In this case, you can use SWOT analysis [Strength-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats] to identify the market strategy. Basically, the startupper can evaluate current advantages to reach the wanted objective while minimizing risks, overcoming challenges on the market. The PEST scheme complements this research by investigating the external environment (political, economic, social, legal factors) and better assessing the risks each industry/ market possesses.
As well, Porter’s 5 Forces model may be applied to understand the rivalry level in the sector you plan to launch your project in.
This way, you can select your niche and define your target customer portrait. For example, you can focus on a niche audience like scuba divers, professional photographers or pregnant women where the number of potential clients is lower. This way, you do not face high competition in contrast to a more general app concept.
2nd – if you don’t have any ideas – conduct market research to identify a problem that currently exists, and then evaluate your direct and indirect competitors.
This way, you will understand the current state of the market – its propositions, and how do people cope with their problems, and finally understand what could be your best offering.
2. How to Develop a Mobile App that Adds Value
For starters, concentrate on bringing the value, not money. Most of the app projects that have reached tremendous success were developed to solve an issue, which got traction from the audience, and only then the app received a million earnings.
Following is the list of advice that helps you to finalize your app concept:
- Start with the basics – ask people around what apps they like and don’t like, how do they use their connected devices (smartphones, home assistants, tablets,etc.).
- Try to use your mobile device and note your experience – you may be surprised about how many things still need to be adapted to perform personal or professional tasks easier.
- Search for gaps and blank spaces – check out forums, blogs of interest, social media to study what do people talk about and what pains they experience.
- Check out software development meetups and hackathons to understand the trends of the industry.
- Collect information about what app ideas get funded the most.
- Browse app stores – you can study existing projects; app cloning is a wrong and the easiest strategy, yet it is possible to improve the underperforming apps and renovate with uniting their functionality.
- Enhance the app experience – learn the most-frequently-used functionality and think about how it can be improved or search for the ways users can utilize their mobile device in a new way (e.g. a scanner, compass, flashlight, etc).
- Learn outside of app stores – go to the market and conduct some polls and questionnaires among a selected group of people.
- Dream bigger and imagine wider – great app concepts are innovative and are looking forward to the future. You may start simple, yet you can predict and set the grounds for the innovation for the upcoming years (e.g. AR & VR, Machine Learning, AI).
- Draw and write down all your ideas (even the most stupid ones) – keep these records and put them on paper right a away so you won’t forget them later.
To sum things up, by combining your knowledge, analysis from online research, and results from the market analysis, you come up with a unique app idea that stands out.
3. Plan your Strategy for Mobile App Development
Once you have defined the major problem your app will solve, the next thing to do is to summarize your digital business strategy.
Plan your app earnings
Also, it is necessary to define your monetization strategy. In the beginning, it is wise to offer your product for free, at least partly to gain the initial base of users. Then, you can decide how to earn revenue by selecting one or a few options, namely:
- Ads – showing advertisement
- Paid download – e.g. $0.99 to install the app
- In-app purchase – freemium model with an opportunity to advance app functionality, sell virtual or physical items, bonuses, ad blocking
- Subscription – weekly, monthly or annual fee
- Merchandise & eCommerce – sale of goods via an app
- Affiliate & sponsorship – referral marketing option to assist other business to reach to the client
The Business Model Canvas tool is the best to use for this step and summarize the points mentioned earlier. The model has 9 areas you need to fill out with the strategic plans, namely:
- Key partners – people and stakeholders who assist in your app startup
- Key activities – processes to run your digital business on a daily basis
- Key resources – knowledge, means, people, money, etc. to develop a mobile app and support business activities
- Value proposition – unique selling points of an app, key solution it provides
- Customer relations – use cases and ways of first user contact with an app and create loyalty
- Customer segments – portrait(s) of a buyer persona
- Channels – ways to deliver your mobile app solution to the end-user
- Cost structure – key cost components based on key activities and resources
- Revenue streams – monetization strategy
Once you dwell on each of these points, you are ready to go with a real mobile app development processes.