Know your Mobile App Competition
The world of Apps is a world where competition is fierce! With over 1.5 million apps in each of the major App Stores and thousands of new ones appearing every other day, chances are that there are already many Apps out there trying to do exactly the same thing as you do.
Depending on your field, your might immediately think about a handful to a dozen of direct contenders, if not more. But I would argue that none of those are your App’s fiercest challengers. Your most dangerous competitors in the Mobile world are… Facebook, Twitter, Uber and AirBnB –even if you are not in the social network, transportation or hospitality business!
Your most dangerous competitors on Mobile are… Facebook, Twitter, Uber and AirBnB!
- Because they compete with you for user attention (think social networks!) and therefore limit the amount of time your users can dedicate to your App. 79% of mobile users’ time is spent on 5 Apps
- Because they keep setting new standards for what should be an optimal User eXperience (often referred to as “UX”). Whether you like it or not, your App will be compared to (and rated vs.!) these juggernauts.
- Because with armies of developers, designers and sophisticated proprietary tools (like Airlock for Facebook, Clutch.io for Twitter etc…), they will churn UI improvements, feature optimization and new gimmicks every month, every week or even faster. They keep optimizing and iterating much faster than you ever dreamed possible of…
You can win this battle but it requires a new way of thinking and new tools
Before you get completely discouraged, you should know you can fight and win this battle. But it requires a new way of thinking your App roadmap, a true Test and Learn strategy and new tools to make your App much more agile than today.
- First and foremost, you need to perfectly understand how each and every one of your users are not only using but also interacting with your App. By this I mean of course which page they are viewing and which button they are activating and how they are navigating throughout your App. But to set yourself apart, you need to go one step beyond. You should be able to identify which gestures were completed by your users, where they successfully (or not) activated certain controls and where they hesitated for too long or obviously got lost on a view of your App.
This can be achieved through a new category of tools called UX Analytics like AppSee or Azetone. (disclosure – I am the CEO and co-founder of Azetone)
- Second, you need to make the Test & Learn approach your daily motto. As Hakan Forss, Agile Coach at King (the makers of Candy Crush), at least 50% of your assumptions will not lead to the expected result! This means not only should you test everything you may have doubts about but you should also test what you are pretty sure is working well. Half of the time, you may be proved wrong! It used to be that testing different variants of a mobile App was difficult. You had to tag your App and embed the different variations into the App before posting it to the store. WIth the latest generation of mobile A/B Testing tools like Apptimize or Azetone, you can add, remove or change elements of an App even after it has been posted and a Visual Editor can help you change any UI element of an App with no prior tagging and even if you have no technical background (see example below)
- Third, you need to truly leverage the fact that you have never known so many things about your customers since they started using Mobile Apps. Users are easily and permanently traceable and will very often be namely identified once they log in (once and for all) into your App. This means you can easily target UX analysis or A/B test by user group and (if your solution can do it) even leverage the segments you have previously defined in your CRM, DMP or Push Notification systems. But ultimately, this opens the door to not only super-optimize your app by customer profile but mostly to personalize the entire in-App user experience based on user criteria but also any context, location or behavior event. This means creating Apps that are no longer the static, one-size-fits-all Apps we mostly know today but customized, personalized and highly relevant App that will take Mobile Apps to whole new levels of satisfaction, efficiency and ultimately ROI! From the get-go, Azetone at the forefront of this new wave of Personalized Apps.
Make your customers your “Chief Mobile Officers”
In short, you may not have the hundred or thousands of developers that work for the largest mobile players and or the multi-billion budgets of some well-known juggernauts but using some advanced tools can definitely make you much more agile, a fast learner and most importantly a mobile-customer-first organization where your customers help you create better mobile experiences (both for them and for you!) and where they effectively become your “Chief Mobile Officers”.
Philippe Dumont is CEO at Azetone, a new leader in Mobile Optimization and Personalization. He is also an active Board Member of the Mobile Marketing Association in France where he heads the Mobile Apps and Webapps Workgroup.