Point blank: app user ratings and reviews play a major role in the psychology behind why we make purchases. Reviews are at the forefront of every Amazon item, Yelp listing, and even Facebook business pages – mobile apps are no exception. They are one of the most crucial factors in getting a customer to download, maintain loyalty, and advocate for the app. A highly-rated (4 or 5 stars) app is integral to increasing your App Store ranking and discoverability, ultimately leading to more app installs and conversions. So how do you get them?
Here are six tactics to help you achieve top-notch app ratings and reviews to take your app to the next level:
1) Implement a few App Store Optimization (ASO) tactics.
Good app reviews also bring your app closer to App Store Optimization (ASO), the process by which your app appears first within the app store; thus increasing awareness from prospective customers and encouraging more downloads, purchases, and reviews.
ASO can be a bit intimidating but there are several steps you can take to improve app ratings and your brand’s standing. Appster encourages merchants to use keywords in the app’s title to provide additional information about their app and to appeal to target customers. Be sure to craft an accessible yet informative description of the company and include screenshots to highlight a beautifully-designed app.
Check out our ASO Guide to learn more ASO tips for every stage of your mobile journey.
2) Engage with and respond to reviews.
Apple has rolled out a series of improvements to the App Store review process, including the ability for merchants to respond directly to posters and for users to sort reviews by most helpful, most favorable, most critical, and most recent. In order to ensure success, it’s important to do damage control within your comments. Both those who post and those who view app store reviews are at risk of purchasing less. Interfacing with customers via their reviews can greatly affect the user’s perception of the brand and prove that the company cares. After all, the number of stars your brand gets has a great impact on your store's conversion. Checkout this study by Apptentive, showcasing conversion increase predictions with each star-rating:
3) Run a contest.
Another clever way to get app reviews is to run a contest or offer a discount. Harney and Sons launched an awareness campaign on Facebook with the goal of getting reviews for their mobile app. Instead, they got hundreds of entries and meaningful insights about their product.
Their contest was simple: write an app review and include #DontWorryTeaAppy. That’s it. Six random reviewers were selected to win a $200 gift card. To spread the word, they posted on their Facebook page, ran ads on social media, and sent a message to their subscribers. Over the course of a month, they racked up over 200 app reviews across iOS and Android. What made this campaign awesome was how winners were randomly selected. Harney and Sons responded to reviews– showing they were listening to their app users and actively responding to feedback. Here are a few other notable stats from Harney & Son's successful campaign:
- 92% Increase in sales through their mobile app.
- 19% Increase in unique store visitors on their mobile app.
- 18% Increase in orders in one month.
4) Use an app rating and reviews prompt after a customer has made a purchase.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and ask yourself when would you be most likely to leave a review? One smart tactic is to request a review after the user has accomplished something within your app, such as making a purchase. Capitalize on their positive experience by implementing an app review prompt that invites them to leave an app review in an email confirmation. You can start out by simply asking if they enjoy using the app. If they did, then you can ask for the review. If they didn’t, this is the perfect opportunity to ask for more feedback. A strategic and smooth user experience like this will not only increase app reviews quantity but also the quality.
5) Make leaving a review easy and accessible for your shoppers.
Leaving a review should be easy. When asking for a review on social media or in an email, make sure to use links that direct users to the app store. Prompting a review when someone is using the app is also a convenient user experience for the user. Finally, you should make yourself available in your app description by including your contact information or social media accounts so a user can send you feedback directly.
6) Say thanks to folks who leave a review.
Make a big deal out of reviews you receive and make it personal. Thank your customers semi-anonymously. Example: Post a social media post with a short note such as “We’d like to thank Lindsey A. for her awesome feedback.”
How to ask users to rate your app
When it comes to asking for reviews, timing is key! It is the worst idea to ask users to leave in-app ratings and reviews when they have just installed your app. Also, frequently asking users to leave a review when they are in the middle of doing important tasks will result in a poor user experience.
Give users some time to figure out their way around the app and enjoy the benefits of using it before starting a campaign to get reviews on your app.
Using a net promoter score (NPS) survey is ideal to find out how new users feel about your app. You can ensure positive app store reviews by asking only the users who are most likely to recommend the app to others.
When asking a user to leave a review, remember that it is a chore for them. Make them feel that you genuinely care about how they think about your app. Point out that their reviews are essential for enhancing the user experience and solving any problems they are currently facing.
A boring pop-up of an app review prompt won’t excite your customer. Work on the visuals and make the copy engaging and fun, instantly grabbing your users' attention. Use common emojis to make the process easier for them.
Another approach is using incentives for reviews like discounts, unique items only purchasable after reviews, or some credit.
Lastly, ensure that you’re triggering your review campaigns after reaching a milestone. For example:
- After an item is delivered
- After an issue is resolved
- After your customer has spent a set amount of money
What happens when the app rating is low?
Low app ratings—and bad reviews on the app store—are the worst nightmare for any business app. A low rating indicates that the app is not useful, which leads to a loss of trust in the app. Ratings are the first thing a user looks for to determine if the app is even worth downloading.
However, ratings are not only important for users. Even the app store wants to promote higher rating apps at the top, so if your rating falls, you will lose your rankings for search terms. In other words, when people search for your target keyword, your app would appear toward the bottom, hugely decreasing your chances to get more app downloads.
Even existing users would start doubting the usefulness of your app and might start looking for other alternatives, especially if your app caters to the audience of a competitive niche. If your app rating is suddenly lowering, you need to take immediate action to improve the ratings before it is too late.
Here are a few places where you can start to recover from bad reviews and increase app ratings:
- Address all bad reviews on the App Store and Google Play Store, and respond to their concerns as much as possible.
- Improve your app based on the reviews. If a feature is missing or there are problems with the purchasing experience, work on solving the issues and provide a timeline to all affected users.
- If you’re using Tapcart, use push notifications and the brand content function to acknowledge the issues and notify users you’re taking care of them.
Why are mobile app ratings & reviews important?
App ratings can be directly correlated with downloads and active users. Would people opt for an app with low ratings versus ones with more positive reviews? People take what previous users experience very seriously. When people give a positive rating, they most likely click the download button without a second thought.
Good ratings indicate that an app is helpful, but is it the one you’re looking for? Does it have all the benefits and features that you want? Potential users rely on reviews given by previous users.
Detailed app store reviews let users know if the app is relevant to them. With so many apps flooding the app store, excellent reviews are a MUST to stand out from your competition. Reviews help build trust and attract your target audience to download the app, which in turn leads to more positive app store ratings and reviews—creating a positive reinforcement cycle.
On the other hand, platforms also use reviews and ratings to rank apps in the app search result pages, making it easier for new users to discover your app.
Add your app store reviews on your website
A very underrated technique for providing more social proof to your business is by using your app store reviews on your business website. Many users are very generous and detailed with their reviews. They discuss everything that your audience needs to know about your business.
Of course, your mobile app needs to be a crucial part of your business before using app store reviews to build credibility. You also need to pick reviews that primarily talk about your business or service, not necessarily the app features.
To make the most out of this technique, you can combine web and app reviews on a single page (called testimonials, for example) and display the love you’ve been shown online to build trust with new visitors and customers.
Taking your good app review examples and displaying them on a “social proof” wall can be a powerful driver for more web and app sales.
To learn more about the benefits of a mobile app and what Tapcart can do for your brand, get in touch with us to speak with a mobile expert.