The Impact of SKStoreReviewController API on Ratings & Reviews: A Look at the Early Results
We were excited when Apple announced that iOS 10.3 would introduce SKStoreReviewController API, making it easier for people to leave ratings and reviews without having to leave the app. The in-app prompt allows consumers to leave a rating and review with just a few taps, without having to sign into the app store or leave the app. Now that we’ve had many customers incorporate our latest iOS SDK, which supports the new rating API, we have data that demonstrates how much better of an experience the in-app prompts are for both people who use and people who publish mobile apps.
The process of leaving a rating and review is smoother, faster, and less disruptive. As a result, our data shows that people leave a lot more ratings.
Let’s dig into our findings and the larger implications of what more ratings can mean for apps.
Early results of Apple’s SKStoreReviewController API
As a result of the simplicity and contextual convenience of Apple’s SKStoreReviewController API, there is a massive increase in both the volume of app ratings and the quality of the consumer experience. We’ve found that since launching the Apple prompt, apps see a 22% median increase in their total all-time ratings. That’s coming as a result of a 10-15x increase in efficacy based on what we’ve historically seen with ratings prompts. (Data is from 5/3/17 – 6/25/17 and includes over two million consumers across apps from seven major categories.)
These early results demonstrate that people are much more likely to rate an app as a result of having a better in-app experience.
Additionally, Apple’s introduction of controls that allow consumers to disable ratings prompts is a welcome addition for people, with over 1 in 5 consumers either opting out of the ratings dialogs or not seeing a dialog due to Apple’s internal logic. We see this as a positive; now, people who don’t want to be shown ratings prompts have the option to opt themselves out and the data shows they’re utilizing the new ability. This lowers the risk that companies will annoy customers by showing unwanted prompts.
What does the increase in ratings mean?
It was previously thought that Android users were more vocal than iOS users. This is likely because apps in the Apple App Store have an average of 124 ratings, while apps in the Google Play Store have 1,173 ratings on average.
What we now know is the gap in the average number of ratings can probably be attributed to the barrier customers face to rate apps. For reference, rating an app in Google Play today requires five clicks, while iOS used to require eight clicks. iOS 10.3 has reduced this to one click. The easier you make it for customers to talk, the more they will.
If the trend we’re seeing in the increase in ratings from Apple’s new ratings prompt continues, this gap in rating volume between the two app stores will close.
What kind of results are you seeing?
Ratings and reviews are powerful proof points that consumers use to make judgments about the quality of apps and the quality of brands. We anticipate that the impact of a higher volume of ratings will have a ripple effect, but it’s too early to tell.
Our early results are in, but we’re curious to learn what results other app publishers are seeing. We’ve created an open spreadsheet to keep track of industry results of the iOS ratings prompt. If you have data you want to share with the mobile community (or if you’re just curious) you can access and add to the spreadsheet here: iOS Ratings Prompt Statistics
So far, the results for other app publishers have ranged from a 4x increase in the volume of ratings to a 10x increase. While ratings are clearly seeing a surge, reviews are remaining steady.
How does this compare to your app? Let us know!
Apple’s SKStoreReviewController API is a great opportunity for brands to understand how more of their customer feel since more consumers are taking the time to leave ratings. Apple has made it easier for consumers to rate apps, but the onus is on each company to understand who their fans are, how they can improve the customer experience, and how to form lasting relationships with their customers.
In anticipation of iOS 11, companies who want to improve their customer experience and increase their ratings should adopt the new Ratings API. Since there is a restriction on the number of times you can ask a consumer to rate the app, it’s crucial to focus on the instrumentation of any ratings flows you roll out (if you’re an Apptentive customer, we can handle this for you). Your team will get the most out of iOS 11 if you’re thoughtful and analytical about the number of times you’re calling the Apple API.
Does your team need help preparing your app for iOS 11? We can help.