Blog posts

How to Conduct Mobile App Research in 2023 [Market Research Step-by-Step Guide]

Table of contents
Why Is the Mobile App Research Before Development So Important? What Are the Mobile App Research Types and Kinds? When to Do Mobile App Research? How to Conduct Mobile App Research What Can Go Wrong? Summary

Mobile app research is essential to the success of your app, and we’ll tell you why. Understanding your target audience, competitors, industry, and current market trends lie at the base of conducting mobile app research. Every attempt to design a mobile app begins with market research because it assists in validating your app concept and ensuring your app is meeting demand in the industry.

Data gathering and analysis are necessary for conducting mobile app research. You can sometimes get data from sources that already exist. Other times, you’ll need to carry out original research alone. The majority of the time, market research combines these two methods. Let’s talk about this analysis’s goals, perspectives, and types in detail.

Why Is the Mobile App Research Before Development So Important?

A thorough mobile app market research helps you determine what your customers desire from the product. You’ll be able to think of viable solutions for your business and customers after understanding your customers’ expectations. Gathering crucial information and insights enables you to design and sell your ideas. The research gives you a complete picture of your target market and rivals. 

You can identify new opportunities for your company by comprehensively understanding the market. Regardless of what occurs to the overall economy, it is essential to discover and comprehend approaches to develop your product based on shifting client needs or market trends.

How a Comprehensive Mobile App Development Research Helps to Build Successful Mobile App

Marketing analysis provides important and relevant information about the market situation, helps assess how effectively the company promotes its products, creates the right promotion strategy, and chooses possible directions for business development. 

Mobile app development research is needed whenever a company launches new large-scale projects, upgrades an existing one, or starts from scratch. Entering a new market (geographic or product) also requires details preparation based on analytical data. With solid investments, owners and managers must be fully confident in the effectiveness of investments. Market assessment, competitor analysis, and the study of channels and methods of promotion are carried out in order to guarantee the app’s future success. 

The Goals of Mobile App Research

Each marketing research has its own specific goal and solves a specific business problem. Without a clear goal for the research, you can get empty information and spend extra resources and time. We’ll consider the main goals of marketing research:

  • Having a description of the market

Market description research aims to determine the size (capacity) and growth rates of the market, evaluate the main drivers of the market; identify key market players, describe their positioning and their share (place) in the industry; determine the main market segments and their share in the total market. The information obtained in the course of such research helps the company to form a common understanding of the significance and prospects of the mobile app within the industry.

  • Carrying out market segmentation

The purpose of marketing research on market segmentation is to identify all significant consumer segments in the industry; uncover each segment of special preferences, habits of behavior, and requirements for the product; and assess segments’ size and growth rates. These findings should help the company discover free low-competitive market niches, start developing the mobile app for certain groups of segments, and correctly form the feature set.

  • Assessing customer attitudes, expectations, and loyalty

The mobile app development research also aims to assess the level of customer satisfaction with a particular app or company. In the course of the study, the product’s degree of compliance with users’ expectations in terms of the main characteristics is studied. As a result, the company can understand the key disadvantages of the app (affecting the decrease in satisfaction) and form corrective measures to improve advertising, product, and service.

In general, the research on mobile applications helps you answer the following inquiries:

  • Is there a need for your application in the market?
  • What are the preferences of your target market?
  • What opponents and challenges do you face?
  • Does your mobile app stand out from the competitors in a special way?
  • Do you have a successful business plan for mobile apps?
  • How can you develop a marketing plan that is optimized?

Where to Use the Results of the Mobile App Initial Research

Market research is the basis for further analysis and building a future product development strategy. After completing the assessments, take note of everything you learned, compare it to where you started, and add it to your app. There may be a discrepancy between what you believed to be true and what you learned via study. It’s always preferable to detect errors in the app discovery stage. Then, the goal is to incorporate the results into your app’s creation easily. How do you do that?

