How to Perform Competitive Analysis for your Mobile App Idea
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How to Perform Competitive Analysis for your Mobile App Idea

Shivam Srivastav
By Shivam Srivastav| Monday, February 12, 2018 11:05 AM |7 min read

Now, we know that you’re ready to break new grounds in the app industry. You’ve got a great app idea, your market study on the technology it would require and the features it would have, is on point. To make it all way less complex, you have even partnered with a great team of app developers. You are now looking forward to a bright and profitable future.

And since you are the one who have come up with this revolutionary idea, what can go wrong? Believe it or not, such wishful thinking can be the death of your app.

It is important that you realize that you won’t operate in isolation. You will be competing with millions of other apps in both Apple and PlayStore combined, which will be staring at you as your competition in the app industry. So, the chances of yours being a never thought before app idea is very slim. Hence, it is absolutely imperative for you to perform an app competitive analysis.  

In this post we would like to acquaint you with the why and how of running a competitive analysis for your app idea.

What is a Competitive Analysis in terms of Mobile Apps?

Competitive analysis is a nerdy term for identifying and evaluating your current and potential competition’s strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own whole app or even some of its features.

Why do you need to perform a Competitive Analysis?

Competitive analysis is no exact science. While every app developer will have their own way of performing the analysis, the upshot would largely remain the same: Identify your competitors, see how you can outwit them (of course, by compensating where they are lacking), and draft a plan to do so.

Quote by Malcolm X on Competition

Delving deep into your competition would help you analyse the position of your mobile app in the market and reassesses the viability of your app idea. It would help you with acquiring competitive intelligence, which will not only demonstrate your great business acumen to the investors but will also give you an edge in the crowded app industry.

Let’s begin with the fun part

While this is no battle, you would need to equip yourself with the correct armoury to take on your competition. There are a few tools that help you decipher your competition and make the most of your mobile app competitor analysis.

Here’s what you would need:

  • Internet
  • Spreadsheet
  • Some quiet time for assessment
  • The 2 steps mentioned below to do a comparative analysis of your app

Step 1– Profiling current competition

Profile Current Competition
Mobile app developers are part of a very competitive industry. Hence you need a complete understanding of your competition to get an idea as to what you are up against. Map each and every one of your competitors, even the potential ones.

For this, you can search for keywords that are related to your app idea. It’s a relief that you don’t have to be an SEO expert to do that. All you need to do is put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and imagine what they’d search.

For instance, if yours is a professional photo editing app, your searches should look something like this: “best photo editing app” “photo editor”, “photo editor with cool camera effects” etc.

Even a simple Google search as this, will garner a series of photo editing based apps currently available on the App Stores.

Step 2– Market Analysis of an App

Be a Stalker! (A harmless one)

After identifying your competitors, the first thing you would want to do is going through their website, apps, social media profile. Make a log of each competitor based on your research.

You can use tools like SimilarWeb, Alexa, Ahrefs, Follow etc. You can rely on their expertise in revealing your competition’s analytical and online strategies. If there’s a new kid on the block, they would be sure to know about them and keep you up to date to the competition.

Another good place to scrutinize is ProductHunt. It can be a great pit stop in your long journey in deciphering your potential competitors. It’d give you details about new ideas or apps people are coming up with across the globe. It would be instrumental in mapping out your completion at a very early stage.

This would open up a door for you and let you see right through their strategies, tactics, weaknesses and strengths that are relative to yours.

Your research should essentially focus on the following parameters.

Competitor’s Web Presence  

You can copy your competitors’ website URL and paste it on search bar of pages like Alexa, Quantcast. These will help you attain competitive intelligence and help you gain information about a website’s traffic and consumer demographics.

The work doesn’t end there. You also need to keep tabs on their social media presence.

What kind of articles or reviews were published to promote your competitor’s app? How do they serve their customers via social media? What sort of paid campaigns do they run? Which social channels are they missing? Is there an opportunity for you there?

Basically you need to get a feel of their web and social media strategies that they use to endorse their app. This would help you gain a competitive edge.

Competitor’s Unique Value Offering

Every business has its unique selling point (USP); something that distinguishes it from the others. What we mean is that each business brings with itself it’s own ” value offering”. You can discern your app competition on this particular paradigm.

For your competitors, it can be anything – timely response to customers’ grievances, regular updates, greater look into security, or a feature that others are adopting to at a very slow rate.

USP of App

Knowing your competitors’ unique selling proposition and measuring it up against what your common audiences are looking for, will give you an understanding of what you need to offer as your USP.

Rankings of Competitors’ Apps

An app’s ratings speak volumes about its foothold in the market. You can tell whether or not your competition is treading well in the market.

Sensor Tower is one such tool that can get you access to critical data regarding your competitors’ keywords and rankings in app store. It would also help you discern them on the basis of threat they post to your app idea.

While App Ratings matter to a great extent, there can be a number of reasons affecting them. For a more detailed study on how the users are liking the apps your competitor has to offer, go to their reviews section.

Reviews on Competitors’ Apps

App reviews are a great indicator of how successful an app is. And one of the most important stages of App Competitor Analysis.

Quote by Otto Von Bismarck on Getiing Reviews

Look for complaints made by the users, especially the ones that are repetitive. Don’t forget to look out for recurring praises as well. If a competitive app has negative reviews saying that it is quite difficult to navigate, you should remember to keep your interface smooth and easy flowing.

Combing through the reviews will tell you exactly what your potential customers’ pain points are and what is keeping them happy. With that information in hand, you can add more features or even plan an update plan at the back off.

Competitor’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Remember the much learned and talked about SWOT Analysis concept? While generally used for internal business analysis, you can use the concept for making a tab on your competitors’ as well. Use the Strength and Weakness part of the SWOT analysis for understanding what they have to offer on both these fronts. And, keep the Opportunity and Threat part on hold for now and come back to them at a later stage (when you are analyzing your brand).

After such diligent research, you can map out your competitor’s strength and weaknesses. Try to avoid the mistakes that might have cost your competitors dearly. Aim at outdoing their strengths by pushing your own limits and achieving newer horizons.

All of this superfluous competitive intelligence might get you confused or overwhelmed. However,  do not lose sight of your task at hand, which is to meticulously analyse your competition. Planning your competitive analysis report with these elements, will bring you at par or even way above your competitor’s level.

So now you know where your mobile app competitors’ stand, what next?

But what do you do with this information? Now that your bubble of being the sole proprietor of the app idea has burst, what next? How should you go about utilizing the generated insights into your app business plan?

Once you know where your app competitors stand, the next step in line is to see where you belong. Note how your app ranks among the ones the others in the similar category. Chances are you will have to get back to the development stage and make some tweaks here and there to give your users an app they ideally want.

The idea is to constantly give your users newer, more useful updates, those that will keep them hooked at you, all the while keeping a lookout on how your competitors are performing. You can make use of tools like Google Alerts, Ahrefs, Social Media, BuzzSumo to remain updated with what’s new with your competitors.

Need More Information on How to Perform Competitive Analysis for your App? Contact our Team of Mobile App Marketing Experts, today.

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Continue exploring the landscape of product design with these helpful resources: ASOmobile app competitor analysismobile app marketing
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Shivam Srivastav
About The Author

Shivam Srivastav is the Marcom Manager at Appinventiv. He is a dynamic marketing strategist who believes in transforming technology in ways that are digestible to the end users. Shivam plans strategies to cross the technical corporate speak and reach the masses in a language that they can relate to - value, knowledge, and solutions. In order to reach the masses of untapped potential, he keeps himself well read on the issues that small and mid-cap organizations face and what they need when in the marketing funnel.

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