The way consumers use software and mobile apps is always evolving, but an unprecedented time like the coronavirus pandemic can cause major disruption.
According to a report by Mobile Marketer, user sessions for business apps have increased by 105% from last year as lockdowns keep people at home, while app installs have surged by 70%.
Installs and usage of apps for gaming, entertainment and streaming video, and food and drink have also all experienced a big jump during the pandemic.
For developers, software companies, and digital-first organizations, these times highlight the greater-than-ever need to drive engagement with their customers and users.
In particular, the ability to monitor app reviews — something that is often put on the back burner — can help spell the difference between which apps succeed and which don’t.
Why Monitor App Reviews?
The simplest and most obvious reason for monitoring app reviews is: what existing users say in their reviews about your software or app can either impress or drive away potential users.
According to a report by Apptentive, 59% of users usually or always check reviews before downloading a new app.
Keeping track of your reviews on marketplaces like Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store also serves as one of the first steps to building a strong brand reputation. When you’re able to read or hear about the experiences of your users, it’s easier to put yourself in their shoes and learn whether or not your product is delivering on its brand promise.
Here are a few more ways app review monitoring can benefit your software or app.
Reviews Help You Understand Users Better
App reviews offer one of the best ways for developers to gain valuable insight into the user experience. Knowing exactly what to fix, what to keep, and what to tweak will help take the guesswork out of your development strategy.
As your app installs and usage increase, take the time to monitor app reviews and carefully read user feedback. They will help you gain a better understanding of how you can deliver a better app experience for your user community.
Monitoring Helps You Plan for (and Handle) a Crisis
Last month, students in Wuhan, China attempted to remove a remote classes tool from the App Store by leaving bad reviews. A few weeks later, students in the United States, bored of homeschooling, did the same, spamming online learning software Google Classroom with one-star reviews on the App Store.
Of course, these cases won’t affect the majority of developers. It also takes more than a slew of negative reviews to be removed from an app marketplace.
In any event, it is through reviews that users typically vent out their frustration, as well as raise issues and concerns. By proactively monitoring app reviews, you can listen to and address user feedback, get a handle on your brand reputation, and plan for or even prevent reputational crises.
Reviews Impact Your Search Results in the App Marketplace
Not only are app reviews a crucial source of information for users looking to install their next app; they’re also one of the key factors determining where a developer or an app ranks in app marketplace search results.
Google Play, for example, tunes its algorithms to provide more search visibility for gaming apps with high star ratings and strong engagement metrics.
Reviews should definitely be part of any app store optimization work. Even if you have no control over what people write in their reviews, you have the responsibility to show your responsiveness by addressing users’ concerns about your software or app.
(Got negative feedback? Read our guide on how to respond to negative reviews.)
In difficult times, it’s more important than ever to check in and listen to your customers and users. One way of doing so without having to develop entirely new business processes is by monitoring app reviews.
This is bound to be a great source of learning for your company, whether you’re logging into your developer account to read candid user feedback or using an app store monitoring software tool like ReviewTrackers.
More than a crucial factor in user acquisition and app discoverability, reviews also offer a window into what users really think, containing valuable feedback that will help you shape the future of your software or app.