Sort your findings into groups based on the topics you’ve looked into. Open a spreadsheet, for instance, and make a tab for each topic you looked at. Be careful to incorporate the following:

  • your target market;
  • competitors;
  • a description of the sector and its developments.

Make sure to incorporate all the information you’ve gathered from outside sources and your initial findings. Comparing these to the notes you made before starting your investigation will help. You may, for instance, contrast the results regarding clients with your own idea of the ideal client. Do you notice any gaps? Remember that anything is subject to change since you’re just starting out with your app development journey. 


Fill in the form and we’ll contact you soon!

What Are the Mobile App Research Types and Kinds?

Any mobile app idea must pass the market research stage to succeed over the long term. The foundation of the entire process of developing an app is analytic preparation. Without conducting app market research, it will be challenging to comprehend the pain points influencing consumer behavior and current market trends.

When it comes to practice, your company can use various research techniques to verify the viability of its mobile app concept. Here are the most vital of them:

The Primary Mobile App Research

Primary research involves actively collecting relevant data. Typically, primary research will involve focus groups, surveys, interviews with potential customers, and competitive analysis of the current market. Primary research entails proactively gathering pertinent information. For instance, doing thorough demographic surveys to identify your app’s target population and their pain areas is a component of primary research for mobile apps. 

Primary research should also emphasize the most recent technological advances and how current industry trends affect your business model. However, before you develop a mobile app, you need to clearly understand your target market and how your app will answer their problems while still fitting into your business strategy.

The Secondary Mobile App Research

Secondary research is frequently employed by businesses to polish and refine their strategies. These involve studies and reports generated by other sources. For example, you might rely on studies conducted by industry research organizations to understand industry trends and the target audience better. 

The Global Industry Research

Industry research enables businesses and entrepreneurs to evaluate specific products, processes, and services in a given industry in general. Additionally, they employ this research to comprehend a company’s surroundings better. Conducting industry research is also done to analyze the competition, make strategic decisions, and spot market trends. Industry research frequently concentrates on a specific product or product range by analyzing the next criteria:

  • Key players — searching for competing elements like bigger companies in the market. The research examines significant players’ primary products, solutions, and commercial strategies.
  • Growth — examining whether an industry is expanding or contracting. As it demonstrates the amount of money the sector generates and speculates how this can rise, this information is helpful when developing a business plan.
  • Trends — the mobile app development research assesses trends and how they impact companies. 
  • Competitors — identifying the main rivals. Analyzing the tactics of other businesses and figuring out what makes them different enables companies to benchmark their products.

When to Do Mobile App Research?

Generally, the mobile app market research is carried out after idea validation, before the discovery phase. Paul N. Hauge and Peter Jackson, in their book, Do Your Own Market Research, point out three specific situations where market research is really useful:

  • Goal setting. Knowing things like the size of the market or the description of potential customers can help you set sales goals.
  • Solution of problems. Market research will help you understand whether your problems are internal, such as a poor-quality product, or external, such as aggressive competition.
  • Support for company growth. Understanding how and why consumers choose products will help you decide which mobile app to bring to market.

Market research does not always have to be a large and complex project. The relatively new trend of agile market research allows you to research the market regularly and economically. With this approach, you use small, iterative, and evolutionary methods to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and adapt to unknown market territories.

Also, if you are in a startup environment, especially if you are developing an innovative product, you may be interested in customer development. In this methodology, mobile app research is the most “flexible” and closely related to product development.

How to Conduct Mobile App Research 

Researching the volume of the market is an integral part of market research. In this context, we should mention a few abbreviations: PAM, TAM, SAM, and SOM. They present a way to estimate the market size, which is popular in startups and growing businesses. The method is used by companies who want to understand the prospects for growth — and whether it is worth investing in a project. Here are their meanings:

  • PAM (Potential Available Market) — the entire market volume, considering how it will change over the time you are interested in.
  • TAM (Total Addressable Market) — the indicator includes all potential customers, even those who are already buying from your competitors.
  • SAM (Served/Serviceable Available Market) — share of TAM. SAM shows you how much money is already being spent on solutions like yours. SAM is a market of direct competitors and analogs.
  • SOM (Serviceable & Obtainable Market) — share of SAM. This is the number of sales a company can generate using its available tools.

