How we’ve increased our store rating to 4.9🌟

Your store rating is key to increase your app’s downloads and ensure its success.
Ratings and reviews are a beautiful weapon to convince leads to download your app. It directly impacts how your app ranks (Apple Store SEO aka ASO).

But how do you get your users to rate you?

At Shine, even though our product was getting better every day, our rating was getting lower.
One disappointed user can hurt you more than ten happy users.

As a growth member of the Shine team, one of my challenge is to get the rating we deserve.

In this article, we will explain how to increase your App Store Ratings using different tricks.

Shine on the App Store (November 24th, 2018)

Like Simon Sinek says: “Start with why”.

Why should I care about my store ratings? Why should I improve them?

The main reason is trust.

Users love to see high app ratings. If two apps do the same thing, but one has a higher rating than the other, which one do you think most users would choose? (cf this article by Max Stein)

In our case, one of Shine’s features is to provide a bank account.
We want our users to trust us more than any archaic bank.
So we need to be 10 times better than them.

A way to increase our users trust is to have a good app store rating.

How to do it ?

Ok now, let’s get into the real talk; we want to have at least 4.5 ⭐️. How can we achieve that?

The product: the sine qua non condition

First, the hard part: you need to have a great product and a great user experience. But having a great UX goes beyond the application itself; it’s also about customer care, the website, the content, how you communicate.

You should not consider this article until you have a great product: it is the sine qua non condition to get a good rating.

Once you have a fantastic product, here comes the easy part on how to get your good reviews!

The idea

To get close to the 5 stars ratings, you need to place some “firewalls”: a way to select and keep only the good ratings.
Asking our users to rate our application directly in the first screen would be too aggressive.
A more important point than collecting 5 stars from our users is to collect their feedback especially from the disappointed ones.

To tackle this problem, we’ve made 2 funnels:

  1. The Love Funnel ❤️
  2. The Disappointed Funnel ️️☹️

1. The Love Funnel ❤️

The love funnel ♥️

We have 2 firewalls: 2 ways to address only users who want to give us 5 stars:

  1. The first one filters users who are not happy with the app (cf Do you like Shine screen above)
  2. The second one filters the users who are not ready to give us 5 stars (cf the “Give 5 stars to Shine” call to action above)

A more standard approach to ask users reviews would be the Tinder one.

The Tinder approach

NB: The fake rating prompt Tinder used to use is no longer allowed by Apple.
Additionally, it can be confusing for users to rate the app twice, once within the app from a fake prompt and again within the store from the real prompt.

At Shine, we think less is more.
A better approach is to have a simple CTA button to ask for 5 stars within our application which opens the App Store Rating Prompt or directly redirect the user to the store.

2. The Disappointed Funnel ☹️

The disappointed funnel ☹️

It is also super important for us to collect data from our users, especially the disappointed ones.

The key is to turn them from the dark side to the light side.

The problem: Bad reviews are almost always unconstructive.

1. People lash out when they have an issue, they are biased by their anger and most of the time the text is : “Sucks. 1 Star”. They rarely give context or explain what went wrong.
2. People submit reviews with random pseudonyms, so we can’t investigate what went wrong with them. When we reply to their comment, they rarely follow up.
3. We also close a lot of fraudsters accounts. Some of them try to troll us with bad reviews on FB or app stores. Again not constructive.

In a nutshell, star-based reviews are often the wrong medium to collect feedback about what went wrong, and we want to collect constructive criticism.

Why don't they appreciate Shine and how can we improve their experience ?

In the Disappointed Funnel, the goal is not to get 5 stars from our users anymore as you might have guessed but to collect their constructive feedback.

Similarly to the Love Funnel, we ask for users’ feedback through a simple CTA button, which opens a short typeform inside the app.

3. The Triggers of Happiness

Ok, now that we have our beautiful flow, we need to display it to our users.
A standard way to do so is to access it through a menu:

Plus tab on Shine

This is a non aggressive way to get results… but not a quick one.
So we are going to be more pushy: we will ask our users if they like the app directly, using push/home notifications and intercom conversations.

Do you like us? (Home notification within the app)

So we are going to ask our users’ review during their “happiness moments” within the application.
We made a list of those moments and every time they occur, we ask the user to rate the app using notifications.

It could be when:

  • the user is receiving money
  • his/her bank account is validated
  • he/she made a first invoice
  • he/she was helped by someone from the support team (through the Intercom conversation)

This last trigger is a very efficient one.
At Shine, the Customer care is sacred: we take care of our users and keep track of every single conversation we have with them.
This means our Customer success team tags every single conversation.
Every time a conversation is tagged as “Positive_Feedback”, we automatically send a message to our users, asking them to rate us.

Our best trigger of happiness

The Result

Our application is built with ReactNative, meaning it runs both on Android and iOS.

App Store

The results on iOS were really quick, especially thanks to the Apple’s Rating prompt within the application.
The first 2 weeks, our average rating increased from 4.3 to 4.8 🌟.
Over the last 6 weeks, we went from 50 ratings to 600.

Google Play Store

The ratings improvement on Android is slower; mostly because Android users need to go to the store to rate the application. You can see by yourself our the evolution of our average rating:

Ratings over time Google Play Store

We went from 4.2 to 4.7 🌟 and it’s still increasing. We‘ve also greatly expanded our numbers of votes, from 50 to 516.

Conclusion

To sum up, we now have more ratings (500+ every single month) and a great average rating. Most of all, every time one of our future users download our app, he is more confident about us, about his safety, about how he is going to enjoy the application.

Remember that having a good store rating is just a reflect of what you are building. No matter how much effort you put into improving your rating, you will never get a great one with a bad product.

We have a long way to go before we accomplish what we are aiming for at Shine and we know having a few thousand reviews will not make us any better. Only a great product does.

PS-0: You can navigate the full flow following this link.
PS-1: I am happy to share some code if you would like to.

Users’ ❤️

Every growth hack cannot replace your users’ love.

A few iOS reviews

JavaScript Lover • Building awesome product @shine_tools • Previously worked @efounders, @ciscoemerge, @OVH, @Geckoboard

JavaScript Lover • Building awesome product @shine_tools • Previously worked @efounders, @ciscoemerge, @OVH, @Geckoboard