Case Study: Apps and Software Development
A company dedicated to transporting, cargo, and logistics employed the services of LAC in order to analyze the viability of a business idea, which consisted in the development of a mobility app for contracting freight services. LAC was in charge of analyzing the direct and indirect competitors. Likewise, LAC assisted the consultation to optimize the development of the app and present the most suitable identity, so that the client could offer an application with differentiators and of a higher quality than the current offer in the market.
Similar to companies with digital platforms for personal transportation services, the client sought to create a mobile application with the objective of making the hiring and use of freight easier for its clients. This idea was not the first in the market, so the competitors and their processes had to be thoroughly analyzed. Since there were already competitors in the available market, the usability of existing apps was analyzed to inform the development of the new app and the reasons why users would be willing to switch to another app were defined.
For the effective execution of the study, a market description was first made to identify the type of consumer that would fit the business proposal and the market size was estimated in a specific geographic area. In addition, research methodologies were applied to secondary sources to ensure an in-depth evaluation of consumers and competitors. Direct and indirect competition was examined through a continuous process in which the products, services, and technical work processes were referenced, as well as the interaction before, during and after the completion of the service. The front end and back end of the apps and services of the competitors were analyzed. Furthermore, the usability of the competing applications was monitored using science and data analysis, and in parallel with this a survey was carried out in interaction spaces such as social networks, to find out the quality of the experience that a user has when interacting with digital elements at their fingertips.
- Direct competitors: they mainly direct their service offer to the end consumer segment and not to economic units. The freight service is limited, and users must load the transported products/goods. The service offered had been rated as moderate to moderately poor due to the lack of availability of units and the service provided by the drivers.
- Development of the app, website, and use of the service: digital companies generally base their business model on 3 broad areas: (1) the technological medium as a way of using and paying for the service, (2) advertising and promotion (especially digital) and (3) business administration. Digital companies must be streamlined and simplified by eliminating any component that does not generate value for the client and partners of the system
- Identity, branding, promotion, and communication: the competition failed to answer questions and doubts through most of their contact points. They also do not handle the sending of secondary information effectively (for example the automated emails to notify that the registration had been successfully completed).
In-depth knowledge of the competitor’s processes was obtained, and their weak points were used to identify opportunities and their strengths to know how to operate the client’s business. In conclusion, without this, it would have been impossible to distinguish the key elements in the creation of the ideal value proposition for the business model that the client intended to develop.
Based on the findings, the recommendation was made to direct the offer to end consumers and economic units, as both generate a positive relationship in the flow of business sales. The specific recommendation was made to optimize the general operation and to direct promotion efforts towards young adults, as well as the manufacturing and retail industries. This was based on the daily use of information technologies by young adults, along with the use of freight and logistics by both sectors, which favors the strategic segmentation of the target market. The great challenge for the client in this project will be to ensure that the drivers connect to the system and offer professional service and customer care, which they are not necessarily used to providing.
The application would have to offer different forms of payment: credit card, debit card, and cash payment. Cards would be the most common payment used by youth and people of higher socioeconomic levels, while cash would allow the company to penetrate the markets of lower socioeconomic levels, as well as adults who do not trust digital payments and young people who do not have cards. The website had to be simple and eye-catching to communicate the main idea of the value proposition effectively. It was essential that the app would be aesthetically pleasing, easy to use, and quick to respond since, if it did not contain a balance of these three components, it would be more likely that the project would lose potential and interested customers. It is important to emphasize that one of the main reasons why people remove apps from their devices, is the lack of speed.
It is crucial to always maintain a dialogue with users to obtain as much information as possible that allows the company to improve all of its processes. A successful advertising campaign must define and be very closely aligned with the consumer niche (the who), with the type of service, as well as the interests and needs (the what) and with the channel and form of communication (the how). Not all segments, least of all niches, behave in the same way, and their interests may vary, as can the channels through which they relate with one another and the way in which we must communicate with them.
If your industry is seeking to develop an app or software, with LAC research and analysis you can:
- Have a comprehensive knowledge of all of the operational processes of your direct and indirect competitors in order to offer higher quality service and innovation.
- Identify areas with similar behaviors and markets.
- Discern the characteristics of potential consumers to offer them the most appropriate service according to their needs.
- Know the strengths and requirements for the most effective development of an app, website and use of the service.
- Understand your competitor’s technical processes using data science.
- Identify the needs of your consumers with respect to usability and user experience.
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