Your go-to resource for acronyms, jargons, terminology, and useful words for product and customer experience teams.


Product and feature adoption

What is product adoption?

Product adoption is the process of getting users (or customers) to start using your web or mobile application.

Why does product adoption matter?

With the recent shift to subscription-based software licensing, product engagement and product adoption have become increasingly critical than it was ever in this era. Product managers have always been focused on improving the customer experience, but promoting activation early on is more important than ever in SaaS, where software products are purchased monthly. In order to ensure customers are engaged with your product, consider hosting webinars or training sessions to introduce new features and benefits of using your software. 

Most importantly, make use of in-product messaging, announcements, and contextual help to keep users updated on new features that might be of interest to them. By providing an excellent experience for customers from the very beginning, you’ll be more likely to foster a long-term relationship with them – ensuring they continue to subscribe month after month.

How to increase product adoption?

Improving your product is the best way to increase product adoption rates. If you can create a better experience for your users, they will be more likely to keep using your product. In addition to putting together a thoughtful in-app onboarding strategy, here are some other key ways to improve product adoption and keep users coming back for more:

1. Make sure your app is visually appealing and user-friendly.

2. Offer something unique that other similar apps don’t offer.

3. Provide value to your users by solving a problem or making their lives easier in some way.

4. Constantly communicate with your users and get feedback so you can improve the app based on their needs.

What is feature adoption?

Feature adoption is a metric that measures how often users take advantage of a software product’s specific features. The logic goes that if a user adopts more features, they derive more value from the product and are less likely to abandon it. Therefore, feature adoption is key to retention and expansion.

This metric is typically expressed in the same way as product adoption–MAU, or adoption rate. However, when calculating feature adoption rates, you must also take into account factors that could affect user stickiness when using the feature.

Feature adoption rate is best measured in relation to monthly logins: Monthly Feature Adoption Rate (%) = [feature MAU / monthly logins] x 100. By doing this, you can get a more accurate understanding of how often your feature is being used in comparison to how often people are logging into your site or app.

Why does feature adoption matter?

Product owners and Customer success managers know that each new feature presents an opportunity for added value. Unused features, however, have the opposite effect and can actually lower a customer’s perceived value. This is why it’s so important to focus on feature adoption since key metrics like retention and expansion depend on minimizing the time it takes for customers to see value in your product. Paying for unused features makes it less likely that customers will renew at the current price level, or renew at all. By focusing on feature adoption, customer success managers can help ensure that customers see the maximum value in your product.

How does onboarding impact product and feature adoption?

The post-signup period is one of the most crucial times in a product’s lifecycle – after the first day, adoption rates drop sharply. This makes it absolutely essential to onboard new users from the moment they open the web or mobile app. However, product onboarding happens whether the experience is managed or not. Research has shown that companies who focus on the onboarding experience can help their users become proficient more quickly, which in turn drives product adoption metrics such as active usage and retention.

More, SaaS application growth has significantly lowered customers’ switching costs. If they don’t experience the product’s value right away, they’re much more likely to churn. Product adoption rests on an onboarding journey that:

  • Explains the product and its use cases in a way that is easy to understand.
  • Shows the customer how your product is different and what makes it better than others on the market
  • Help users identify and make use of the most valuable features
  • Encourages users to come back to the product often.