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How to conduct mobile app market research? A complete guide for 2024

The idea of creating and launching an app can be thrilling. Whether you are a developer who wants to create an app for your clientele, or a business owner looking forward to investing in mobile apps, the excitement and zeal can be similar.

However, jumping right into the mobile app development process can be hazardous and uneconomic in the long run. Like any other business and marketing process, research is an important and integral part of mobile app development.

It is an important precursor to the process of building an app. However, it is important to adopt the right strategies and best practices for mobile app market research. This blog piece will help you with the same. Stay tuned till the end and know more.

In this blog

  1. What is mobile app market research?
  2. Why is mobile app market research important?
  3. Types of mobile app market research
  4. Steps and best practices of mobile app market research
  5. Tools for mobile app development research

What is mobile app market research?

Research is the foundation of any initiative, and the mobile app industry is no different. In fact, mobile app market research is an integral part of the app industry and one of the most important aspects of app development.

Mobile app market research can be defined as the process of gathering, compiling, and analyzing data related to business and market potential, consumer expectations, target audiences, competitors, and so on. However, the precise application of research is quite vast and monumental.

The data and insights collected through various research processes help businesses in designing the journey of their development project. From allocating a budget to finding the best app development software and targeting the right demography, research helps it with all.

Mobile app market research can help you find answers to several questions like:

  • Is your app idea relevant in the current market?
  • What is the app’s purpose?
  • What consumer problem will the app solve?
  • Who is the target audience for the app?
  • How will you develop the app?
  • How much time and money will it cost?
  • How will the app earn revenue and profit?

These are some of the many aspects that research helps you with. It helps you understand and analyze the potential of your project. Gathering and implementing the right resources also becomes easier with a robust research strategy in place. Stay tuned and learn more about the different facets of app development.

Why is mobile app market research important?

Graph on top reasons why apps fail; Neglecting research is the biggest reason


There are millions of apps on the app marketplaces and the number is increasing every day. The top app stores Google Play and Apple App Store house around 3.5 million and 1.6 million apps respectively. However, not all apps that are launched in the market see the pinnacle of success and growth.

Despite the growing number of smartphone usage, 99.5 percent of consumer apps end up failing and it is difficult to pin the failure on a common reason. However, neglecting research is the biggest reason why most apps fail in the market.A strategized study of the market can help you overcome this limitation and understand the trends and practices that influence the success and failure of apps. Here are some of the most obvious benefits of mobile app market research:

  • Comprehend and analyze your app’s goals and purpose.
  • Validate your mobile app idea and development strategy.
  • Establish your app’s niche and define its usability.
  • Understand and resolve customer pain points and frustrations.
  • Assemble the right team and infrastructure for development.
  • Create actionable milestones for your mobile app project.
  • Identify competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
  • Plan effective promotional and marketing campaigns.
  • Avoid wastage of resources, time, effort, and talent.
  • Increase the app’s engagement, revenue, and success potential.
  • Stay in line with the global trends and standards of app development.

As evident, research can help you understand and establish your app’s goal and purpose and steer your app development project in the right direction.

Types of mobile app market research

The exact steps and processes of research may differ from project to project. However, the outline of the core practices remains the same. Typically, the process of market research for mobile apps can be divided into the following two categories:

  • Primary research
  • Secondary research

Here’s an elaborate explanation of the types of mobile app market research:

Primary research

Primary research is an approach that allows researchers to gather first-hand data mostly collected from proximate resources. Instead of relying on existing data, researchers conduct their own studies and experiments and compile data that gives an idea of the core requirements of the project.

Primary research can help developers understand the demand for their apps in the market. It can also aid developers in validating an app idea and setting the course of development. Here are some popular methods of conducting primary research for your mobile app project:

  • Surveys: Get your potential audience to fill out a questionnaire or online forms that help you understand the demand and market for the product. You can take app usability, desired features, and industry trends into account when framing the questions.
  • Interviews: Create a sample group of potential users and interview them regarding the app idea and execution. You can ask them what problems they have that you can aim to solve, what they expect from your app, how open they are to your app idea, and so on.
  • Focus groups: Assemble a group of stakeholders and potential users to participate in a discussion about your app and offer feedback on your proposed methods, ideas, and initiatives.·        
  • Data analysis: Use the existing data and insights from your company to understand customer sentiment and expectations, market trends, and so on. For instance, if you aim to convert a website into an app, you can use data from your website as the foundation for shaping your app.

These are some of the methodologies you can adopt for conducting primary research for your app development project. You can use channels like website forms, social media accounts, email, etc., for the studies. Follow the standard practices of research but do not forget to tailor them as per your needs.

Remember, primary research can be an ongoing process as the trends and circumstances keep evolving within a company, or even within a market or industry. For example, once your app is live, you can take app performance metrics into account and study first-hand data and feedback to make your product better.

Secondary research

Secondary research, as the name suggests, is the process of accumulating second-hand data and information. Unlike primary research, secondary research does not require app developers to deal with their audiences and stakeholders on a one-on-one basis.

Secondary research is considered more affordable and seamless due to its flexible nature. Here, existing data sources are used to gather and compile relevant information. Secondary sources and third-party reports are used to collect data and information that can aid businesses in understanding the scope and demands of the market.

