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Underground App Market Research Techniques

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I’ve been following David Janner on twitter for nearly a year now. He consistently publishes really useful info on apps, monitization and ASO. He kindly agreed to take a little time off from his own magazine to discuss some app marketing ideas he’s using. Below are some really interesting ideas on underground app market research techniques, he’s kindly sharing with the Chocolate Lab ~ Elaine

Creating a successful app comes down to good solid market research. The App Store is a tough ecosystem to thrive in, those who just throw their “great idea” into the market place are often in for a rude shock. What I’ve found in my experience works best in the App Store is to go after proven trends that exist in the App Store.

There have been quite a few articles written in the past about good market research tools, but I’d like to focus here on some new tools that have only become available over the past year or so. Adding these tools into your market research procedure can help increase your chance of success…

Apptopia

Apptopia is a market place to buy and sell apps. While it is useful for app traders in its own right, this is a potentially AWESOME source of information for planning your next app.

When a developer signs up to Apptopia in order to sell his or her app, he connects his Apptopia account with his iTunes Connect or Google Play accounts and in this way Apptopia can display download and revenue figures directly from the App Store. There is no better way really to peek into other developer’s account than this!
There is a pretty big gap at the moment, in that probably the majority of indie app developers make their money through ad networks, and so at the moment all third party ad networks such as Revmob, Applovin, etc are not counted in the revenue statistics.

But still, if you want to know which types of apps are getting lots of downloads and what sort of revenue you can except through IAPs, this is pretty much the gold standard information source.

apptopia-downloads

The best way to see this info is by clicking on the “Buy Apps” button and then sort the apps by Downloads. The downloads you see on this screen are for the last 3 months. By clicking on the app icon and then on the “Statistics” tab, you’ll be able to detailed revenue.

The other way to browse the apps is by “Most Profitable”, so that you can see which apps are kicking butt on monetization.

Sensor Tower

Sensor Tower has fast become one of my favourite ASO tools, but the recent addition of some new features has increased the value of the tool for market research as well.

One important method of market research, after determining a genre you want to compete in, is to analyse user reviews. This can obviously give you important information about weaknesses in your competitors’ offerings so that you can swoop in and fill the gap in the market.

Up until now that has basically meant browsing through the app store manually and sifting through reviews. If there are just a few reviews for a particular app that’s easy, but what if an app has thousands of reviews? It suddenly becomes hard to extract meaningful information.

By opening up any app’s page in Sensor Tower and then clicking on the Review Analysis section, you’re suddenly exposed to a wealth of information.

sensor tower review analysis

There are several ways you can use this info. If you click on any of the days in the “Review Breakdown Per Day”, you’ll see in the right hand pane the reviews that were left that day.

Sensor Tower also pulls out major keyword terms found in the reviews and averages the ratings for these terms. By clicking on any of these terms, the reviews in which these terms appear will show up in the right hand pane.
For market research purposes, it’s probably best to hone in on the terms with 3 star reviews or lower and then sift through those reviews to see which recurring themes the app users are having problems with.

Personally, I find this the most useful and time efficient way to spot patterns in user reviews.

So, when you’re busy planning your next app, keep these two sources of information in mind. They might just unlock the key to your next profitable app endeavour!

David Janner is a former medical doctor who now develops apps full time for a living. He writes about App Store Optimization and his experiences on the App Store through his blog at makeappmag.com. Make sure to sign up to his email list for exclusive content delivered only to email subscribers.

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Elaine Heney January 24, 2014, 8:49 am

    LOVE this post… thanks David!

  • David Janner January 25, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Awesome Elaine, you’re welcome! :)

  • Blanco May 10, 2014, 3:26 am

    Great article

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