When you’re starting a project or just thinking about a new app development, the first and most important action to take is doing the market research. Why is it so important? To check the validity and value of your app idea.
You should find out if your project has a chance to become successful in the first place, check if your development plans are worth your time and investment. And last but not least, you need to check if your objectives are sufficient in terms of your project profitability.
In case during the market research you find out that your app idea needs improvement or is not likely to bring you profits, you don’t have to lose any more time or money for the project.
What is mobile app market research?
There are different strategies used to conduct market research for mobile app development. They depend on your goals and your app idea.
The purpose of market research is to find out whether your idea has business potential or not, as well as to find the path that will enable you to create a development plan and start your project successfully.
Generally, doing the market research for mobile app development means:
- Analysing the market
- Looking for similar products
- Assessing your chances on the market
- Refining your idea compared to similar products
How to conduct market research for mobile app development?
As mentioned earlier, there are different ways to conduct market research, but let’s focus on the common activities that should take place whatever your app idea is and whatever your purposes are.
Here’s what you should do in market research:
Determine your business goals
First of all, you should define your business goals – those directly related to your mobile app idea, as well as others that seem not related to the creation of an app. It’s an essential step to be able to define all the requirements and product features.
You need to think about:
- What you want to achieve
- Why you want to create the app
- How you came up with this idea
- How it is supposed to be helpful for your business.
Some helpful tools in defining your business goals are for example SWOT analysis, creating a Business Model Canvas and then also determining your marketing strategy.
Find and Analyse your competitors
One of the most important elements of market research in every case is the competitors’ research and analysis. It’s an in-depth research of competing apps which has to be done to be able to assess how to optimise your idea and stand out on the market. Thanks to it you can also find flaws in competing products and lacks in features.
Competitive analysis will also help you get to know their audience needs, which will bring you closer to conclusions regarding your app’s target audience characteristics.
Look for apps that fit at least partly into your idea. Make a note of what they are called, what features they include, what feedback they have from users, and identify what features you think are missing.
Also investigate how your competitors’ businesses operate – what activities they do on social media, how they respond to users’ needs, what they do outside the app.
Define the target audience
Who are you basically creating an app for? Who do you want your product to serve and how? – These are key questions, and without answers to these questions there is hardly any point in getting down to work.
For your business to succeed, you need to answer the real problems of the people that you want to solve.
It’s not a good idea to try to create a problem or try to make your target audience realise that they have a problem that needs to be solved. Certainly not at the beginning.
You first need to know their needs, motivations, pain points, frustrations, etc. and based on these create the features of your product.
How do you do this?
First and foremost, it’s worth looking at user rates and reviews of competing apps. Also, try to find out where they come from, what value they expect and if they get it, how old they are, what interests they have, what frustrates them etc.
Just try to find out exactly who the potential users of your app are. Defining a user persona can also help you with this. User persona is your ideal user – you can try to think of a name and define the perfect user’s age, location, occupation, what is their everyday life like, what do they do in their spare time, what characteristics they have, their goals etc.
Product roadmap for mobile app development
Thorough market research will be of great value to your business. It will enable you to carefully plan the development of your app. By creating a product roadmap, you can prepare perfectly for the process and ensure its success.
The elements of a product roadmap are:
Strategic goals (product strategy)
It is the “why” behind the product. The process of defining strategic goals includes describing what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. It is a broad description of your idea and your mobile app development project.
Key releases and features
Key releases are moments when a new version of the app with key features for users and for products are released. Key features (core features) are the most important ones, they shape the business purposes of the product.
User stories, in a product roadmap, are simple descriptions of features told from the perspective of the user. They help you and the development team understand the app functionality and take care of its performance.
They are descriptions of product features that cannot be delivered as defined within an iteration and are therefore too large to be estimated.
You should divide the product features into small ones (for user stories) and bigger ones (for epics), that might require additional advice from the development team in terms of their complexity.
With such a plan in place, you can successfully start looking for a team to create your dream app! With the above points, your development team will be able to determine the overall timeline of the project.
Market research done in the right way will actually help you find out how to proceed in order to turn your idea of creating an app into a solid plan so that you can succeed with your business. Don’t skip any steps and you’ll definitely be able to achieve your goals!