Blog Songkran Thailand app trends: Insights a...

Songkran Thailand app trends: Insights and strategies for marketers

As the Thai New Year, or Songkran festival, rolls around each April (April 13 -15), the air fills with joy, renewal, and water droplets. This vibrant celebration, rooted in Buddhist traditions, is known for its water fights, which symbolize a fresh start and the washing away of past misfortunes. In recent years, the festival has started to intertwine tradition and technology.

Amidst the colorful parades, family reunions, and temple visits, mobile apps have become integral to the festivities. This shift is evident in the surge in app installs and user sessions during the festival, particularly in the travel, social, and fintech app verticals. For instance, the overall app installs and sessions in Thailand during Songkran 2023 increased by an impressive 21% and 8% compared to yearly averages. Users also spent more time on apps during Songkran 2023, with session lengths climbing from 22.9 minutes in 2022 to 23.99 minutes.

This article explores the evolving mobile app trends during Songkran, providing insight into how this cultural extravaganza is both shaping and being shaped by mobile apps.

Fintech app usage rises during Songkran

Fintech app installs and sessions see remarkable growth during Songkran, reflecting the festival's impact on economic activities and the evolving financial habits of locals and tourists. In 2022, fintech app installs were 8% above the yearly average, which rose to a 33% increase in 2023. The week leading up to the festival saw even more substantial growth, with installs rising by 44% and 33% above the yearly averages for 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Fintech app sessions followed a similar pattern, with a 41% increase during Songkran 2022 and a slight dip to 8% above the average in 2023. The week before the festival showed even more engagement, with sessions 57% and 12% higher than the yearly averages. Additionally, the average session length during the festival itself increased from 8.87 minutes in 2022 to 10.61 minutes in 2023, demonstrating more frequent and prolonged use of fintech apps.

These figures point to a population increasingly embracing the convenience and security of digital transactions to enhance their festival experience. Fintech apps are now used for everything from sending traditional 'ang pao' gifts to family members, paying travel expenses for family reunions, to settling bills in advance to enjoy the festivities worry-free.

Food & drink apps flavor Songkran's festive spirit

In 2022 and 2023, installs for food and drink apps increased by 34% and 27% above the annual averages. This trend mirrors the festival's influence on social and dining habits, with a 24% and 21% rise in sessions during the festival days and an uptick in the average session length from 12.84 minutes in 2022 to 13.61 minutes in 2023. The data suggests that attendees engaged in day-long festivities often use their smartphones to enjoy local dishes or arrange meals without interrupting the enjoyment.

Food delivery apps saw more significant growth, with installs and sessions surpassing the general trend, indicating a preference for convenience during the celebrations. Installs increased by 38% and 30% in 2022 and 2023, respectively, while sessions rose by 25% and 22%. The average session length for food delivery apps during Songkran jumped from 13.06 minutes in 2022 to 14.25 minutes in 2023.

Social app usage fluctuates during Songkran

In 2022, the Songkran festival saw a notable increase in social app installs at 18% higher than the yearly average, with the preceding week showing a 20% rise. This aligns with the spirit of Songkran, which is a time of renewal, reunion, and sharing joyful moments. However, the following year, social apps experienced a 5% dip in installs and a 3% decrease in sessions during Songkran.

A closer look at social networking apps specifically reveals a slightly different trend. In 2022, installs for these apps spiked by a remarkable 80%, with a 53% increase in sessions. The week before Songkran was similarly strong, with installs and sessions rising by 50% and 47%, respectively. However, 2023 saw a cooling in this trend with a 6% increase in installs and a 6% fall in sessions during the festival. This decline in 2023 may suggest a shift towards more direct and face-to-face interactions.

Travel app usage peaks during Songkran

As Thailand prepares for the colorful, water-soaked festivities of Songkran, an interesting pattern emerges in the travel sector. Travel app installs notably increased by 9% and 6% during Songkran in 2022 and 2023, respectively, above the yearly averages. This surge peaks even higher in the week leading up to the festival, with installs rising 15% and 12% above the annual average. This increase is also reflected in app sessions, which grew by 12% and 6% during the festival and an impressive 17% and 19% the week before.

