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Mobile apps are becoming an integral part of Lunar New Year celebrations

Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival — is a 15-day festival with long-standing traditions and customs. Over the past few years, mobile apps have impacted how people in many markets experience Lunar New Year traditions. In pre-pandemic times, many families spent New Year's Eve shopping for necessities in busy markets, reuniting with their loved ones over the dinner table, and ending the night by watching television together. Adjust data indicates that over the past few years, mobile has played an increasingly significant role in this process.

We’ve cited year-on-year growth in 2019, 2020 and 2021, meaning this year looks set to reach all new heights. More consumers than ever will be using mobile apps to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year on February 1, and with more than 1.5 billion people celebrating Lunar New Year worldwide, it’s an ideal time for apps, like shopping and food delivery, to develop tailored campaigns.

Shopping on mobile for Lunar New Year

Global installs of shopping apps on the day Lunar New Year starts have steadily increased. Installs in 2020 jumped 29% compared to 2019, and rose another 18% in 2021.

Sessions at a global level, as well as in APAC, EMEA and North America, have also seen remarkable growth. Compared to 2019, global sessions of shopping apps increased 36% in 2020, and then skyrocketed by 54% in 2021. This demonstrates the increasing number of people who are adopting mobile apps to shop for and during festivities, which has also likely been accelerated by the stay-at-home economy.

EMEA has seen the most growth compared to other regions, with sessions increasing 36% in 2020 and 85% in 2021. North America and APAC follow, with 24% and 34% growth rates in 2020, and 87% and 6% in 2021, respectively.

Food delivery thrives on Lunar New Year's day

A poignant part of Lunar New Year is reunion dinners, but how people get their food has changed dramatically over the last few years. In part due to social distancing guidelines and lockdowns, mobile food delivery has become an integral part of our lives. And people are increasingly opting to order in for Lunar New Year celebrations, too. Global installs of food delivery apps saw growth of 56% in 2020, compared to 2019, and grew another 2% in 2021.

Sessions are where it really gets impressive for this vertical, however. On Lunar New Year's day 2020, global sessions increased by 100% compared to 2019, and in 2021 they surged another 90%. Although all regions had notable growth, it's North America where the most significant increase in sessions can be seen, with a boost of 105% in 2020 and 135% in 2021. Sessions in APAC also soared by 136% in 2020 and 99% in 2021. EMEA followed with a growth rate of 71% in 2020 and 56% in the same time frame.

Music streaming also trending upward

During the Spring Festival, people tend to revisit traditional music and also reinvent and release new music to signify the start of a new season. Music is broadcast on televised celebrations in most Asian countries. Music streaming apps, however, are also becoming a key part of this equation — both within APAC, and globally.

Global sessions of music streaming apps grew 27% in 2020, compared to 2019, and jumped a further 2% in 2021. On a regional level, session growth in APAC was the most noteworthy, with a spike of 48% in 2020 and 8.5% in 2021. Similarly, sessions of music streaming apps in EMEA grew by 26% in 2020 and 7% in 2021.

How can mobile app marketers leverage Lunar New Year?

While the Year of the Rat (2020) was about survival and the Year of the Ox (2021) was about anchoring ourselves in a new reality, the Year of the Tiger (2022) will be about making big changes and taking risks. A major festival like Lunar New Year allows mobile apps to make big changes, get creative, and boost sales. Although apps can rely on tried-and-true tactics, such as sales and promotion codes, apps can stand out by incorporating more Lunar New Year traditions and customs in their campaigns, and focusing on localization. The key for a better return on investment (ROI) is a full-funnel advertising strategy tailored with the right and relevant ads at every touchpoint in the user's journey.

To learn more about managing your app’s growth, download our ebook: Scaling your app to 1 million users: The ultimate guide — Part 1: App store optimization and user acquisition here.

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