Blog DACH in three charts: Installs, sessions...

DACH in three charts: Installs, sessions and retention rates

The DACH region, made up of Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH), has a strong combined economy and a high level of mobile adoption, making it a lucrative market for mobile apps. By 2027, the mobile app market in DACH is expected to generate more than $20.6 billion in total revenue, with Germany leading the way at $15.5 billion, followed by Switzerland at $3.5 billion, and Austria at $1.6 billion.

Smartphones have become an essential tool for consumers in the DACH region, paving the way for an anticipated penetration rate of over 87% in all countries by 2028. This trend is driving a significant increase in mobile internet users, with 74 million people expected to use mobile internet in Germany by 2028, representing approximately 89% of the total population. In Austria, the number is set to rise to 8.96 million (96% of projected population) in Austria, and 9.05 million (a huge 98% of projected population) in Switzerland. Among the three countries in DACH, Germany is the largest market for mobile apps on account of its higher population, with app downloads exceeding 2.24 billion in 2022. Germans are also highly engaged users, spending 38.3 billion combined hours and an average of 3.6 hours daily on mobile devices.

While app installs and sessions have slightly declined in the first half of 2023, likely due to slower economic growth, specific categories such as shopping, photo and video, and travel have grown significantly. This article takes a closer look at the top-performing app categories in the DACH region, examining those with the most downloads and the highest levels of user engagement.

Sessions for photo & video apps grow in H1 2023

Photo and video apps, including camera apps with filters and editors, are among the most popular app categories on iOS in DACH. iPhones are known for their advanced cameras that rival many standalone cameras in terms of image and video quality, leading users (particularly those in the U.S. and Western Europe) to buy an iPhone for high-quality content creation.

Our data suggests that the number of users pursuing photography and videography as a hobby or profession is increasing in the DACH region. In 2022, app sessions for photo and video apps experienced an impressive YoY growth of 76%. This trend continued into H1 2023, with installs 58% higher than the H2 2022 average and sessions up by 7%.

Sessions uptick for shopping and travel apps in H1 2023

The e-commerce market in the DACH region is on track to surpass a total of $133 billion in revenue by the end of 2023. While Germany boasts the fifth-largest e-commerce market worldwide, with a predicted revenue of $107.9 billion by 2023, Austria and Switzerland are also expected to bring in $11.7 billion and $13.6 billion, respectively.

Due to convenience, personalization, and seamless user experiences, shopping apps have become an indispensable part of daily life in DACH. Cashless transactions are also gaining popularity, with mobile payment methods like digital wallets and contactless options leading the way—despite Germany being one of the slowest countries in the world to transition away from cash. With this in mind, shopping app installs grew by 16% in H1 2023 compared to the H2 2022 average, and sessions increased by a noteworthy 13%.

Tool apps are also continuing to experience an upward trend, with sessions seeing a YoY boost of 30% in 2022. This growth has continued into H1 2023, with installs 16% higher than the H2 2022 average and sessions up by 6%. This suggests that consumers are increasingly turning to tool apps, such as scanners, authenticator apps, calculators, and translators, to make their lives more efficient and convenient. NordVPN emerged as the top-grossing tool app across Android and iOS platforms in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The travel and tourism industry in the DACH region is also making a comeback, with Germany's travel app market expected to rake in $53.79 million by 2027. Austria and Switzerland are also projected to show considerable growth, with expected revenues of $4.66 million and $11.85 million, respectively. In H1 2023, more consumers made travel plans compared to the second half of 2022, with installs rising by 4% and sessions increasing by 7%. Spring saw a particularly significant surge in travel plans as users locked in Summer travel plans, with installs and sessions in Q2 2023 soaring by 60% and 62%, respectively, compared to Q1 2023.

Mobile gaming sees highest retention in DACH

In June 2023, gaming apps boasted the highest Day 1 retention rates in all three DACH countries. Austria and Germany had retention rates of 28%, while Switzerland had a slightly lower rate of 25%. Shopping apps followed closely, with Austria having a retention rate of 19%, Germany 18%, and Switzerland 17%. Interestingly, entertainment apps in Austria had the highest Day 1 retention rate at 21%, while Germany and Switzerland charted 16%.

Travel apps had a Day 1 retention rate of 17% in Austria, 16% in Germany, and 16% in Switzerland. Tool apps, on the other hand, came in with 14% in Austria and 15% in both Germany and Switzerland.

Despite some similarities in the mobile app markets of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, each country exhibits slightly different mobile user behavior. As such, mobile marketers should avoid (always) grouping these countries together when creating their user acquisition strategies and LTV-focused campaigns. Instead, they should tailor their approaches to each country based on local preferences to achieve the best outcomes.

Mastering the DACH mobile app market

The DACH region presents a wealth of opportunity for mobile app marketers, but successfully tapping into this market requires regional expertise. Here are some tips to help you navigate this unique landscape like a pro:

  • Establish trust with expertise: Quality and security are paramount to users in this region. German consumers are particularly interested in learning about similar products and their features. To capture their attention, it’s essential to showcase your app's strengths and expertise compared to the competition. Use certificates, testimonials, and badges to effectively communicate your app's unique advantages and win over potential users.
  • Know what the local audience wants: To succeed as a mobile marketer in the DACH countries, you must understand the local audience’s preferences. German is the official language in all three countries, and local consumers prefer apps that cater to their language. But this is just the beginning. User behavior for different app verticals varies from country to country, so staying on top of local trends is crucial. To create a winning strategy, consider connecting with local influencers who can help you put users first. For example, picking the right moments to use Swiss, German, or Austrian German in your campaigns could be a clever move. For Switzerland, you should likely also have your app available in French and Italian.
  • Leverage mobile app analytics: By monitoring key metrics like user engagement, retention, and conversion rates, you can unlock valuable insights into how users interact with your app across the three DACH countries and identify the churn points. With this knowledge, you can fine-tune your app's user experience and marketing approach, giving you a leg up on the competition.

Ready to grow your app business? Schedule your personalized demo with Adjust now to see firsthand how our mobile analytics suite will help you measure and optimize your marketing campaigns.

Be the first to know. Subscribe for monthly app insights.