Are you constantly releasing new features? It’s time to simplify Product Adoption.

Launching new features can help add value to your product, but it won’t matter if users aren’t willing to give them a try. Humans are known to resist new features, as our brains are designed to follow routines. So, if you want to introduce new services or products to users, you need to worry about something called Product Adoption.

“adoption is the act of beginning to use something new” – Thom Sharon

Quick and seamless product adoption is not only essential for customer engagement and retention as time progresses but for other performance metrics such as ROI. Improve product adoption for your target audience and you really will stand a much better chance of building a loyal customer base willing to pay for your product in the future.

The question here is how to simplify Product Adoption to get customers into the fold. 


Focus on a Smooth Initial User Experience

Your customers’ first experience with your product is extremely important. If this initial experience goes well, customers will be inclined to come back for more.  However, if customers are disappointed by the initial experience, they will flock to the competitors’ offerings.

“88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.”

So think of customers’ first experience with your product as an opportunity to set the tone for the following experiences.

Users have a short-term memory,  so it’s important that you provide little information on the initial page. Highlight 4 key points on your platform, and share little chunks the information so your customers can understand what, exactly, they just sign up for.  A great practice is to place contextual tooltips next to specific areas on your platform to keep first-time users focused on one task/feature at the time. 

This way, customers will not question whether your product provides meaningful value. Rather, they will focus on extracting the value to improve their life or work performance. When in doubt, highlight the parts of the product/service users are most likely to find valuable or useful.  


Make Strategic Use of Ad Retargeting 

Product adoption will be easier if you make use of re-targeted ads. The vast majority of those who try your product will not convert to loyal customers after the initial use. The bottom line is “cold customers” that are the least likely to convert. 

Furthermore, most people who see your product or hear of it in passing are unlikely to even give it a try. Ad retargeting is one of the best ways to engage such prospective customers. This marketing strategy focuses on those who have shown interest in your product.

Ad retargeting demonstrates the product’s value proposition and encourages adoption. It also helps promote unused or brand new features to current customers and guide them towards information. In the end, encouraging continued product use. 


Helppier - User Onboarding Banner


Find and Fix Problems 

Product adoption is often constrained by highly-specific problems. In some cases, an added feature is overly-complex. Perhaps the product’s learning curve is a bit steep for the average user. The challenge lies in pinpointing the specific problems that prevent product adoption. 

The first thing to do is admit such problems exist. Take advantage of product analytics to analyze user behavior towards a feature, service or process. This way you will be able to identify whether or not, your product is providing value and detect problems standing in the way of product adoption.

According to UX researcher Tomer Sharon, there are a few metrics to consider:

  • Adoption Rate – the percentage of new users of a feature;
  • Time to First –  the time a new user takes to try an existing feature;
  • Percentage of users who performed an action for the first time;

Another great strategy is to use surveys, user sessions and live chats to analyze qualitative data and address the true root cause of the problem. 

85% of issues related to UX can be detected by performing a usability test on a group of 5 users. –  MeasuringU


Provide Walkthroughs and Tips

Some customers refuse to adopt a product after the first try. Often they are confused as to its functionality, how to get the most out of its features and what the true value actually is. There is nothing wrong with holding the customer’s hand during the initial use. Even if you have a roster of repeat customers, “hand-holding” will help them get the most value out of upgrades, added features and new products brought to the market.

One of the most effective ways to reduce frustration is through product tours as it allows to follow instructions and interact with the application at the same time. You can use it to provide an overview of your platform and highlight new features or even notify updates.  Another strategy would be to introduce a welcome guide as soon as the user enters on a specific page for the first time.

Help your customers accomplish their objectives with your product or service and they will be inclined to permanently adopt it. From in-product tips to a built-in guide, walkthroughs, manuals and other means of customer education, communication is essential for product adoption. 


Above all, Recognize the Fact That Product Adoption is an Ongoing Process 

Product adoption is not a one-time challenge. Make a concerted effort to enhance customer engagement across the entire customer lifecycle so your target audience can get the most out of the product across the long haul. This improved utility really will help secure customer business in the months, years and possibly even decades to come.


About the Author:

Marla DiCarlo is an accomplished business consultant with more than 28 years of professional accounting experience. As co-owner and CEO of Raincatcher, she helps business owners learn how to sell their business so they can get paid the maximum value for their company.

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