New AppFollow Research Shows that Gaming Accounts for Majority of Consumer Spend across Google Play and App Store

The research titled Reputation Management for Mobile Apps | Rating & Reviews in 2021, shows that in terms of review engagement, App Store sees double the response rate over Google Play

AppFollow, the leading app review insights and management platform, released findings from a new research report indicating games accounted for the majority of consumer spend across both stores — at 80% on Google Play and 65% on iOS. Reputation Management for Mobile Apps | Rating & Reviews in 2021 examines the rise in demand for stellar customer experiences across all applications, including new features that accurately meet their needs.

As the app ecosystem continues to grow at an unprecedented rate and more services begin to migrate to the digital world, it’s more important than ever for companies to manage average app rating and user reviews to maintain a clean and positive reputation to stand out against competitors while ensuring brand loyalty and customer retention. However, most teams are rarely communicating with users who leave reviews on the stores—on average, only 10% of reviews on the Play Store and 22% of those on the App store receive a response (falling flat compared to industry standards, gaming apps receive an average response rate of 8%). Not only are these brands not responding to reviews, they aren’t keeping track of customer sentiment or feature requests from real users. As a result, users may not feel heard nor invested in the app, resulting in churn.

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“Now more than ever, consumers are looking to friends and families for recommendations on what brands and services to use. With this comes the increased importance of reviews, and the future of apps is limitless if brands can understand the needs and wants of consumers.”

“2020, and 2021 so far, have been defining years for many apps and categories in the app stores,” said Anatoly Sharifulin, Founder and CEO of AppFollow. “Now more than ever, consumers are looking to friends and families for recommendations on what brands and services to use. With this comes the increased importance of reviews, and the future of apps is limitless if brands can understand the needs and wants of consumers.”

In addition to the gaming industry, finance is an extremely competitive category, with the explosive popularity of amateur trading, the rise of neobanks, the migration of traditional banking into digital services, and pension & fund management becoming digital-friendly. AppFollow’s data shows that finance has the largest number of apps (38) in the top 50 category out of any other category on the Google Play Store. Financial apps also have higher response rates (25%) on average when compared to other categories, and are very quick to respond to reviews, taking only 0.8 days.

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The following key points highlight additional stats:

  • Even in the age of e-commerce, Shopping apps show lowest response rate recorded at 4% and take an average of 6.8 days to respond
  • Auto & Vehicles is the worst rated category on average for the Google Play Store, while Entertainment is the worst rated category on average on the App Store
  • 77% of people read at least one review before downloading an app, with 100% of users browsing on the stores that discover an app will see the average rating

“With 39.9% of people uninstalling apps due to lack of use, it’s no surprise that if customers aren’t feeling heard or seen, they will lose their connection to the brand and, therefore, uninstall the app,” said Sharifulin.

On a mission to help businesses build better products, AppFollow was founded by a group of mobile product experts aimed at resolving the daily challenges faced by digital product teams. Unlocking qualitative details about quantitative data, AppFollow links back to essential business metrics through analysis of launches, reviews, reply rates and more.

Methodology: AppFollow collected data from 11,000 unique apps from Google Play and 6,500 apps from App Store. The analysis is made up of 14 million unique reviews from Google Play and 2.4 million reviews from App Store; 4 billion ratings from Google Play and 1 billion ratings from App Store. This report contains average rating, number of reviews/replies, reply rate, and average response time benchmarks, not reply effect, impact on retention or new installs. Data was collected as of June 2021, with the research based on Top Chart Free Apps in the USA.