Let’s face it – we make apps for users to make their life easier or let them have some fun. Money comes second, or sometimes not! You have thought about the app idea, have it designed and developed. The app is on Google Play or App Store and you get some downloads. There is one, built-in to stores ecosystem, a mechanism to interact which you need to be aware of.
App reviews and ratings
This part of app store life time management plays a pretty important role in your app success or failure. It is enough to say that almost 60% people read reviews before app installing. So every second person can be driven to download your app or not.
Although stores search algorithms are a top secret topic, it is known that ratings and reviews are an integral part of those. Google has updated their algorithm earlier this year to turn more to user engagement and application star rating and reviews. It is the same on AppStore, where those factors are also included in overall app discoverability. It is also not a rocket science to figure out, that having many good ratings and reviews is better than having many bad.
While star rating can give you the indication that your app is bad, good enough or great, it doesn’t provide any detailed feedback. It is a good indicator and combined with mobile app statistics can give you an idea what the next steps in app development should be. You can see how people rate your app, is it going up or down with next app releases but you can’t make much about this.
Priceless opinions and suggestions
Here the reviews come to the scene, where you can find some opinions and suggestions from your users. The truth is it is hard to convince people to leave those. You can expect around 1% of users leave a rating and this percentage is even lower for review. But every single review counts and become even more important. The good news is that you can interact with your users and reply to comments they left. So you can thank for good opinions, ask more questions if you need those, or reply to bad reviews. It can play important role in overall application life on stores. I think not many developers has any stores reviews management implemented and it is uncommon to find a reply to user feedback. It is more interesting when you realize that answering users feedback on the store can lead to a rating upgrade in 50% of cases. And as said already, better rating and reviews, the chances for your app being downloaded rising significantly. So you should reply to your users right away, what let them know that you care beyond anything else. Moreover, if so few developers reply to users opinions, having this done let you stand out from the crowd. As already stated there is a huge chance the low rating will be increased and change from 2 stars to 3 stars can increase conversion significantly.
It is more interesting when you realize that answering users feedback on the store can lead to a rating upgrade in 50% of cases. And as said already, better rating and reviews, the chances for your app being downloaded rising significantly. So you should reply to your users right away, what let them know that you care beyond anything else. Moreover, if so few developers reply to users opinions, having this done let you stand out from the crowd. As already stated there is a huge chance the low rating will be increased and change from 2 stars to 3 stars can increase conversion significantly.
It is also worth to notice that replying to users reviews apart from lessons which you can learn, is the cheap part of app life management. There is no need to change, design, develop anything. The marketing costs are also much higher. You “just” interact with your users to understand them better and provide a better experience with next release.
How to get more?
Can you get more reviews and rankings? It can be a little sensitive topic as people don’t like to be asked for a review – in the popup way especially. So it is good to follow Google Play or App Store guidelines. Apple has updated recently their policy and now you are allowed to use their prompt only not more than three times a year. The good news is that this prompt allows to leave a rating without quitting the app and redirecting to App Store. Google Play at the same time introduced splitting rating for games where users can rate a couple of application aspects separately. I am curious how it will work if it was hard to get one rate from the users, now you can ask for few of them. What is your opinion?
To summary, please keep in mind that rating and reviews should be an important part of your mobile application life strategy. So just use it!