You Got an App Idea? Now Here is How to Conduct a Basic Competitive Analysis

You have thought of that promising app idea that will free you from all your woes. You are convinced it will become the next Instagram or Whatsapp. All you need is to develop and launch now.

Mobile App market is one crowded space with more than 5 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple app store combined. For an app business to make its presence felt in this stream of innumerable tech marvels, the app product needs to be outstanding, should leverage the right technologies, and should have a competitive edge to it. As businesses are all about identifying and mitigating risks, app companies must know who else is part of the race they are running. One of the most reliable ways to strengthen the chances of acing the app store is by conducting a competitive analysis of the app product.

What is Competitive Analysis of an App?

Weighing the strengths and weaknesses of an app product against other similar apps is called competitive analysis. To identify the nature of competition, their strong points, and their market standing gives a chance to capitalize on the information and find their competitive edge.

The intense competition of the mobile app market makes the process of competitive analysis an essential part of the strategy that businesses must follow. It also helps enterprises demonstrate their preparedness and superior market insight to investors.

When Should an App Business Conduct a Competitive Analysis of Their App Product?

One needs to conduct a competitive analysis of an app at various stages of app development and even during post-development.

a.) It can be beneficial to conduct competitive analysis when the app idea is conceived. It ascertains the viability of the app idea and forecasts the realistic chances of success.

b.) Periodic revisits to the drawing board for competitive analysis is also a good idea, as it ensures that a business is up to date with ever-changing competition in the markets they function.

c.) Competitive analysis is a necessity when a business decides to make any significant changes to their app or business model’s structure, as it can reveal the impact that change can have on the market.

How to Conduct Competitive Analysis for Your App?

Conducting a competitive analysis helps craft out details of the app project that are most likely to be successful, giving businesses a clear vision of the competitive landscape. Market intelligence from a competitive analysis allows for smart, calculated, and accurate decisions regarding the app product.

What is it that your product features that are far different than what your competitors have to offer? Find out what makes your app product tick. This is what will make your app sell. It is called a unique value proposition. It is the competitive edge that your product has, and it can be the sole factor that can help with conversion. Discover your unique value proposition to optimize user loyalty and overall business success.

Here are some factors that are characteristic to unique value propositions:

❖ A unique value proposition must explain how your product solves problems and benefits users.

❖ A unique value proposition must be convincing enough for customers so that they choose your product over other available options.

❖ Failure in figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of an app product leaves your product unprepared for a successful launch.

The term ‘competitive analysis’ is essentially an in-depth study of competition in the market. Research and figure out who your current and potential competitor businesses are. It is prudent to make an actual list of app businesses that are your direct competitors. Once you understand the market landscape, competitive analysis ensures that the app product and strategy you craft is efficient enough to beat the competition. You can quickly determine their strengths through a general search on the web using keywords. This knowledge will help you build a strategy for commanding a user’s attention, away from competitors who use the same keywords as you use. Take into account your competitor’s target audience, app monetization strategy, revenue, product offerings and features, customer support, and marketing strategy. Find out what is it that ticks in a competitor’s app product, what unique value proposition do they offer to their users. Conduct a SWOT analysis of the competitor’s app product, so that you know what their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are. Make special note of value offerings from each of your competitor’s products and put in the effort to offer a product to market that is unique and better than the competitor’s app. An in-depth analysis of the nature of a competing app can also help you successfully devise a marketing strategy for your app product.

Insightful knowledge about competitors is useless if it is not leveraged to benefit your app product. Make it a point to build a competitive analysis matrix. This matrix is useful when it comes to organizing all the collected information into a useful data format. It allows easy tracking of various aspects of a competitor’s app performance. Include critical elements like the necessary information about the app, its strategy, structure, and focus.

The most basic things you need to do when you get an app idea

Mobile apps are digital products. They are accessible on digital platforms, they are leveraged digitally, and their existence is limited to the digital universe. This makes it crucial for app businesses to access a competitor’s digital strategy. Keep a close tab on competitors’ social media accounts, subscribe to their newsletters, and even blogs if need be. Have a sense of how they brand themselves online. Look at how they acquire their followers, what influencers they associate their brand with. Unearth stats about their website’s traffic, social media accounts, and consumer demographics. The right kind of digital strategy garners swift engagement from the target audience. Make a note of all the things that stir engagement and use them for the benefit of your own business app. Using PR tools help successfully launch an app product in the market and create adequate buzz around it.

It is crucial to know how well your competitors are performing with the target audience, and you can rely on the app store rating and ranking for such knowledge. It is only when you know what exactly are you competing against can you put in place an effective strategy to overcome their position in the marketplace. Check out your competitor’s app on the app store and find out information like data usage, keywords, install numbers and active users, etc. Discover which of your competitors’ presents the most impressive active user base and retention trends. This information is useful in building an understanding of the other app’s current growth trends. Even user reviews bear testimony of app usage experience is like. A little deep digging into the reports will bring out features of the competing apps that they love and the ones they dislike. Any constant complaints about the competitor’s app should be duly noted and must be averted from your own app user experience. Note down your target audience’s potential pain points after screening their reviews. Effective review monitoring of a competitor’s app allows you to discover particular features that users intend to see in the app before your competition has implemented them.

It is important to have a strategy to achieve user validation as quickly as possible after the launch of the app product. The target audience has a set of needs that need to be met by app products offered by you and your competitors. Try to ensure that the app caters to the needs of the target audience better than everyone else in the market segment and also market them well. Answering questions like who would benefit from the app product, what are the target user demographics, how can you offer them what they want during the app development phase is all the target audience ‘need’ analysis that needs to be done. This will give a definition of the app products you are trying to build.

Opinions of industry veterans and experts matter a great deal if you are looking for seasoned judgment for your app products. It is okay to grill them regarding what has worked, what hasn’t, and any future trends that they foresee in the markets that you function. You can also learn about your industry by attending professional conferences and trade shows. This provides an adequate glimpse of how your competition interacts with customers and how they attract customers. Trend reports from the tech industry help companies stay ahead of the game in the competitive markets they play. They keep businesses abreast of the newest technologies to evoke new ideas for improvement.


The goal of conducting competitive analysis should not be imitating the competition but to be able to offer app products that provide a superior user experience. Businesses utilize the insights generated from competitive analysis into their app business plan. It gives them a realistic take on where app competitors stand. Sometimes this requires them to revisit the drawing board or development stage to make some tweaks in app design or other aspects of the business plan to ensure they build exactly what a user wants.

The best way to go about is to get into a discovery session with a professional mobile app development company like Promatics Technologies. This ensures that your idea gets validated, optimized, and is refined so it can be taken to the next level. Who knows you are the next Mark Zuckerberg

Note: An older version of this article first appeared at How to Conduct Competitive Analysis for Your App?

I live, breathe and dream mobile apps. My interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms.