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Reality Check – App Market Research

Published on June 10th, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Before the app entrepreneur begins selecting icons and developing a brand it is important to gather critical data about the marketplace and the user.

Two basic questions:

  1. Who is your competition for this application?
  2. What is the prospective customer seeking?

The team at DECIDE Mobility has found that most clients think they have already answered those questions.  However, we find their research is narrow in focus and fails to reveal potentially fatal stumbling blocks to their success.

Indulging your idea and moving forward without these basic questions answered, in a thorough and professional manner, could costs tens of thousands in lost revenue.  It could mean ultimate failure of the app itself.  Many more questions need to be answered.  However, any new app entrepreneur must begin with answers to fundamental questions.


Has this idea been used before? 

Most clients who contact us say that there is nothing on the market that compares with what they have in mind.  Skilled research reveals a different story:

  • Ø Our client may be proposing an app that does four functions.  Let’s label them A+B+C+D.
  • Ø An existing app may overlap in areas A+B.  In addition, they may offer additional functions we will call E+F.  There are missing pieces in the current competing app when you compare it to the new concept.  Still, the proposed idea is not a completely new application.
  • Ø Use caution and know the competing mature app could easily add the missing components.  In the example above, adding C+D could give them a strong market advantage.

Has the function of this application been used in another industry?

One vertical of the application may carry over to another.  What is the crossover of those functions?  What can we learn from apps used elsewhere?

 Defining the User

Completely identifying the user allows you to do many things that will enhance user experience, among other things.  Knowing the user well reveals how your app relates to existing apps.  We will use that information to develop an app that has already proven to be successful.

For example, if a similar app has proven user functions, we can mimic some of the aspects of that functionality in new app development.  We work with the client to determine what they like and don’t like about the existing app.  We then incorporate those features and streamline the development process.

Feasibility Analysis

App development is a business venture – not just a great idea.  Learn the feasibility of your new business.  Just like in other industries, smart app entrepreneurs hire an expert consultant to analyze the business potential.  This 3rd party consultant greatly increases the chances of profitability.

When an client asks DECIDE to do an App Exploration report, we view the marketplace from a very wide perspective and investigate what other people are doing to get a clear idea of competition.  Even when we are clear that there is an “un-met need” in the marketplace, it does not magically pave the way to instant mobile app success.  Much more needs to be researched.  Without this professional study of feasibility, the chances of success become a huge and expensive gamble.

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