  • Here are some potential sources of secondary research for mobile apps:
  • Existing market reports and studies about industry trends, app usage statistics, etc.
  • Competitor websites, apps, case studies, reviews, testimonials, and more.
  • User ratings and reviews on app stores, feedback and mentions on social media, and so on.
  • Industry-related blogs, websites, white papers, scholarly magazines, etc.

These are the popular research methodologies and practices that you can use for your mobile app market research. Conduct research and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for your own business as well as your competitors and get a clear picture of the market and industry. Combine the methods listed above and get the most effective results.

Steps and best practices of mobile app market research

Every business is unique. Therefore, the components and parameters of mobile app market research may vary for different app owners. This is why businesses should brainstorm customized strategies and workflows for conducting in-depth research for their mobile apps.

However, there are some standard practices and key components of mobile app market research that can be followed by every mobile app owner, developer, publisher, or marketer. Go through the suggestions listed below and execute your app research like a pro:

Define clear parameters and objectives

It is important to have a clear purpose for your research initiative. Set clear parameters based on your research goals and the nature of the business. This will help you move ahead in the right direction and make the most of your efforts. Some standard parameters and objectives that you can follow are as listed here:

  • Market insights: Demand for the app, product gaps, market trends, emerging technologies, etc.
  • Competitors: Strengths and weaknesses, success and failures, market reach, etc.
  • Target audience: Demographics, expectations, pain points, preferences, app usage habits, etc.
  • Logistics: Budget allocation, funding, development methods, resource acquisition, timeline, etc.·        
  • Monetization: Business models, revenue projections, monetization strategies, etc.

Suggested Read: Mobile app monetization: The ultimate guide to monetizing mobile apps

Identify relevant methods and participants

Once you have defined your key parameters and objectives, you can proceed to list the relevant methods and platforms you plan to use for your research. Additionally, you should also identify the participants you want to incorporate into your research.

Whether you want to conduct primary research or is secondary research enough? Where will you find your sample audience? Which stakeholders will be involved in the process? Find answers to such questions and then define the channels and tools you want to use for your study.

Apply user-friendly research methodologies and make it easier for participants to get invested in the process and give their feedback. Design interactive interfaces when creating forms and feedback channels. Do not overburden or bore the participants with questions. Make the process seamless and engaging and collect meaningful data.

Implement your findings and measure their impact

It is important to collect, analyze, and document actionable data. However, just using that data once or sitting on it for ages is not the wisest move. It is important to understand that research is not just a predecessor to the process of mobile app development. It is an iterative process.

Once you have collected your findings, you should go on to process them. Brainstorm the data with your team and take the opinions of your colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. Execute processes based on your findings and measure their impact and effect on the overall process of app development.  

Go on to set a timeline or schedule for research and studies as the app grows. For example, once it is launched, you can start documenting its performance metrics and collect user reviews and ratings. Optimize your app store listings and implement listening tools across various platforms. Keep gathering relevant data and keep an eye out for new developments and trends.

Suggested Read: All you need to know about mobile app analytics & user data collection

Tools for mobile app development research

There are several research and data tools and software available in the market that can make your job easier and more streamlined. While you can use your own platforms to collect data and insights, you can also harness these tools to collect actionable data. Some of these tools are as follows:, formerly known as App Annie, is a popular app intelligence platform. It was essentially launched as an advertising analytics solution but has evolved to become a full-blown app data and analytics platform. It allows app owners to assess market trends and their own data side by side. It empowers app owners by offering solutions related to app store analytics, advertising intelligence, market data, and competitor analysis.


As evident by its name, SurveyMonkey is a popular tool that enables you to conduct online surveys. It minimizes and automates the steps required to create actionable and insightful survey forms and questionnaires. It is an amazing tool for businesses that want to collect primary data while following the standard practices of surveys and data collection. It helps you comprehend the sentiment of your customers and stakeholders and get an empirical understanding of the same.

Think with Google

Think with Google is an amazing tool for all kinds of market research. It can help you understand the trends of the industry, technology trends, popular practices, popular searches within a niche, consumer behavior, and so on. It gives you in-depth insights across a range of topics. Its integration with AI makes the platform more dynamic and useful for the ever-changing mobile app industry. You can use the platform to predict the emerging trends of the industry and align your goals accordingly.

Suggested Read: Top 23 Mobile App Analytics Tools – A Comprehensive Break Down

These were some of the most popular tools for mobile app market research. Other honorable mentions may include platforms like Statista: For obtaining statistical data in the form of graphs and reports; Make My Persona; HubSpot tool for generating user personas; AnswerThePublic: Keyword research and planner tool; and so on.

Other than that, you can also use online data banks, market research services, online listening tools, demographic segmentation and studies, data analysis and reporting tools, keyword research and planner tools, and so on. Use a combination of services and tools and get the best results.

In conclusion

This was our elaborate and extensive guide on mobile app market research. Use it as the roadmap to your research initiatives and compile meaningful and actionable data for your business. Create an app that resonates with your audience and stakeholders, and ensure infinite success in terms of engagement, revenue, retention, and popularity.

Once you have aced this step you can go on to make and shape your app. You can follow our extensive guide on how to create an app and develop a responsive and aesthetic app for your business. Get end-to-end guidance and learn about the different facets of mobile app planning, development, launch, and marketing.

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