The Influence of App Ratings in the Stores and Its Effect on Downloads 

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Whether your app is in the app store or in the google play store, ratings ultimately will affect the likelihood of somebody downloading your app or not. It is one of the most high-level manners to judge the quality of an app based on a number scheme of 1-5. With ATT rates having a considerable influence on conversion rates, it is becoming apparent that app search ads are gaining momentum as far as revenue is concerned. The primary reason being is that almost half of iOS and Android users discover and install apps via search. This percentage is likely going to increase further over time, making ratings a very important deciding factor on whether a user installs or not.   

It is notable that most app users do not place any considerable level of trust in apps that have ratings that are below 4 stars. The prominent showcasing of a rating might be the first thing a user sees when they visit the product listing of an app in either the apple or google play store. Conversions must have the most considerable impact on ratings in that the location of the rating is symbolic of the user experience, friendliness of the app and accessibility.   

When one scrolls further down, they can view the reviews and see first-hand what people are saying and largely the influence of the rating will reflect the messaging that is taking place. When you have the large bulk of user’s fact checking ratings and reviews prior to making that install decision, an app developer is suddenly placed in a situation whereby the vulnerability of its product is on show. For a marketing person to ignore this and to bury their head in the sand while ratings hover far below 4 is a daunting reality to say the least. A rating will either entice a user to install or will display a sense of dissatisfaction or lack of trust that an app creates a positive experience. When we become more specific regarding organic rankings, we can see that ratings are highly influential towards an apps position or optimization in the store. As algorithms change an app with too many negative reviews can lose its ranking and positioning for keywords allowing the competition to capitalize on search results. Even when we speak about reputation management an apps rating will be highly reflective in the sense of how often one can acknowledge and or communicate with users while addressing any of their concerns.   

Another reason as to why ratings are so valuable is that they directly influence the branding of said app and the company associated with it. If potential users browsing the app store page sees a lot of positive reviews, they are instantly going to think the app is useful and trustworthy. By contrast, if they see a bunch of negative ratings, they are going to think there is something wrong with the app and quickly move on. As such, just by the negative reviews alone, users may not even give your app a try. Therefore, it is imperative to have a good rating to open the door for more downloads.  

Here are some high-level tips on how one can achieve a higher rating with their app:   

  • Listen to what the users are saying and respond to all reviews in a genuine manner. Reach out to people leaving negative reviews and see if you can fix whatever made them leave that low rating in the first place. If you can fix it, they may change their review to a positive one.  
  • Conduct a UI UX review which delves into what works from a product standpoint. 
  • Assess accessibility and usability including the layout to ensure it makes sense 
  • Compile notes in a report on key findings with recommendations for further ease  
  • Invest in an app store optimization strategy to drive more traffic to the app page. If more people are downloading and using the app, it will increase the potential of more positive ratings being left, thereby improve the app store page’s average rating. 
  • Ask people to leave reviews. Sometimes, people need a reminder to rate an app, so it never hurts to ask using in app interactions and pop-ups. Depending on the type of app, such as an online store or mobile game, you can consider offering incentives, such as discounts or bonuses. However, use this technique sparingly, as bothering users too much can frustrate them, driving them away from your product as a result. 
  • Carefully track your app rating, especially after just updating the app. Even if it has good intentions, sometimes an app update can result in a horrible user experience. As such, by keeping a close eye on the frequency of 1–5-star ratings after making changes to the app, you can quickly react to a sudden spike in negative reviews and address the problem to negate the damage fast.  

 To conclude, the app store is an incredibly competitive environment, and a positive app rating is one of the most powerful tools to secure downloads. Even jumping from 2 to 3 stars is a massive increase that can yield an uplift of app store conversion by over 300%. Even increasing 3 to 4 stars will surely provide another significant leap in conversion as well. It is imperative to keep a close eye on your ratings and reviews to seek as high of a ranking as possible to generate organic downloads. It’s probably the biggest indicator or KPI that a mobile manager should be judged on.  

November 1st, 2021

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