Every app developer wants to launch a revolutionary mobile app, the likes of which have not been seen before. However, the reality is that with millions of apps already having been developed across every conceivable niche, it is inconceivable that you would be able to think of something truly revolutionary. Given this scenario, mobile app developers will do well to perform a comprehensive competitive analysis of the existing players in the market they are targeting before deciding what app to develop.
The Concept of Competitive Analysis
The principles of competitive analysis for the development of mobile apps are generally the same as for any other product or service. The analysis of the competition is done by an app developer to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the existing apps that offer similar functionalities to the one you are planning. The process involves identifying the competing apps and understanding the aspects in which they do well and where it is apparent there are gaps or weaknesses. The aim of doing the competitive analysis is to assist you to understand whether there is sufficient market need for another app aimed at offering certain conveniences and whether it is likely that customers will receive it well enough for it to be a success. A competitive analysis also enables you to refine your business plan and pitch the idea to investors. It also helps you be clear on what features your app should have and the quality expected by customers. Some of the main steps in conducting a competitive analysis for mobile app development:
Identify the Competition
Competitor identification is unarguably the most fundamental in competitor analysis. By finding out who your main competitors are in the specific app space, you will be able to find out what you will be up against. The intention is to get all the information necessary for the development of a superior product that users are more likely to accept. The analysis will also help you to structure and strategize an effective marketing strategy that can compete successfully with them. A good way of finding who you are up against is to search on Google using appropriate keywords and phrases. Searching the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store can also be helpful in your competitive landscape analysis.
Check Out the Online Presence of Your Main Competitors
After identifying your main competitors, you should visit their websites to find more information about their presence on the web. There are quite a few tools like Quantcast that can give you the statistics of the traffic on each of the websites if you feed in the website URL. You should also check out their social media accounts to see the levels of activity and understand how they are leveraging social media to increase their brand reach and connect with their target audiences.
Identify Their USPs
Finding out the unique selling points of your competitors is vital because by doing so; you will be able to understand how these apps are projecting themselves and what features are found to be appealing to customers. Typically, every app will try to highlight one aspect that is superior to the rest of the market to provide a good reason for customers to choose it over the others. To ensure that your app is perceived as among the best in the same space, not only should you include all the unique selling points of your competitors but also go one step further and offer a feature that’s useful and unique to make it the app with the maximum appeal. Sometimes, you may discover that the USP of a competitor that customers like may have nothing to do with the app itself but is a highlight of their pricing, customer service, after-sales support, warranty, etc. However, if it is important, you should take note and try to incorporate them into your sales package. According to Forbes, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of the customers and find out what value the app delivers.
Find Out Competitor App Ratings and Reviews
By getting to know how your competitor apps are rated, you will be able to get an idea of the level of competition you are up against. You can visit the app stores to find out how they are rated as well as read up on the reviews that can reveal what the customer feedback is. Study the features of the apps that are rated high to learn what you will be up against. You can also look up the reviews of the competing apps on Google or use an online comparison tool to evolve an effective development strategy. It is also worthwhile visiting the conversation threads in the reviews to discover if there are any complaints or observations that are being repeated frequently.
Conduct A SWOT Analysis
At this stage of the competitive analysis, you will have come to know the strengths and weaknesses of your principal competitors. While by learning the strengths, you will know how high the bar is, getting to know the weaknesses will make it easier to sidestep them and develop a product that is distinctly superior to the rest. By being able to launch a product that is better than the others in the market, it will be easier to get a larger share of the market. It is also important for you not to get overwhelmed by the information you have gathered. You should remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing it and remain focused on your objective – making a better app than what’s available currently.
The final step in the competitive analysis for a mobile app is to compare your app features and functionalities with that of your main competition. Make a checklist of all the points that are important to customers and make an honest assessment of your app’s features and performance. If you are planning app development, this is a good opportunity for drawing up a spec sheet that you can follow for app development. After the app has been developed, you can test its actual performance before launching it in the market. The feedback received from the tester can be evaluated more scientifically if you use the same spec sheet.