With over a million apps on the app store already, chances are good that the app you are creating or want to create already has some competition for it. Most people view competition for their as a bad thing. After all, they are taking away potential users from your own product, right?
However, if you look at it from a different perspective, competition can actually be a good thing!
- They validate your product. If you see competitors in your space, you want to first see if they are doing well or not. If they are doing well, that suggests that there is demand for such products. How do you know if they are doing well? Look for chart rankings, and lots of reviews that suggest user interest.
- They suggest marketing strategies. If a competing app is doing well, then find out how they are marking themselves. Are they using ads? If so – where are they advertising? Have they been reviewed by any top sites? What kinds of sites are linking to them? Are there similar strategies you could use to promote your own app?
- You can steal their user feedback. Read reviews of competing apps to learn what users like about their product, and what areas can be improved. There might be certain features that users are demanding that you could add to your own app to differentiate. I used this same approach when I created my first product.
- They suggest pricing strategies. What price are they selling their app at? Are there in-app purchases? Do they seem to be making money from this app? (You can find out by looking at the top grossing apps for their app category).
- They suggest keyword ideas. What keywords are your competitors using in their app titles and descriptions? If users are already searching for these keywords, then you want to be part of the results. However you also want to have something unique about your app to differentiate from competitors. That was the thinking behind the title of my STL Contact Manager app. It shows up in searches for “Contact Manager” but also has the unique “STL” part, in case someone wants to search specifically for my app. The last thing you want is for someone to search for your app, but not be able to find it, among competing apps.
What can you learn from the apps that are competing with you right now?