There are two ways to calculate metrics: top-down and bottom-up. The top-down method uses analytical data, and the calculation starts with the total market volume — TAM. In the bottom-up approach, we use known indicators of the project, and the calculation starts with a realistically achievable market size — SOM. It is better to calculate both the first way and the second. The results will likely vary, but it will help to understand the real state of affairs.

Let’s look at an example – a mobile CRM application.

TAM – The global CRM industry is worth an estimated $148.49 billion.
SAM – The global mobile CRM industry is estimated to be worth around $26.64 billion.
SOM – Let’s imagine this particular mobile CRM application is aimed at companies with around 40-50 field sales reps. The number of companies that employ between 40-50 field reps represents about 5% of the overall SAM. So SOM – $1,33 billion.

1. Assess the Market

One of the most crucial things to think about when creating a mobile app is whether or not there will be adequate demand for it. To accurately assess the likelihood that your app is successful, you must first look at your area’s supply and demand conditions. This mobile app research stage will be quite straightforward if you’re interested in the app business. Search the Google Play and the App Store.

In Google Play, you can view how many downloads various apps have received. Analyze the information critically. 

Consider, assess, and fully grasp the reality of the situation before you. If you’re surprised and dissatisfied by the number of downloads for your topic, keep looking. Are there any competitor programs that perform this task more effectively? Maybe your app can do it better. However, mobile app development research gives life to your ideas.

2. Define the Target Audience

After verifying your mobile app concept, you must focus on locating the people who will benefit from it the most. Being as descriptive as you can when describing your target audience is essential. It is far too general and sweeping to say things like, “My app is fantastic for everyone,” or “My app is for all males.”

You should define the probable users of your application and include crucial demographic details like:

  • Age;
  • Location;
  • Occupation;
  • Marital status;
  • Interests;
  • Values;
  • Lifestyle ;
  • Education level;
  • Income;
  • Key traits.

You also need to be aware of the types of mobile devices your target market wants to utilize. You cannot write a single code line before you know which mobile devices your audience will most likely use. For instance, if your mobile app market research shows that most of your audience uses Android smartphones, you may want to consider developing Android apps and changing your app store optimization strategy to the Google Play Store.

You should also consider your target audience as inclusive rather than exclusive. If those outside your defined audience also enjoy your app, this is great and may result in more pertinent information.

The social media sites your target audience uses should also be a key factor in your study at this time. With this knowledge, your business can make social media accounts more effective for connecting with people who spend most of their time online. Social media profiles offer a useful source of candid client feedback that your company may use to develop a strong and effective marketing plan.

3. Define Your Users’ Problems

Understanding your users is vital before releasing mobile apps. Would you change to a business that offers subpar service? Yes. The same applies to mobile applications and related services. Contacting your potential customers and getting the required information is the easiest way to understand their difficulties.  

Additionally, there is much room for improvement, which is quite helpful. Users may be discussing the issues and theories with competitor apps right now on forums and social media. It is essential to use additional resources to analyze.

4. Know Your Competitors

Conducting a detailed analysis of your competitors is one of the core tasks of mobile app development research. Analyzing rivals is beneficial. You may observe what they do well and what users like, as well as areas where they fall short of the competition. You may improve your app idea, business plan, and app marketing methods by understanding where there is a market opportunity.

Your company can enhance its own app and income-generating predictions by fixing the flaws of your competitors’ goods and services. Even though you may be entering the market later than some big players, rigorous research will help you avoid their mistakes and hasten the development process.

5. Summarize Your Findings

Examine your idea’s strengths, weaknesses, unique possibilities, niches, and any potential threats from competitors or outside forces. Your company should do ongoing mobile market research as you progress through the development process to update learnings and adjust efforts to meet user and market demands.

