Why You Need to Reply to Your User Reviews

One thing that Google does right that Apple could stand to learn from is allowing developers to reply to user reviews. Recently with Apple’s new iMessage store, this became even more of a critical issue, as users couldn’t find their newly downloaded iMessage apps and began flaming apps in reviews, incorrectly assuming they were spam downloads; you can read more about that snafu here.

Why should you reply to users, and what’s the best way to do it?


  1. Users may change their review and give you a higher rating.
  2. Many users read reviews to determine whether they want to download your app or not, and your comment can help influence their decision (conversion rate).

To test the accuracy of benefit #1, we browsed through a few of Google’s new and updated apps to see who replied to reviews and who didn’t. Curiously (yet not surprisingly), the apps that did respond had higher average ratings than those that did not. You can also see several instances of benefit #1 in action, where the app team replied to a user, who subsequently changed their rating once the issue was fixed.

Average rating of the apps we looked at that do reply to user reviews: 4.45

Average rating of the apps we looked at that do not reply to user reviews: 4.167

While this is a small, random sampling, the findings are directionally clear: reply to your users for better results.

How to do it

  • Address your users by name and apologize for their inconvenience — be personable!
  • Address their concern directly — help them troubleshoot in your review reply if possible, tell them whether it will be fixed in an upcoming update or that you are actively looking into it.
  • Provide a support email for the user to provide extra information if necessary.
  • Prioritize replying to the most useful reviews first — these are promoted by Google at the top of the list.
  • Don’t reply to every single review — this would take forever and will lead to a templated reply approach, which will lead to less genuine replies, which users can and will pick up on.

Picsart — replies to user reviews

WPS Office + PDF — replies to user reviews

Skyscanner — replies to user reviews

Citymapper — replies sometimes to user reviews

Dubsmash — does not reply to user reviews

Google Allo — replies very seldom to user reviews

Underarmour — does not reply to user reviews

That’s all for now folks! Be sure to bookmark our blog, sign up to our email newsletter for new post updates and reach out if you’re interested in working with us.

Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies, with a specialty in high-quality code architecture and keyword-based marketing optimizations. For blog/video or speaking requests, business or press inquiries please contact us or send an inquiry to hello@incipia.co.

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