Twenty Terrific — A Reviews Revelation
In The User Review Tipping Point, Elia Freedman observes that sales for their app steadily climbed after achieving 20 App Store reviews.
Quoting the Economist:
Research shows that visitors are more reluctant to buy until a product attracts a reasonable number of reviews and picks up momentum.
Single digits didn’t seem to move the needle at all. It wasn’t enough to get people comfortable with making that purchase decision… [Things change] after about 20 reviews of a product are posted.
They also point out a positive side to negative reviews:
A handful of bad reviews, it seems, are worth having. No one trusts all positive reviews.
Worth noting: this research was for e-commerce in general, not specifically for the iPhone and the App Atore. Nevertheless, the conclusions seem defendable.
My takeaway: build momentum at launch by having 20 people lined up to writing App Store reviews on the day your app launches. Those reviews will help convert more “new seekers” that’ll find your app while it’s still in the “What’s New” section of the store.
Elia included the importance of reviews along with a number of other lessons learned in this extensive One Month in the iPhone AppStore article.