man leaving a positive review from a list of rating options

How App Store Ratings Can Make or Break You

For better or worse, app ratings are an integral part of any app store. However, the effects of app ratings are regularly the deciding factor in whether to install a new app or not, making app ratings one of the most fundamental components of app store optimization. Unsurprisingly, app store ratings are one of the first factors that a prospective user will take into account when browsing through apps – and the effects can be immediate. According to research by Apptentive, (50%) of all users will not even consider downloading an app with a rating below three stars. That’s roughly losing out on over one billion potential users, which can easily be the leading factor between success and failure.

In addition to this, further research conducted by Apptentive suggests that the impact of a company’s app rating can affect the consumer’s overall perception of the brand. Their research summarized that over 50% of users who see a 1-star or 2-star rating for a well-known company’s app negatively impacts their view as a brand as a whole. This emphasizes the importance of a positive app store rating, especially if this will be the first experience a prospective user has with your company. 

App store ratings also play a significant role in the visibility your app receives. Apple and Google often place significance on ratings and reviews within their search ranking algorithm. Following an App Store algorithm update a few years prior, higher rated apps were rewarded and lower-rated apps penalized. Subsequently, the effects can now be seen on the App Store Charts. For instance, research by Fisksu noted that the average rating of an app in the top 100 Free Apps is no less than 4 stars, and apps with a 3-star rating are likely to appear lower than 4-star rated apps in search results.

Fiksu graph showing average app store rank by rating

Fiksu: Average App Store Rank by Rating

From the aforementioned findings, it could be inferred that an improvement in-app ratings would increase the number of organic installs. Research from Apptentive found that jumping from being a 2-star rated app to a 4-star rated app could increase App Store conversion by 540%. Simply put, if you had 2000 installs from 100,000 views with a 2-star rated app, an increase to a 4-star rating would result in 10,800 installs from the same 100,000 views. 

Similar effects can be found with GoGoChart’s own experiences with client, Watsons – Water Drops of Fun. With a prior rating of 1.6 and 2.9 on the App Store and Google Play respectively, GoGoChart implemented a bespoke ASO strategy to vastly improve the number of organic ratings and reviews. By the third month, Watsons – Water Drops of Fun possessed a rating of 4.2 (+163%) on the App Store and 4.8 (+66%) on the Google Play store. As a result, Watsons – Water Drops of Fun reached top 5 of overall app rankings and ranked 1 in the Food & Drink sub-category, earning over 10,000 organic installs in a six-day period. The success of this campaign demonstrates how app store ratings can lead to fundamental changes in the success of your app.

GoGoChart's rating and review progress with client: Watsons – Water Drops of Fun, on the Google Play Store.
GoGoChart’s rating and review progress with client: Watsons – Water Drops of Fun, on the Google Play Store.

In a technological age where emphasis is shifting towards authenticity and user-experience, it is vital that your apps offer a compelling selling proposition to be downloaded against your competitors. That proposition should take the form of app ratings. Utilizing this feature correctly can be the key proponent towards your success. But inadequately managed, app ratings can also be the downfall of your app. To gauge an understanding of your current app rating positioning, and for expert advice on how to utilize app ratings to fulfill your app’s maximum potential, reach out to GoGoChart today for a free initial consultation.

Get Started With GoGoChart Today