Staff Reporters
May 28, 2019

Mobile users are cheaper in SEA, but harder to convert

Marketers can buy app installs in Southeast Asia for less than in other markets, but engagement is a different matter, according to a new report.

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

While mobile marketers will spend less per user to get their apps installed in Southeast Asia, registrations and purchases are harder to come by than in other regions, according to a report released today. The region's widely varying income levels and cultural diversity demand a hyper-local approach from app marketers, according to mobile app marketing and retargeting platform Liftoff. 

Source: Liftoff 2019 Southeast Asia App Engagement Report.

Data: The report provides marketing insights from Liftoff mobile app campaigns in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand from March 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019, spanning 28 billion ad impressions, 656 million ad clicks, 5.2 million installs, and 13.5 million first-time post-install events.

Findings: 

Southeast Asia is a relative bargain at both the top and lower parts of the funnel, with installs and conversions costing less than either the US or the rest of APAC. 


However, engagement rates are much lower than the rest of APAC and the US, where mobile users register and purchase at a much higher rate. 


When to spend

The best time to invest in user acquisition is when post-install conversion rates are at their highest while costs are at their lowest, Liftoff states in the report. These sweet spots vary over time (below) and according to market (with local festive celebrations and shopping festivals being an important driver) and app category. This chart shows overall rates; the full report gives more details.


Shopping App engagement

Compared to global benchmarks, acquiring users who install a shopping app, register with the store, and make a purchase comes at a low price in Southeast Asia. For example, the 40% registration rate shown below is more than double the global rate of 17.5%.


When it comes to shopping apps, Android users in Southeast Asia cost less to acquire than iOS users, but contrary to common perception, they purchase at higher rates.


App retention

App retention rates vary widely by country (first chart below) and by application category (second chart below). 

 

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