App Reviews and Ratings — Do They Even Matter?

Let’s face the truth. Every time you search for a new app and choose between several applications equally satisfying your needs, you are very likely to compare their reviews and ratings to make the final choice. You’re not the only one — in fact, all users tend to be judgmental about the number of stars on the app.

Is the secret hidden in the stars?

Just imagine, there are about 2.2 million available apps only in the App Store. Google Play offers about 2.8 million apps. Additionally, there are such platforms as Windows Store, Amazon AppStore and Blackberry Store with around 2 million apps. Choosing among such a number of products could literally drive you nuts! However, rating and reviews can save you — being your true guiding star in the mobile apps world.

Needless to say that a 5-star rating is better than a 2-star one. Actually, it’s better and more realistic to say 4.5 stars, as mostly only apps rated by very few people have a pure 5-star rate.

According to a survey done by Apptentive, around 80% of people check ratings and reviews before downloading a new app.

To climb to the top of the store you are to pay attention to the stars on your app. The average rating for Top 100 free apps in the App Store is 4+ stars.

That shows that the number of stars on the app really matters. High ratings are influential for Apple, and 4-star rating can potentially raise your conversion.

What’s more — and what is extremely important for every indie developer — the possibility of featuring comes closer when your app gets high ratings. It’s difficult to argue against the stats showing that over 50% of apps featured in the App Store were 4.5 or 5-star apps.

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The place of review in app ranking

However, reviews are not the only element to consider in creating a positive ranking for your product. Moz studied the factors that influence the general app ranking in the most popular stores — the App Store and Google Play — and came up with this formula:

This study shows that the rating and reviews are not the main elements for app success. Moreover, the algorithm in these two stores differs: App Store prioritizes trends over ratings when Google Play is more likely to appreciate the rating and to place the app in the top 100 ranks having at least four stars.

However, with all the existing confusing formulas, it stays obvious that to introduce the top product, you are to consider all the elements. As they say, no man is an island entire of itself.

How to improve ratings and reviews?

Even though reviews and ratings are not the only things to help on your way to success, you’d better wisely think over the strategy how to master these part of marketing strategy.

1. Always respond to negative reviews

Reviews can make your product better. Listening to customers’ feedback is an essential element of the marketing campaign. Always be responsive to negative reviews, try to assure clients that you are already on the way to resolve their problems.

Reacting to positive reviews is also a great strategy: it shows your users that you appreciate their opinion and your account is not managed by robotic AI, but a real person. Remember, everyone still loves the personalized attitude in the era of smart technology.

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2. Know the right time

Most likely you’ve asked your users to rate your app or to leave a review, at least once. But you’d better know the right time to do it. It’s more likely that a client will give you high rate or leave a positive review after winning a round in your game or after finishing the purchase with your app — let’s say after the moment of joy and happiness.

Always repeat a truthful mantra “right notification at a right time to a right person”.

3. Remember about onboarding

Users like the feeling of personalized and unique attitude. Show them why they do need your app, what problems it can solve and why they should stay with you, even if not forever then for a long period time.

4. Keep improving your product

About 53% of people check ratings and reviews before updating an app. That means that you are to think about the quality of the product not only in the beginning of your journey, but also when you find yourself in Top of the App Store.

5. Ask feedback inside the app

To keep your rating high and pure in the store, you may introduce the feature allowing to collect feedback inside the app. It allows you not to foul your own nest and prevent negative experience go outside the app, as you encourage users to communicate with you directly in the product. By doing so, you will get the negative reviews as fast as you can and be able to eliminate the bugs and drawbacks before you get 2 stars in the App Store or Google Play.

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But What About Developers…?

Reviews are not only important for users, they can be a motivating tool for product owner, developers, and managers. Feedback is a gift for every developer. It gives you an understanding what is needed to be improved, what features are nicely accepted by users. Basically, feedback gives you practically all answers to your questions, even those you’ve never thought of.

In the chase for success, you need to remember that the App Store and Google Play struggle against fake ratings and reviews. So, you’d better play by the rules not to be blocked and not to be expelled from the Developer Program, if we talk about the App Store.

As the application store market is occupied by several giant players, sometimes it’s not an easy task for developers to promote their products if they have already received some negative reviews or ratings. However, there are options how to attract users even if your product is unpopular with the users. For instance, at Aprofita we don’t just give users an opportunity to see reviews and ratings placed in the stores but also detailed product pages with major highlights to make the app world more independent.

At long last, users are searching for the product to solve their problems and to be used on the daily basis, not for the stars on the screen.

Do you think that the secret is in the stars?

Do share your experience and thoughts. Let’s discuss what helps an app to become trendy in the stores!