Ramadan app trends to guide mobile marketing

Marketers should take note that shopping doesn’t end once Eid arrives

With Ramadan on the near horizon marketers should be locking in their campaigns early in anticipation of the opportunity this presents. The Holy Month has a strong emphasis on family, friendship, and community — and underpinning it all is extensive mobile use.

Digging into data from the Holy Month in 2023[1] offers invaluable insight to guide mobile marketing efforts in the critical weeks ahead.

Eid plays a big role in installs

Ramadan 2023 saw installs climb steadily, with activity peaking around Eid al-Fitr, continuing the trend from the previous year. Overall installs climbed by 27 per cent around Eid compared to the start of the measurement period, much of which was driven by paid acquisition activity.

Non-organic installs (NOIs) grew 19 per cent during Eid, with NOIs on iOS spiking by 32 per cent On Android, the peak of NOIs came earlier in Ramadan (three weeks before Eid), showing the importance of investing in marketing over the whole month as well as during Eid.

Eid isn’t the end of eCommerce activity, but the beginning

Shopping activity in the region was markedly different in 2023 than in the previous year. In 2022, installs of shopping apps peaked in the first few weeks of Ramadan, as consumers used this time to buy gifts and food for Eid. In 2023, installs of shopping apps peaked in the weeks after Eid, up a huge 53 per cent from the start of March.

Marketers should take note that shopping doesn’t end once Eid arrives. If anything, Eid al-Fitr 2024 may mark a prime opportunity for significant eCommerce growth.

Shoppers go early on food and grocery apps

The majority of install activity of food and grocery delivery apps took place in the weeks prior to Ramadan. As a result, overall installs of this vertical were down 60 per cent at the start of May.

Marketers did find some penetration around Android at the actual start of Ramadan, however — potentially capitalising on some last-minute shopping needs.

Android NOIs peaked during the week after Ramadan’s start, before plummeting sharply for the remainder of the Holy Month.

Strategies for success

Ramadan campaigns would be most effective if they lasted a lot longer than a mere four weeks. There is also need for a nuanced marketing approach based on different app verticals. eCommerce marketers should consider conserving budget for post-Eid growth. Other segments should recognise shifting user interests during Ramadan — such as the decline in utility and productivity app usage — but anticipate a surge post-Eid as routines normalise.

Through it all, make sure to continuously monitor campaign performance and leverage data-driven insights to refine targeting, messaging, and channel selection, ensuring optimal ROI and user engagement.

[1] AppsFlyer researchers looked at app install and remarketing performance from the weeks leading up to Ramadan – starting in the week commencing February 27th, 2023 – until the week immediately after Eid al-Fitr (week commencing May 1st, 2023). We’ve analysed data from Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE across a range of verticals.

-By: Paul Wright, General Manager, Western Europe and MENAT at AppsFlyer