Why are ratings important?
If you are like the vast majority of Android users – 93% – you look at the reviews of an app before downloading it. A higher number of reviews gives you confidence about its popularity and usefulness. What’s more, ratings and reviews provide critical user feedback that businesses can use to refine their apps to better meet user needs and increase adoption. A high volume of reviews can also negate the impact of the occasional negative review, increasing overall star ratings and providing more information to consumers to make their decision.
How did we improve the rating volume for the Realtor.com app?
Google Play recently introduced its Android native In-App Reviews API, which enables you to prompt app users to submit Play Store ratings and reviews without the inconvenience of leaving the app. (It works for games, too!) By integrating this API into our Realtor.com app, we increased in-app review activity by 650%. Not only can we collect more feedback, we now provide a cleaner user experience by collecting feedback without significantly interfering with the in-app flow.
In-App review in action
When the review flow is triggered, a user is given the option to rate the app with 1 to 5 stars and leave an optional comment. Once submitted, the review is displayed on the Play Store:
Figure 1. In-App Review flow
Implementing the In-App Reviews API in Kotlin
Step 1: We added the Play In-App Reviews library to the build.gradle file:
Step 2: We added the following code to a method and called it where appropriate (note: the following lines of code should execute when the user has experienced enough of the app):
Best Practices for Triggering the Review Flow
You can configure the in-app review flow to be triggered at any time; however, Google suggests some best practices for what NOT to do:
- Do trigger the in-app review flow after a user has experienced enough of your app.
- Don’t trigger the in-app review flow with a call-to-action option.
- Don’t excessively prompt the user for a review (Google limits this API’s usage).
- Don’t modify the design of the in-app review flow.
- Don’t ask the user questions before or while showing the in-app review flow.
- Don’t remove the rating card programmatically; it will be removed automatically.
Implementing Google Play’s In-app Reviews is another example of how we are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve the customer experience. Let us know what you think of the feature – we’d love to hear from you!