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Survey: The best-rated apps get the most downloads

Good ratings and reviews in application stores are essential in the mobile business. Our survey reveals that both written reviews and star ratings in app stores matter to the majority of Finnish app users.

Good ratings can strengthen traditional brands or weaken them if their digital foothold slips. There is good evidence from international studies, for instance from AppTentive, about the importance of app ratings for user willingness to download and try new apps. 

To better understand the Nordic market, we investigated the opinions of Finnish consumers (N=1,000, representative of the full population) in March 2023. The results show that their thoughts are well-aligned with global research.

Ratings matter to Finns too

The main finding is that the average rating has a strong influence on the intention to download or dismiss an app. Over 80% of Finns agree that apps scoring over 4 stars are worth a try, whereas apps getting under 3 stars are likely not to be tried at all. Only less than a third of the respondents say that ratings don’t matter (31%) or that they never read the reviews (21%).

Finns are more eager to download the best rated apps.

We also learned that verbal reviews are surprisingly important. Nearly 3 in 4 consumers always check the reviews before downloading, paying attention to the publisher’s responses to user comments, and also look at the critical reviews in particular.

Why should you care about getting the best app ratings and reviews?

What we now found in polling Finnish consumers is that app ratings and reviews matter a lot to people when thinking about acquiring a new app. This is a good reminder that application developers must take user reviews seriously, do their best to deliver great products and put some effort into maintaining their application store presence if they want to see organic growth for their product.

We posted a great article in 2019 about a practice known as rating hacking. While many of the technical steps outlined in that guide still hold, we will very soon release an updated article that takes into account the latest developments in platforms. It also tells the story of a very recent, successful rating hack on the App Store.

Illustration: Niina Nissinen

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