Digital products market is a vibrant place. You can see a lot of new kids on the block every month. Every year big players are announcing new technologies and solutions that drive new currents in the digital world. Finding some fresh data about this market is a huge challenge. Our goal is to retrieve some real data about digital products to find the latest trends on the market. So we have started to hunt products from Europe on Product Hunt…
To get data about new digital products in Europe we’ve started to hunt them on Product Hunt. You can find our collection called ‘Made in Europe’ there. We started in June 2016 and prepared first analysis for August 2016. Every product is being analyzed for its value distribution channels, market (B2B or B2C) and category.
We’ve hunted 171 digital products made in Europe in August 2016 – have a look at the collection.
In the first month this solid analytical data received some valuable comments from the ‘makers’ (products’ owners). We asked them about their motivation and the target group. These answers are very helpful in our long term trends’ research.
Value distribution channels – overview
We can derive two interesting observations from the data above. First of all, web apps are still doing well and stay the most popular distribution channel. The mobile platforms are slightly behind but anyway they gain a huge part of the market.
The makers state that choosing the web distribution channel depends on the purpose of the application. So the question is ‘what it will be used for by the target group?’ And, last but not least – ‘what is the characteristic of the target group?’
Rebrandly is an answer for the more sophisticated users. For example, Social Media Managers who need to create tons of links, and use features like UTM Parameters, Link Retargeting, and Tagging to keep them organised.
So far, I have heard some people save a lot of time getting ready for school in the morning. Some even use it for the gym to create their perfect sessions and review how long they spent on each activity.
But it also happens that the choice of the platform is determined by business growth approach of the managers. If they prefer the lean approach and want to start with a minimum viable product (MVP), they decide for the web channel. Pauline Roussel, creator of COWORKIES expresses this point of view:
Now focusing on the web platform but in a longer run we will have an app too.
The second conclusion coming from the data is unexpectedly large share of messaging platforms. It’s interesting to see if it’s a temporary trend related to the moment of opening them to the independent developers. Is it rather proof of their curiosity or it’s a real growing platform for value distribution to the final users? We’ll know it as soon as we get and analyze the data from the ongoing months.
Value distribution channels – Mobile
The share of iOS mobile apps is still dominant. Almost 9 out of 10 new mobile products were prepared also or only for iOS platform. What’s the reason of such a result? Romain Derrien (Morning Routine 2.0) explains as many makers could:
I must admit that I am an Apple geek! I learnt to code when SWIFT was launched 2 years ago, which is why Morning Routine is on iOS. From a business point of view, there may be twice more downloads on Android, but there is twice more revenue generated from the iOS Appstore. Doubling efforts would therefore only bring 25% of the revenue.
When significant group of users come from the United States and/or the previous bussiness activities where based on Apple technology the choice could only be one. Lorenz Schimik, Mimo‘s maker, admits:
[The users] are 16-35 years old and around 50% of them are from the US.
We didn’t have the resources to launch on both platforms at once, so we had to focus on one. Because we had more experience with iOS, that’s what we went for. Also, our prototype app Swifty that was downloaded over 1M times was iOS only as well & part of our launch strategy was to pander to our existing customers.
VALUE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS – Messaging platforms
In August 2016 half of the apps created for messaging platform still came from Facebook Messanger. Almost all of them were made as B2C products with many bots giving a new, very personal user experience.
Slack role is somehow different – it was used mostly for B2B solutions. It’s business where Slack got its solid and global user group.
VALUE DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS – Desktop
Desktop software products include not only the applications but also some tools like plugins or templates for developers or designers. Sometimes it’s an internal tool for the company that later becomes a product. Nils Hoenson from Yummygum says:
We aim to create coherent and consistent designs. Because we work in a team, it is sometimes hard to stay consistent with your typography usage, even when you’re using a style kit with typography. I was able to develop something neat to help with this!
Most of design teams in Europe use Mac computers in their work, this could be an explanation of OS X predomination in desktop distribution channel.
