Post-GameStop and Bitcoin Plug, Investment Apps Should Seize the Moment

investment apps feature

The first part of 2021 has been exciting in the financial investment app world. Other app category downloads are trending down but not financial apps. They are seeing a rush of adoption, thanks to some timely events. So, is the new frontier here for FinTech? And how can your app capitalize on this?

GameStop and Bitcoin Energize Investment Market

Who had GameStop stock soaring on their 2021 bingo card? Nobody? Well, it’s exactly what happened thanks to WallStreetBets, the Reddit forum. Retail investors banded together to beat hedge funds that short bet against it. It illustrated that the little guy could trade in the big leagues, which caused a high demand for apps like Robinhood. That app had over 600,000 downloads in one day, besting its previous one-day total.

Robinhood Restrictions Led to a Mild Exodus; Other Apps Benefit

Robinhood did issue restrictions during the GameStop frenzy, which led to some defections. The biggest beneficiary was Square’s Cash App, according to analysts. It’s been the number one app in the App Store under the finance category since mid-February.

Other apps benefited, too. From incumbents like Charles Schwab to newer mobile-first platforms like SoFi.

According to SimilarWeb data for January for investment app downloads, other beneficiaries were:

  • E-Trade: 220,000
  • TD Ameritrade: 370,000
  • Charles Schwab: 75,000
  • Fidelity: 340,000
  • SoFi: 121,000

These numbers mean non-traditional stock market investors are getting in the game. They are learning on the fly and already are tech-savvy. They also have high expectations on usability, reliability, and other features. There are certainly still opportunities to build on the momentum of the everyday investor and their app usage. Robinhood’s taking their success to the IPO (initial public offering) floor.

Elon Musk’s Tweet Reminds Investors About Bitcoin

Bitcoin wasn’t exactly fading before that tweet. According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, it’s been rising since February 2020. Year to date, it has a nearly 94% return.

Image: CoinDesk

Last year the market value of Bitcoin was $178 billion, which is impressive. However, 2021 saw it rise to over $1 trillion. That’s a record high for the cryptocurrency. Some of this could be the buzz from Musk, who added #bitcoin to his Twitter. That tiny move caused Bitcoin to soar by 20%. He doubled down, announcing Tesla would buy $1.5 billion of the currency.

This boost and awareness around Bitcoin were windfalls for crypto apps. The category was already seeing record growth in 2020. Trend apps in this category regarding user acquisition (UA) include Coinbase,, Binance, Kraken Pro, Voyager, Dogecoin, and SoFi.

What Investment Apps Are Leading the Industry?

According to Apptopia insights, the investment apps that are ranking the best on iOS are:

  • Cash App
  • Robinhood
  • Coinbase
  • Voyager

All of these hold places in the top 20.

On Google Play, the leaders are:

  • Cash App
  • Coinbase
  • Robinhood
  • Webull

All the above rank in the top 20.

What Can You Learn to Seize the Moment for Your App?

One of the biggest lessons any app can learn from this is that your user base is expanding. If that was a really narrow segment in your analysis, it’s time to widen it. Second, some of the biggest names in investing aren’t living up to user expectations, so there’s an opportunity to get new users from defectors. Third, the demystification of Bitcoin is getting stronger. It’s not so specialized now and attractive to only techy groups.

So, how can you seize the moment and capitalize on these trends? Here are some ideas.

  • Develop diverse UA strategies to expand your user base: You’ll want to partner with a mobile app marketing platform that can drive volume and quality. It should also provide access to unique customer bases. Investing for all means designing campaigns that hit multiple generations, genders, and demographics.
  • Run a keyword burst campaign: App users are looking for an investment platform. They may be willing to bypass the big names and look for something more unique. You can capture this search activity with a focused keyword burst campaign. You can also expect organic lift if the ads increase downloads and your ranking in the app stores.

investment apps

  • Try CPE (cost per engagement) campaigns at key moments: Downloading the app is only the start. Customers need to open an account and connect a bank account. These events are ideal for CPE campaigns. You can maximize scale without compromising on the quality of new users.
  • Experiment with offerwalls for UA and retention: Offerwalls are versatile and are a good entry point for helping users make in-app purchases relating to trades. You could use them to align with key moments that signal more cash flow for users (i.e., stimulus checks, tax refunds). For retention, you can use them for deep-funnel CPE events. To optimize this, follow the data and what it tells you about long-term engagement.

Investment Apps Are Having a Moment

Seeing all the data and momentum is one thing; doing something with it is another. UA, retention, and engagement are challenging for any category, but you can stand out from the competition. This segment is having a moment, and it’s time to take advantage. All you need is the right partner, and AdAction is here to help. Talk to our investment app experts today to get started.

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