Influencing behaviour using data to gain app reviews

We've added feedback prompts to our apps in an attempt to increase app ratings and redirect frustrated users to the feedback form.

Published on 5th July 2016 by Sigute Kateivaite

Ratings are important for every app. However, users that tend to have a bad experience are quite vocal through app store reviews while people who have a great experience often do not leave feedback. We asked users directly whether they like the app and asked them to rate the app if they responded positively.

We’ve seen other apps do this – but it always seems to appear at the most inconvenient time. By utilising user data, we ensure that our pop-ups appear in the places of the app when the user has finished their main task. We also added an in-line feedback prompt in areas which were a focus of reviews in the past to reassure users that their feedback is being listened to.

Ratings prompts

We added the following pop-up:

image01

Feedback prompt

Then, depending on the user’s choice, one of the following pop-ups are shown:

image03

Prompt if user likes the app

image02

Prompt if user dislikes the app

Statistics

We have tested these prompts with two apps for Android and iOS.

We found that 2.9% of users who were shown the prompt clicked through to the Google Play/App Store. We can’t track users when they’re in an app store, but we estimate that 30% of users rated the app once they had clicked through.

iOS users appear to be quite decisive, choosing to never see the dialog again: 43% chose this on iOS vs 10.9% on Android. It seems Android users are happy to defer things for later.

image00

Android app ratings after release with feedback prompts

The improvement is far easier to see on the Apple App Store, as it displays only the ratings from the latest version by default. The app gained 1 star! The improvement on Google Play is slower, as all reviews are counted towards the rating. Those apps gained +0.1/+0.2 points.

As these apps don’t have a large user base and the feedback prompt is only shown when the user is not “busy”, the improvement is slow, but it’s definitely noticeable! Most ratings received after new versions were released were 4-5 stars, so we expect to see continued improvement over the next few months.

Conclusion

This isn’t solely about gaining more accurate reviews on the App Store. It’s also very important to get a direct dialog with users, and feedback forms go a long way towards that.

In the future, we would like to test different versions of the feedback prompt to see whether small changes encourage more users to rate the app. It would also be great to add additional in-line prompts for feedback, as many users click on these – it significantly reduced the number of complaints on the app stores and gave users a direct feeling of improving the app.

Further Reading

We weren’t the first to do this. We took inspiration from these articles:

“The right way to ask users to review your app”, Matt Galligan, Circa News
“How to get better ratings for your iOS and Android app”, Chirag, CloudMagic

Published on 5th July 2016

Mobile App Engineer

Sigute Kateivaite