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Review management strategies of the top charting apps in 2024

Published 01 February 2024 by Claire McGregor Review management strategies of the top charting apps in 2024 diagram Review management has become an essential business practice over the past 10 years. As app developers, reviews and ratings have always been centrally important for us and our customers, because our distribution model is via the app stores. So what is review management? And, more importantly, how do the world’s most successful apps approach it? We have analyzed data from over 320,000 apps, including around 35% of the top charting apps, to find out which tools and techniques are most popular.

In this overview you'll learn:

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What is review management?

Review management is the practice of monitoring, measuring, analyzing, and responding to reviews of your app, product or service.

For app developers it is an essential part of developing your app, especially if you subscribe to the Product Led Growth philosophy. For many apps, reviews represent the most significant channel of feedback that you have from their user base. This feedback, when correctly managed, can unlock insights into your users’ preferences and aversions that would be very challenging to extrapolate from usage analytics alone.

Managing reviews effectively is important for so many reasons:

Sounds great, but how do you actually set up a review management strategy that achieves all of these objectives? Keep reading!

Essential components of a review management toolkit

We analyzed data from over 320,000 apps to see which features were most critical to their review management strategy. This is what we found.

Review aggregation across platforms

Whilst each App Store offers their own tools for reading and replying to reviews, the differences in the way the at a is presented and reported in each platform can make it hard to get a clear overview. Aggregating data from all the platforms your app is available on into a single service will level the playing field, allowing for accurate internal benchmarking across the various stores.

Ratings monitoring over time

Whilst many developers have a love-hate relationship with ratings, there is no denying that maintaining a high star rating is essential to ranking well in the app stores. Again, the stores each have their own ways of tracking this. Ideally, look for a tool that will show you how your Ratings have been performing over time in a visual format. Visualizing your Ratings will make it easier to understand the relationship between Ratings and things like new releases, marketing campaigns, pricing changes and so forth.

Alerts and notifications

There are many different ways that teams approach alerts and notifications, but by far the most popular amongst Appbot customers are:

In both examples recipients can become fatigued if they receive too many review alerts or email notifications.

Text analysis or natural language processing

Natural language processing (NLP) refers to the use of machines to read and group a data set of text inputs. It can take many forms, and has been much discussed since generative AI hit the mainstream. Generative AI is, in our opinion, best used for generative use cases rather than analytical use cases (and we’ve experimented with it A LOT!).

There are a number of analytical AI tools on the market (including Appbot - shameless plug!) for NLP. For app reviews, analyzing the text typically means:

As an example, you can see how useful it is to look at the most commonly used words in this data set below, in order to find opportunities for improvement.

Analyzing commonly used words in reviews helps you identify key themes

By looking at which words have a higher amount of negative reviews we can easily drill in to the negative reviews containing the word “Save” and get a clearer picture of the problem. Here are just the first few:

When you examine reviews containing a common word, themes become clear very

This analysis was on the reviews from a popular document scanning app. It has a 4.8 star rating, and currently gets over 1,000 reviews with text per week. For such a strong app, the reviews are often overwhelmingly positive, but there is always room for improvement if you care to look.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking allows you to understand how your reviews compare to the broader market. Sophisticated review management strategies incorporate this feature regularly, in order to better understand how their app’s performance compares to others in their category. Suggested benchmarks to take note of are:

Reply functionality

Replying to users is a consistently under-rated aspect of review management. Replies are important because:

Of course, you can log in to the App Store developer consoles directly to reply to reviews - an external tool isn’t strictly necessary. However, good tooling can be the difference between a sustainable, cost-effective reply effort and an expensive, unsustainable one. Some reply features to look for in a review management tool might include:

Choosing a tool that supports your review management strategy will be informed by how your team prioritizes these various features.

Which tools are most popular/important?

We have reviewed how heavily these tools are used for review management of the 320,000+ apps tracked by Appbot paying users, and have compiled the results below so you can see how successful teams prioritize these features.

Thank you for reading!

We hope that this overview of how successful apps think about managing their app reviews has provided you with some insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your own approach, or a great starting point if you’re looking to implement review management for the first time.

Appbot offers all of the features covered above, and you can access a 14-day trial for free, no credit card required.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, we’d love to hear from you at support@appbot.co!

Want to learn to use app reviews to increase your star rating?

Join over 25% of the Fortune 100 and 35% of the top charting app developers using Appbot.

Try Appbot, free for 14 days →

Where to from here?



About The Author

claire

Claire is the Co-founder & Co-CEO of Appbot. She's a product nerd, startup doer, digital marketing ninja & caffeine/beach addict. You can connect with her on LinkedIn


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