Data for travel booking apps shows a similar trend, with installs rising during Songkran in 2022 and 2023, peaking at 12% and 4% above average, respectively. Sessions for these apps also increased by 15% in 2022 and 4% in 2023. This growth can be attributed to the unique travel demands of Songkran, where millions of locals and tourists alike seek the best deals, most direct routes, and insider tips to enhance their festival experience. Whether it's a last-minute trip to Chiang Mai to experience traditional festivities or finding the perfect accommodation in Bangkok amidst lively street parties, travel apps have become essential tools.

Utility apps enhance Songkran celebrations

During Songkran in 2022 and 2023, utility app installs saw 31% and 2% increases over the yearly averages, respectively. The week before the festival also experienced heightened activity. Interestingly, while app sessions declined in 2022, they surged by 35% during the festival and 36% in the preceding week in 2023, compared to the yearly average.

Photography filter and editing apps, essential for capturing the festival's vibrant moments, further illustrate this trend. Installs for these apps rose by 51% in 2022 and 9% in 2023, with a significant 17% and 36% increase in sessions during those years. The average session length during Songkran also increased, from 7.92 minutes in 2022 to 10.53 minutes in 2023, reflecting festival-goers' enthusiasm to document and share their experiences.

Mobile marketing strategies for the Songkran season

As the Songkran festival in Thailand approaches, mobile marketers can take advantage of increased app usage during this period. The festival's influence on various app categories presents unique opportunities for marketers to boost engagement and revenue. Based on festival data insights, here are some strategies for key app verticals to make the most out of Songkran.

Travel apps: As travel app usage peaks during Songkran, mobile marketers can engage users with festival-specific deals, location-based promotions, and incentives for last-minute bookings. Highlight Songkran destinations and provide travel tips to personalize the experience. Utilize targeted ads for users seeking travel options and push notifications for immediate deals.

Social apps: Fluctuations in social app engagement highlight the need for adaptive marketing strategies. Social apps can introduce Songkran-themed filters, stickers, and hashtags to encourage content creation and sharing, leveraging the festival's communal spirit. Create a platform for users to share real-time celebrations to drive installs and high engagement levels.

Fintech apps: Fintech apps see a surge in installs and sessions, showing a demand for convenient financial transactions. Capitalize on this and ensure your app’s visibility by offering Songkran savings plans, money transfer promotions, and incentives for using digital wallets at festival events. You can focus on the financial aspect of the festival, such as gifting and budgeting.

Utility apps: Increased utility app engagement, especially for photography filters and editors, offers a chance to enrich the festival experience. Demonstrate how these apps capture and enhance the festival by encouraging users to share edited photos with branded hashtags to increase visibility.

Food and drink apps: Significant increases in food app installs and sessions suggest marketers should focus on convenience and variety. To attract users wanting to explore the festival's culinary offerings, offer special Songkran menus, discounts on local delicacies, and fast delivery options. You can also partner with popular restaurants for exclusive deals to attract festival-goers and food enthusiasts.

Splashing into data: Strategic mobile marketing during Songkran

Maximizing the potential of the Songkran period requires data-driven decision-making across all verticals. By monitoring key performance metrics in real-time and after the festival, conducting A/B tests for messages and creatives, and using advanced mobile measurement and analysis techniques, you can refine your marketing efforts and optimize return on investment (ROI). This approach allows you to identify engaging content and features and uncover opportunities for personalized user experiences through targeted campaigns.

Collaboration with a mobile measurement partner can help marketers understand user behavior and preferences and make real-time decisions about where to pause and scale campaigns. This knowledge enables the creation of campaigns that deeply connect with your target audience(s), ensuring the message captures the essence of Songkran and addresses the user's needs and desires.

Overall, Songkran provides a golden opportunity for mobile marketers to blend cultural festivities with innovative mobile marketing strategies. By leveraging the right mix of creativity, technology, and data, marketers can improve user experiences, boost engagement, and see significant increases in app usage and revenue. The strategies outlined above offer mobile marketers the chance to make a substantial impact during Songkran, creating memorable experiences that resonate with users long after the water dries.

Unlock insights for your Songkran 2024 campaign with Adjust's Mobile Attribution solution. Explore how our analytics can enhance your app's growth during Songkran and beyond by requesting a demo today.

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