year to 81 million in 1Q21. This continued interest in streaming entertainment has also propelled AT&T to the top of the charts as the traditional brand publisher with the most installations, thanks to its ownership of HBO Max and Crisp. In total, AT & T’s application portfolio reached around 14 million in the last quarter.

AT&T was the publisher with the most installs due to its ownership of the HBO Max and Crunchyroll streaming apps.

Walmart had the second-highest number of installs, possibly thanks in part to its app’s functionality that allows consumers to schedule grocery pickups and delivery.

Travel recovery takes off

Although the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, its road to recovery is well underway. By 1Q21, U.S. airlines’ main applications had returned to 71% of their average installations before the pandemic, led by American Airlines.

Airlines applications returned to around 71% of pre-pandemic installations in 1Q21.

Conversely, film channel applications such as AMC and Royal recovered only about 21% of pre-pandemic facilities. The main challenge for this industry will be to convince consumers that the movie experience offers benefits that far outweigh the convenience of showing the same movies at home.

For more analyzes of the Sensor Tower Store intelligence platform, including key insights into the performance of top brands on mobile in the US, download the full report in PDF format below:

Download the Sensor Tower 2021 Mobile Brand Report



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