We’ve build over 50 products and mvps

Let’s build your project together.

Mobile App Research: What Can Go Wrong?

Whether they have received professional training or not, almost everyone thinks they have what it takes to be a market researcher. Curiosity, interest in people, and having a reactive mind are the three main characteristics of a researcher. However, this is not always enough. In light of this, we mention some specific mistakes founders/marketers make when gathering and analyzing market research data:

The Most Common Mobile App Research Mistakes

  • Inadequate Sampling 

Your entire analysis could be inaccurate if you choose the incorrect respondents to your queries. While a poor question pops out, poor sampling is less immediately apparent. Because of this, avoiding this error is of the utmost importance. Make careful to define your sample right away. Make a list of the people you wish to talk to and why. Establish the rules so they can specify who belongs in the audience. Decide if additional analysis or cross-comparison may be necessary by segmenting your audience into smaller groups.

Be specific about the level of quality you require from your survey. This is becoming more crucial as access panels have become more popular, and their use of qualified respondents is frequently assumed. This is true for qualitative and quantitative mobile app research.

  • Vague Questions

Your analysis will be unsusceptible to interpretation if your query is not specific, suggests prejudice, or has an unclear meaning. At best, your conclusions may encounter resistance inside the company. The worst-case scenario is that the wrong decisions are made using this information.

There is frequently ambiguity in the answer blocks. It is relatively simple to write answer choices from your own point of view while omitting certain important ones that responders might consider. Spend time making sure that the phrasing of the answer choices doesn’t cause overlap between some of them, confusing your respondents.

  • Incentives for cost-cutting

The best way to think of incentives is as a form of compensation for time sacrifice. Due to their hectic schedules, people are asked to contribute some of their time to mobile app development research to help you do your job. Yes, they are driven by their interest in the subject matter or by a desire to see us succeed, but these reasons shouldn’t be used as justifications for not respecting people’s time. 

You don’t want the incentives to be severely low or excessively high since we aren’t attempting to sway or skew the research; rather, we want them to be fair and reciprocal. They offer us their time, and we return the favor. Its unjust evaluation of people’s time is one of the main causes of studies getting poor response rates. If you compensate appropriately, you will get greater quality research and higher response rates.

  • Poor reports

Be careful when reporting. Make sure convincing data support all conclusions. Avoid words like “some” and “may” and try to make your points as briefly as possible. Describe your discovery in detail, including who it concerns, what it means, and what may be done. If action is to be taken, accuracy is required. Likewise, don’t exaggerate your conclusions. If you do, the resulting report can be ambiguous.

For instance, avoid generalizing about a particular customer demographic or behavior when describing clients. Don’t equate behaviors with people of the same age or location. Most essential, don’t generalize your conclusions to the entire company or offer broad recommendations outside your purview.

  • Graph-pocalypse

Lastly, avoid stuffing your report with information that makes it difficult to read or comprehend. People frequently mean this when discussing telling stories or developing a narrative. Use evidence, but avoid ruining the project by chronicling every little detail.

Mobile App Development Research: Summary

Regardless of your company plan, attracting customers to your mobile app will be difficult. The mobile app market research helps you study the target audience and their specific needs to develop a reliable strategy. Companies can use market research to understand the demand for, viability, and potential performance of their product. 

Primary or secondary information, which gives distinctive insights into a company’s offering, is used in market research. A crucial part of a company’s research is used in the project discovery phase since it determines the app’s success and future scaling. 

Market Research Step-by-Step Guide: FAQ

What Is the Main Goal of Market Research?

Mobile app market research gives you vital knowledge about your industry and competitive environment. It can inform you of how the target clients and customers you want to reach view your business.

How to Do a Mobile App Research?

Why Doing Research Is Important Before App Development?

What Is the Difference Between Market Research and User Research?

Join 2,000 subscribers receiving weekly emails with fresh tech insights.