Sure, every consumer-facing businesses should invest in an app. But executives struggle to decide how much to invest in maintaining their smartphone apps, particularly in ongoing updates.
Is it worth updating an app frequently? Do customers notice? According to a new app-update study from BI Intelligence, more frequent updates tend to be associated with with higher ratings from app users, according to iOS App Store and Google Play statistics for a small sample of consumer-facing and account-management apps analysed in a recent research note.
We looked at the number of reviews, number of updates, and average rating for each quarter from first quarter 2012 through fourth quarter 2014 year-to-date for top apps in different categories, including telecommunications, car insurance, utilities, retail, social media and e-commerce.
Here’s what we found:
- Across 2013 and 2014, no app earned above-average ratings with less than 9 updates in the year. Across our sample, more frequent updates are associated with higher ratings.
- In 2013, the average cumulative rating was 2.8, and the average app in our sample saw 7.9 updates. Subscribers can access the 2014 data for our XX-app sample.
- Throughout 2014 Amazon, Walmart, and Geico updated their respective apps between 20 and 25 times, and earned the highest average ratings.
- In 2013 apps were updated less frequently overall, but companies that sent the most updates tended to receive the highest ratings (see chart, above). Amazon, Walmart, and Geico each updated 10 times or more (higher than average) and gained higher-than-average ratings, and more reviews. YouTube was atypical in that it updated more than 10 times and received below-average reviews.
The report is full of charts and data that can be downloaded and put to use.
In full, the report:
- Provides exhaustive 2012, 2013, and 2014 downloadable monthly data on app updates, app ratings, and reviews for a sample of top consumer-facing apps.
- Includes three charts visualising the performance of each app, benchmarked against an average and their peers.
- Discusses how app ratings and app-update frequency were related in specific categories.
- Digs into how consumer brands can boost their app ratings.
For full access to all BI Intelligence’s charts, data, and analysis on the mobile, e-commerce, connected devices, and digital media, sign up for a risk-free trial.