Drive Business Growth with App Store Ratings & Reviews

Find out how good ratings and reviews in the App Store can increase discoverability and app downloads.

How Ratings & Reviews Can Take Your App to the Next Level

Peer 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. Ratings and reviews are one of the most crucial factors in getting a customer to download, maintain loyalty, and advocate for the app. The App Store continues to grow its expansive collection, with about 2.2 million unique apps available today. In order to grow your revenue on an app-based platform, you have to first get people to download your app. How do you ensure your app stands out?

– 77% of people indicated on a survey that they read at least one review before deciding to download an app.

– Reviews are especially important for mobile retail platforms; A study by Mobile Action suggests 36% of people almost always browse App Store reviews before making an in-app purchase.

– A highly-rated (4 or 5 stars) app yields an overall positive perspective of the company within the minds of prospective customers.

– A recent survey by Apptentive revealed that prospective customers are 8 times more likely to download a high-rated app than a low-rated app, regardless of their familiarity with the brand.

That being said, the stakes are high: Apptentive discovered that customers are much more likely to leave a bad review after a negative experience than they are to leave a good review after a positive experience.


6 Ways to Increase App Ratings

How do you get good reviews? Start small! Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family to leave you a good review in the App Store. Mobile Growth Experts’ 2016 Mobile Growth Handbook stresses the importance of procuring at least 5 reviews (the minimum before an official rating will show up in the App Store) and ensuring that they are good reviews to attract new customers.

Once you have a more established set of customers, consider including a request for them to rate the app within correspondence such as a newsletter – this is also a great opportunity to get the word out about your new app and bolster your downloads among your other customers.

A final way we recommend getting reviews is following up with a personalized email after the delivery of an order from your shop; check-in, thank them for their purchase, indicate your willingness to address any issues they may have, and request their feedback within the App Store.

1. ASO: The Way to Go

Good app reviews also bring your app closer to App Store optimization, 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.

App Store Optimization can be a bit intimidating but there are several steps you can take to improve 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, crafting an accessible yet informative description of the company, and include screenshots to highlight a beautifully-designed app. Check out our App Optimization guide to learn more.

2. Responding 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 viewers 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 posters and viewers of 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.


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 tea.

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:


Increase in sales through their mobile app.


Increase in unique store visitors on their mobile app.


Increase in orders in one month.

4. Timing is everything

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 ask for a review after the user has accomplished something within your app, like making a purchase. Capitalize on their positive experience by prompting 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 whereas if they didn’t, this is the perfect opportunity to request more feedback. A strategic and smooth user experience like this will not only increase app reviews but also increase the qualiity of the reviews themselves.

5. Make it easy

Leaving a review should be easy. When asking for a review on social media or in an email, make sure to use links to 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

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.”

In Summary

Getting positive ratings and reviews is very important to increasing your App Store ranking and discoverability, which will lead to more app installs.