Industry leaders across the world have already established that the single most vital driver of discovery and conversion is peer recommendations and reviews. A reliable recommendation in the form of a rating or review carries more weight than ever before.
When it comes to apps, reviews also influence how visible they are in the app store search results as well as how likely they are to be featured on the app store recommendations.
In fact, 90% of consumers consider star ratings to be an essential part of their evaluation of a new app. And 70% of consumers check reviews and ratings before downloading an app.
According to recent research, ratings and reviews actually play an important part in the growth of your app, even much later from when customers find their way to your app store product page. Reviews serve as social proof to suggest your app’s quality in an otherwise blind assessment process.
Unlike clothing, there is no way to try an app before purchasing or downloading it, nor can you talk to a sales representative. Customers need to do their own research, which is why reviews play a much more critical role for apps than anything else.
Why Invest in App Reviews and Ratings?
It’s not only customers who look at reviews; they also play a significant role in your app’s performance on app stores like Play Store and App Store.
Reviews Influence App Store Ranking
Not only do you need positive ratings and reviews, but you also need a lot of them. The Google Play and App Store ranking algorithm is another crucial customer acquisition factor influenced by ratings and reviews.
Yes, you read that right; your app’s rating and reviews have a significant impact on your app store rank. Why?
Consider yourself to be Google or Apple – you want to provide your customers with the best of the best products possible. By emphasizing a poorly-rated or rarely reviewed product, you’re showing your customers that you aren’t concerned about the quality of your store’s products.
This is how the Google Play and Apple Store algorithms work.
Obtaining a steady stream of positive ratings and reviews should be a key component of your App Store optimization strategy.
The more reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank in the app store, get more app store impressions and persuade more people to download your app.
Besides that, when your app has positive ratings and reviews, it has a better chance of being featured in Google Play and the App Store explore pages.
App Reviews and Ratings Influence Conversion Rates
When it comes to customer acquisition, app ratings and reviews are extremely important. They have a significant impact on a customer’s decision to download an app.
Apptentive research shows the benefits of improving app ratings in increasing conversion. Source: Apptentive
App Reviews Help With Your App’s Branding
Another reason why app ratings and reviews are so essential is that they contribute directly to your app’s branding as a whole.
When new customers see positive user reviews on your app, they will be able to trust your brand faster and with less doubt. Your existing customers are providing positive social proof for your app.
Another important consideration is your tone when responding to app reviews; it demonstrates how you prefer to communicate with your users.
Is your tone friendly and compassionate? Do you have any distinctive brand phrases or hashtags? All of this contributes to building brand awareness.
3 Steps to Improving your App Store Reviews
1. Ask Your Customers to Rate and Review Your App
Your star rating on Google Play or App Store is derived from all previous ratings for your app. Getting more app ratings is an obvious first step in enhancing your app store ratings. The greater the number of ratings, the less unstable your average rating will be.
Simply asking your users for more ratings is the most effective way to obtain more ratings. While they’re using your app, send them a push notification or a pop-up asking them to rate and review your app.
However, make sure not to interrupt any of their activities or stop them at an inconvenient time. Users who are satisfied are more likely to leave positive feedback.
2. Frequently Release App Updates
When you release updates, your app ratings should convey the improvements. When your app ratings improve after an update, you know the changes you’ve made and the problems you’ve fixed are working.
Also, keep careful track of your app ratings – if they decrease in number as a result of an update, you must take action immediately.
Analyze your most recent reviews to understand what users didn’t like about the recent update and then work quickly to fix the problems. You can always get your app store ratings back by reacting fast.
3. Always Respond to Reviews
Regardless of the sentiment of the review, always respond to them if you can.
Google discovered that developers who respond to user reviews see a +0.7 increase in their app rating.
Furthermore, customers who receive a response from a developer to their review are more prone to alter their original negative rating to a positive rating.
Negative reviews and ratings can be discouraging for anyone who has worked hard to develop and publish an app. This is one perspective on critical feedback. However, this perspective is not particularly helpful when you’re working hard to improve and develop your app.
How App Ratings and Reviews Can Help You Understand Your Customers?
1. Categorize Reviews Based on Sentiment
Being organized is the most important part of review management, especially if you want to use customer feedback to better understand them and their expectations.
Most review management platforms allow you to sort through your app reviews by star rating, sentiment, and priority. You’ll be able to address the most critical feedback first, then move on to the positive ones.
Priority should be given to correcting the negative reviews before attempting to respond to the good ones. Your customers will recognize the effort you put in. Moreover, if your app isn’t performing well, Google Play and App Store won’t rank it. When it comes to app success, the app’s performance and feedback are extremely important.
2. Ask Customers for the Feedback You Need
In some cases, users do not provide enough details in their reviews. They make a broad statement, such as “the app is glitching a lot.” This is your opportunity to engage in a genuine conversation with your customer.
Apologize to customers for the problems they are facing and ask them for more details about the issue so your team can work on fixing it.
However, deflect customers to a different channel like email to contact you about their issue. Ask them to send as many details as possible, like screeches, to help your team resolve the problem faster.
Migrating the conversation from the app stores ensures you and your customers can communicate more openly and get into more specific details about how you can continue to improve your app.
Conversing about the issue on a defiant platform also ensures that the customer’s details remain private and secure.
3. Keep Track of Your Customers’ Liked and Disliked Features
Customers will openly express their desires for additional features. Keep this in mind every time you see the request. Then you’ll be able to see which features are popular, helping you make your app development framework 10x quicker.
Features created in this manner are more well-received and regularly praised by customers. Due to the fact that you already know that most of your current customers wanted it even before you started building it.
4. Identify Keywords and Rank Higher in App Stores
Customer reviews are a goldmine for keyword ideas. The goal of keyword optimization is to boost App Store Optimizations by using these terms to help people who are looking for your app.
Your customers will tend to use specific terms and phrases to describe your app in their reviews. Thoroughly analyze reviews written by customers. Customers who leave reviews about how they appreciate your app and express their love for the app are the ones who will recommend it to friends and family. This type of feedback indicates that these users are entirely within your target audience.
- Don’t ask your customers for feedback to leave reviews when they are still in their initial phase of exploring your app unless you are working on improving the onboarding journey of your app. Asking customers who have used your app for a while will help you get more accurate and insightful feedback.
- Do not overwhelm your customers by relentlessly asking them to review your app; the last thing you want to do is annoy your customers.
- Ensure to respond to customers in a timely manner; responding to customers fast is a great way to show your customers you care about their feedback.
- Always respond to negative feedback in a friendly and empathetic tone, and avoid using canned responses as it makes the whole experience less personal. A review management tool can help you reply to app reviews from different channels on one centralized inbox. With an AI-powered Review management tool, you provide agents with suggested responses they can edit to make them more personal.
- When asking for customer feedback, try to be as specific as possible; otherwise, customers tend to provide generic responses.
As has been established in the blog, reviews are an essential part of any customer journey.
Since customers don’t have a physical store or brand representative they can easily talk to while looking for an app; they must rely on reviews and feedback from friends and family.
Think about your own experience while downloading apps, would you download an app that barely has any reviews or ratings? Or an app that has a lot of reviews with no acknowledgment from the company?
The more effort you put into building the right brand image the better it is for the success of your app.