Competitive Intelligence for Mobile Apps: Top Six KPI’s You MUST Track
As the mobile app market continues to boom, competition is growing fierce. Has your company considered adding consumer value through an app? Perhaps a competitor has recently launched a mobile app? Or possibly you are just interested in a slice of the money-making app pie?
When it comes to apps, not only do you need a stellar product, but both your product and your marketing must outperform your competition. How do you ensure this? With competitive intelligence to provide relevant data about the marketplace, your competitor’s activity today and what they will be doing tomorrow.
Of course there are dozens of data points to monitor, but what are the most important? We’ve picked the top six KPI’s you must track, and have included tips on why they are critical, and how to gather the data.
App Downloads by Region
There is no way to 100% accurately track competitors’ downloads by region, but you can gain a general idea through research. For instance, your competitor may announce their numbers in press releases (remember to take the brag factor into account). Use those numbers in partnership with their app ranking and compare the data with your own numbers and app ranking to form an idea of their downloads.
This information can help you define success for your own company. How many downloads is a realistic goal? 1,000 or 10,000 downloads per month? Use your competitors’ numbers as a starting point, and then focus on how to outgrow them.
App Price in Region
There is a question that every company designing a mobile app must ask: free or paid? This is a tricky decision that competitive intelligence can help to answer. What are your competitors doing? If you plan to sell your app while the competition is offering a similar product for free, you must be sure that you are providing significantly more value.
App Rankings by Region and Category
It is useful to track your competitor’s rankings and their relative positions. Has your ranking dropped while their rankings remained the same? This data is useful for analyzing customer feedback and marketing strategy. Of course, you could track this by hand, but we use and highly recommend App Annie, which shows you app rankings for free.
Understanding the update cycle is critical. You should know when your competitors update, and the purpose for each release. Was it a major revision or were they fixing bugs? If you detect a pattern, then you may be able to infer other information, such as the number of employees working on the app. This, in turn, could signal whether the app is a top priority, which could assist in deciding which resources to dedicate to your own app.
If you know the timeframe that their new features will be released, you can release your app with updated features first, even if it isn’t perfect, in order to get more downloads.
Number of Customer Reviews & Average Customer Ratings
The number of reviews, average rating, and tone of reviews are all important, but even more interesting is how these values change over time. If the number of reviews increases greatly in a small period of time, or if their rating changes significantly, this can signal key strategy changes. If the ratings do not affect their position in the app store, it may mean that the reviews were purchased.
Number of Changes on Description
First, create a list of your competitors. The next step is to analyze their title and descriptions in the various app stores. While you can’t see what keywords your competitors use, the title and description can help you analyze messaging strategy and assist in the prediction of keyword strategy.
Take screenshots and store them in a spreadsheet so that you may document changes and search for patterns. Or use a dedicated Competitive Intelligence SaaS provider, such as Rivalfox, which automates many of the tasks listed above.
The bottom line is that in the highly competitive mobile app environment having a great product just isn’t enough anymore. To truly be successful you have to keep an eye on the market and your competitors through comprehensive competitive intelligence.
About the author:
Kalie Moore is head of content marketing for Rivalfox, a service that monitors your competitors, and gives you comprehensive reports on their activity with actionable business intelligence. She also writes about international startup ecosystems on her blog Berlin Startup Girl. Follow Rivalfox and Kalie on Twitter.