Product Adoption

What is Product Adoption?

Product adoption, sometimes called user adoption, refers to the use of a product or feature that results in accomplishing a product’s intended goals to achieve anticipated benefits.

Users might be brand-new to the product or existing users of a product with a new feature update.

What Is the Process?

The product adoption process begins with creating user awareness about a new product or feature. Awareness generates interest that leads to a user trying the product or features out. In turn, this ultimately makes the commitment to purchase.

Here are the primary stages of the process:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Evaluation
  4. Trial
  5. Adoption (or rejection)

The faster the user is able to start using the product and begin realizing a product’s intended benefits, the greater the odds that product adoption will be successful and the user will continue using the product long-term.

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Why is Product Adoption Important to Product Management?

Even the greatest product on the planet will fail if people can’t find it, try it, and ultimately realize its value.

According to the Heap blog, “Adoption is almost universally the success criteria for product or feature launches, which makes it a top priority for product managers (even more than retention).”

Product adoption is an important KPI for product teams because it impacts customer lifetime value and other key metrics. Moreover, strong product adoption increases long-term customer loyalty, as well as a company’s revenue.

Knowing the power that product adoption has on a product’s overall success, it’s up to the product team to build a product that delivers on its promises and make sure users have positive experiences from the get-go.

Tips for Improving Product Adoption

Because product adoption plays a significant role in a product’s success, looking for ways to improve adoption rates should be top of mind for product managers and teams.

Here are a few ways to tighten the process:

  • Communicate: Start generating awareness by announcing product updates or new features from inside the product.
  • Customized Demo: Identify critical users and invite each one to a short customized introduction to a new feature.
  • Onboarding: Get customers using the product right away by giving them all the tools they need to get off to a strong start.
  • Troubleshooting: Address issues and questions as they come up and make sure users feel they are resolved.
  • Satisfaction: Focus on ways to cultivate good experiences early on in the process.
  • Product Design: A well-designed user experience will drive product use and strengthen adoption.
  • In-Product Guides and Tutorials: Tips and user guidance help users as they navigate the product.
  • Customer Input: Building features based on customer feedback shows that you value the customer experience and understand the needs of your users.
  • Product Improvements: New features can increase the adoption of existing users.

In the Parlor blog, Casey Paxton writes:

“At the end of the day, we all just want people successfully using our products and to be satisfied with their experience. But there’s a lot more that goes into that than you may initially believe. You can’t just expect people to magically know about your product and understand fully how it works; it takes a lot of hard work and collaboration between the product and non-product teams to ensure success throughout both the product adoption process and the engagement funnel.”

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How is Product Adoption Measured?

Generally speaking, the adoption rate refers to the percentage of new users to all users.

But to dig into what this means, you need to develop an understanding of several key metrics. Subsequently, your most essential metrics might vary, consider tracking the following:

  • Conversion rate from signup to the first key action.
  • Time to value (the time it takes for a user to realize an anticipated benefit).
  • Onboarding completion rate and how it relates to product use.

On the Intercom blog, Graham Ó Maonaigh writes:

“When people think about product adoption, often metrics like the number of signups or daily active users come to mind. But these metrics don’t reflect whether users are successfully incorporating your product into their daily routine. In addition, whether they are adding it to their lineup of business tools. Moreover, they may embrace it as something they can’t do without. True product adoption comes when the value of your product is so great that it outweighs the effort and cost required of the user to make a change.”

Related Terms:

monthly recurring revenue (MRR) / lifetime value (LTV) / churn / customer acquisition cost / key performance indicator (KPI) / user experience (UX) / customer experience (CX)