Everyone knows app business success is gauged by revenue. While there are many significant business drivers such as profitability, productivity, and time to market, your app’s success comes down to two critical factors: ratings and retention. And these two factors affect the most valuable asset of any company – reputation.

Reputation starts with ratings and reviews          

Ratings and reviews indicate how well your app engages customers. App stores consider this more important than the number of downloads or revenue generated because everything else can be tweaked, but engagement measures native appeal and predicts the app’s future. This is so critical that ratings and reviews drive app store page optimization, rankings, and search results. Google goes ever further to assess customer engagement by collecting usage data directly from the app. About 70% of app downloads were triggered by good reviews.

Build retention into your app

Customer retention is a critical metric that estimates the lifetime value of a customer. Acceptable retention rates vary by app category but all factor heavily in an app’s reputation. Assuming the app is relevant to the customer, retention is driven by the quality of the user’s experience and the ability of the app to deliver promised value. Retention is built in at the design and development stage.

The keynotes to develop for high retention include:

  • Identify what data you need to track to measure performance by feature and, once analyzed, determine which features make the greatest/worse impact and adjust accordingly.
  • Do a careful beta test with an invited audience that’s composed of your target demographic. Cull the best reviews for launch promo. You can verify the beta test results with a limited region soft launch and adjust as necessary.
  • Don’t overpromise results or mislead customer expectations.
  • Make the initial guided onboarding visually simple, ensuring the user is introduced to core features, experiences the app value and know where to go to learn more.
  • Make it easy for the user to write a review or rate your app but do so at the point in the onboarding process where your data shows they are most engaged.

 App compliance and reputation

Customer-sided app reputation assumes that your app is compliant with the value chain it operates within. You can lose your credibility, revenue stream and marketing budget overnight if your app is flagged for violations. Value chain partners include app stores, app certification, ad platforms, OS platforms, browsers, distribution partners, payment processors, AV companies, and more. Once a bad reputation is established within the business community, your ad campaigns and ad accounts can get shut down and even separate app submissions can be denied.

App and advertising policies and protocols that must be fully understood on each major platform such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, and Apple. These links are readily available. 

There are also legislative regulations from the EU GDPR and California’s CCPA aimed at protecting consumer data and security and this legislative sector is rapidly growing and complexifying. Also be aware that global ecommerce has its own set of regulations by country and even city. One of our corporate members, Digital River, provides global commerce access and expertise anywhere in the world.

The common areas of concern every app must address are:

  • Data privacy
  • Data security
  • Technical vulnerabilities
  • App structure failure (where compliance synchronicity is broke when new processes are added)
  • In-app promises, failures to inform, false assertions.
  • Financial transactions and security of financial information.
  • Malware.

We recommend getting your app certified by our associate, AppEsteem.com. They help app vendors develop and deliver consumer-clean apps through services that include review, certification, compliance consulting and more.

VirusTotal.com can provide reputational information about any app. Because users can select an app and send it to them, you will want to know first how your app rates.

Maintaining and protecting your apps reputation not only helps ensure your company’s continued growth and profitability, but it also acts as a unifying focus that integrates your productivity from concept to customer service and helps position your brand as one of the “good guys”.