3 min read

How to stand out in the saturated app market

Attract and maintain a user base with a few simple tasks.

With new apps coming out everyday, the market has gotten a little overwhelming. Competition is high and smart phone storage space is limited.So not only does your app need to stand out, but it also needs to give the user a unique and useful experience. Otherwise the user will simply delete the app and move on to the next one—it’s buyer’s choice out there. Here are a few steps you can take to really shine in such a crowded marketplace.

Conduct market research

Before you develop your app, dig in to the relevant research. Find out what app users in your niche expect from the game, tool, or creative program in question. To hone in on functionality, it is also a good idea to research when and where users actually use apps. For example, many users prefer browsing their smart phones with one hand, so some apps have developed shortcuts for one-thumbed navigating.

Develop an eye-catching icon

One of the most basic ways to stand out in the app store is to develop an icon that will capture the user’s attention. Instagram, for example, does this well. They use colors akin to a tropical sunset to draw their audience in.

Design a tutorial

For particularly complicated apps, it may be helpful for users to be offered a brief intro after download. A handful of (optional) guiding screens can demonstrate your app’s capabilities that may otherwise be lost on the user. Long-term users can also benefit from a similar offer when updates are made to the interface or functionality.

Offer a competitive price

Though many apps are free, some have one or more pricing levels in their structures. Review some of your competitors’ apps to determine what the average cost per app is. If they lean on the free side, but you intend to charge for your app, make sure that your app’s superior functionality is clear in the description and reflected in the reviews.

Ask for ratings

Go ahead and insert a friendly pop-up message for your apps’ users that encourages them to give your app a review in the store. Ratings will also help bring your app up in the search results.

Be adaptable

Don’t be afraid to make regular updates with new and/or improved features to your app. And when updates are available, include a description of what the updates involve so that users can know how to use the app more efficiently. Keep in mind that it’s best to do a little at a time rather than to do a full re-design of the app (users may be too overwhelmed to keep using it).

Ask users what they want

You can do this a few ways. One is by reading the app reviews in the store and addressing any elements that your users think could benefit from an upgrade. Another way is to ask for feedback within the app, through a brief survey or questionnaire. Also be sure to make your contact information easy for users to find, as they may simply feel compelled to send you an email.


If you find that your app still isn’t gaining much traction after its launch, it may be time to re-consider your marketing strategy. It’s possible that your advertising isn’t reaching the most optimal audience, so consider exploring new channels. Brand influencers, social media, and video previews can help to generate some new buzz. Just be sure you measure the effectiveness of whichever you choose to utilize.


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