How to Get 5-Star Reviews on the Shopify App Store: Kudobuzz Case Study

MEST, Sunday March 16th 2014

With over 90,000 merchants using its ecommerce platform, Shopify’s app marketplace attracts hundreds of developers who make free and paid apps for Shopify merchants. These apps allow store owners to install a contact form on their site, better understand their conversion and cart abandonment rates, and much more.

But with over 600 apps in the Shopify App Store, competition can be fierce. One way to stand out is to have phenomenal reviews - better reviewed apps rank higher, and merchants are more likely to download an app with good reviews. So how does a Shopify app developer get amazing reviews?

To find out, we asked Kena Amoah, founder and CEO of Kudobuzz, a MEST Incubator company that lets store owners easily collect and display positive product testimonials from Facebook, Twitter, and email.


Kudobuzz is fast becoming  as one of the best-performing apps on the Shopify platform. In the last few weeks, it’s been highlighted as a featured app on the Shopify App Store home page. Additionally, Kudobuzz recently raked in over twenty-five 5-star reviews in a row. At the time of writing this, Kudobuzz has never had less than a 4-star review.

[Tweet "Learn how @Kudobuzz got over twenty-five 5-star reviews - IN A ROW - on the @Shopify App Store."]

Here’re 4 tips from Kena about how developers can get consistently high reviews on the Shopify App Store.

Tip #1: Just ask

Kena’s first tip is so straight-forward, it’s easy to overlook - if you want your best users to review your app, simply ask them to do so.

Kena: “People are remarkably happy to help, especially if they’re getting value from your product. Build a list of your most engaged users, and send them a short note asking how they’re liking the product so far, and if there’s anything they need help with.”

“When they reply, don’t be afraid to politely ask the user to leave an honest review of their experience. They’ll remember your excellent customer support when filling out that review form.”

The key here is to identify your best users, and to approach them respectfully.

[Tweet ".@Shopify App Store Developer Tip #1: Ask your most engaged users to leave an honest review."]

Tip #2: Respond quickly and provide excellent customer service

The single most important thing you can do to get rave Shopify App Store reviews is to be extremely responsive to users.

“We respond within 15 minutes,” says Kena. “When a user contacts us with a question, I drop everything and reply ASAP. People are so unused to being attended to in a timely manner that when you treat them excellently, they remember you. It’s a little thing, but the payoff is huge.”

Kudobuzz review

What about if a user has a concern that can’t be solved immediately? “If you know that it’ll take some time to address a user’s issue, quickly acknowledge that you’ve received their email, and then state a date and time by which you hope to solve the issue. And then of course, actually solve the problem before then!”

The team currently doesn’t use any special software to track these emails. All it takes is to have a knowledgeable member of the team constantly monitor the inbox for the latest message.

[Tweet ".@Shopify App Store Developer Tip #2: Respond to support requests within 15 minutes."]

Tip #3: Turn negative reviewers into enthusiastic ambassadors

Sometimes, software doesn’t work as well as it should, and frustrated customers will leave an angry review. It’s not fun, but it’s unavoidable.

Instead of brooding, think of that negative review as a challenge. Address the user’s issue and follow-up to find out if it’s been solved to their liking. Once they’re happy, encourage them to consider updating their review.

[Tweet ".@Shopify App Store Developer Tip #3: Convert negative reviewers into enthusiastic ambassadors."]


Tip #4: Be open and upfront

This final tip is a long-term strategy to get good reviews - confide in your users. Let them know that you’re a small team building something from scratch, and invite them to be a part of the product development process. If you do this, they’ll support you in any way they can, including by recommending you to their networks.

Kena: “We’re extremely accessible to our users. We let them know that the product is still evolving, and that we rely on great folks like them to tell us how to make it better.”

“We’ve found that people are really forgiving of hiccups when they understand that you genuinely care what they think. In fact, they enjoy feeling like part of the team. It pays to listen carefully to what your users are saying, and to integrate that feedback into your product roadmap if it makes sense.”

[Tweet ".@Shopify App Store Developer Tip #4: Listen to your users and implement their feedback."]

So those are four tips from Kudobuzz about how to get consistently great reviews on your Shopify app. Ultimately, the most important thing is to treat your users well. If you're responsive to their needs, they’ll be happy to share their positive experience in a review.

Check out Kudobuzz's glowing reviews on their Shopify App Store page.

Are you a working on an app for the Shopify App Store? How do you go about getting more reviews?

Let us know which techniques have worked for you in the comments.