One third of the products are dedicated to business market (B2B). Such share of the products for professionals is quite constant on Product Hunt.
categories – B2C
Entertainment and Productivity are two most frequent categories in B2C market products. What was unique for the August startups? Entertaining on the basis of Pokemon GO popularity. This new and rapid phenomenon became a business chance for Alexis Creuzot with a defined target group of the users to make MapVision for Pokemon Go:
My target group is English speaking Pokemon GO players, which I reckon is somewhere between 5 and 50 millions people. The API I use being limited (only works for a few big cities) so I think the target therefore shrunk to 1-2 millions.
We created it because we’re Tim Ferris fans ourselves and we didn’t find a good way to find a centralized place for books mentioned in his show. So just for our own needs. We didn’t create this for profit, but I assume there is a bunch of people like us. Concerning plans we might develop some simple functionality (sorting, search) and add some more products. But we’ll keep it simple and small.
Sometimes the core motivation of makers is helping others to discover or expand the same passion. So it’s not a surprise that they find social channels so attractive to build the product on it. Like Laurent Van Winckel did with Snapdex categorized by us as Social web app:
Snapchat is full of interesting people who produce unique content exclusively to Snapchat (Justin Kan, Mark Suster to name a few, especially for someone like me who’s interested in entrepreneurship and startups). I felt so in love with their content that I wanted to find more people like them, but there was nothing really good out there to help you discover other Snapchatters, so I made Snapdex. I’m eating my own dog food as they say 🙂
On the other hand there are some products that give completely new experience to the users. The need for such a product is very hard to define but there are some pioneers, just like Stefan Adelmann, maker of Pictofit made for e-commerce:
We have started our virtual fitting room app Pictofit because we felt that applying augmented reality (AR) to e-commerce could help bring it to the next level. We found that people struggle a lot when it comes to shopping clothes online. They can’t see how pieces will match their style before they order. AR enables us to experience products in a totally new way.
With such an offer going mobile was a must.
We are targeting m-commerce shoppers, mostly between 18 and 30, who are interested in the fusion of fashion and technology. Many of our users come to use to look for fashion inspiration, as we offer an inspirational feed, where entire outfits can be tried on with a single swipe.
Categories – B2B
On B2B field we’ve got 58% of products created only for designers and developers. Our categories are more or less the projection of IT business process. They group the tools for particular teams except for ‘Productivity’ and ‘Communication’ which can be used by all the company.
Tools by developers for developers and by designers for designers are the most common products. They are best curated and help to get rid of routine at work. Ollie Barker explains on the case of his Grid Guide:
There were already a few small web app solutions out there for generating grids, however none of them worked exactly as I wanted to. So I sought to create my own that would suit my own personal requirements. Namely really fast generating of whole pixel grid combinations without fiddling with values. Draggable and sharable PNGs, and an outer gutter ratio option for Sketch users.
But in other B2B categories we also found makers that launched their product basing on their personal experience. Makers of CompanyMood, a tool for human resources management (not only for IT market), is a very good example of scaling. Orlando Policicchio tells their story:
Markus lost a precious team member once and I experienced the difference, which happy teams can make for success, compared to not happy teams. We both are deeply convinced, that employee satisfaction and happiness is one of the key factors for long term company success.
Our target group are companies between 50 and 20.000 employees. For example we help many startups to keep an eye on the satisfaction of their fast growing teams. In the same time we help the financial, IT and retailing industry to make the right decisions based on their employees’ feedback instead of guesswork. The target group is very broad and offers a market of 300 mil. € yearly for the European Union. The US market is estimated on 350 mil. € per year, increasing every year. Adding India and South America we should move in a range of 1 bil. € per year.
Can we treat this percentage shares as real image of digital trends in Europe? A lot depends on hunters, their choice and promotion. We find this hunting very valuable – Product Hunt keeps the balance between the mainstream of tech, pioneers and some funny stuff that boost our creativity.
Without the Product Hunt community discovering and up-voting Arthur, the utility would not have been nearly as successful – we contribute much of the discovery to this phenomenal community. We believe communities such as Product Hunt is invaluable in the promotion of indie software projects.
It’s them who we count on here – those who show up, listen, adjust features and pricing (yes, we are all counting!). We’ll do this every month for you to watch the trends in Europe.
And what is your impression on the August report? Tell us what you think about counting and describing new IT ‘wild animals’ coming out from ‘the product jungle’!
Do you need team for web or mobile app development? We’re happy to help.