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October 14, 2015

Why your mobile application does not reach 5 stars

To help you increase your customer ratings in the AppStore and Google Play, we analysed the reasons behind a rating.

What is a good customer rating?

First, we have to define what a good or a bad grade is. We will use the research made by Dennis Pagano and Walid Majeeh “User Feedback in the AppStore: An Empirical Study”. This study explains why only reviews with a rating above 4 are good for your app.

The study analysed 1,126,453 reviews on 1,100 applications , 550 free and 550 paid apps. It shows 95% of the reviews with a grade of 4 or 5 express a compliment. This ratio fall to 20% when the grade is equal to 3 and 0% for 2 and 1.

What is behind a good or a bad rating?

We observed it is very hard for company developing mobile apps to analyse clients’ reviews on the stores and draw conclusions. Why? Those comments are too short or vague. To have a better comprehension, it is important to know some numbers:

  • 80% of the reviews are shorter than an SMS (less than 160 characters) and 99% contains less than 675 characters.
  • 90% of the users write only one review
  • 60% of the comments affect free apps and 40% paid apps.

However, if we look at the data globally, there is a trend behind all the comments. The study, highlighted by AppAnnie shows 5 main subjects in the negative reviews:

  • User experience: “These menus are counterintuitive.” “the design is ugly”
  • Functionality: “It’s a good idea but there are too much bugs”
  • Improvements: “This app could be so much better if they add a profile”
  • General impression: “What’s the purpose of this app? None”
  • Promise: “This app is really disappointing”

What is the main reason behind a negative comment?

The analysis of the grades between 1 and 3 in the AppStore and Google Play gives us the answer:

Two main areas of improvement for your mobile application are the UX and functionality thinking of the user first.

The three major lessons here are:

  • A good customer rating in an application store is at least 4 stars
  • 80% of the comments are less than 160 letters
  • 75% of the negative comments (from 1 to 3) are focused on user experience and functionality

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Thibault Geenen

Thibault Geenen

Thibault est fan de la méthode lean start-up d'Eric Ries (qu'il applique avec beaucoup de sérieux) et de la philosophie d'entreprise libérée (qu'il essaye déjà de comprendre). Amateur de Science Fiction, il reste le seul être humain à croire que 'Seul sur Mars' est un recueil de conseils pour entrepreneurs.

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