How to Increase Product Adoption

Discover how you can increase product adoption.

Zight | September 06, 2020 | 8 min read time

Article Last Updated: July 09, 2023

How to Increase Product Adoption

Some people seem to absolutely thrive on the new, and unknown. While others are much happier and more comfortable with what they’re familiar with.

When it comes to increasing product adoption, it’s all about evoking that sense of excitement with something new that solves a problem and provides the user value.

If you’re in the process of launching a new business, product, service, or app, you need new users to jump on board.

The crux of its success revolves around understanding the end-user, designing human-centered solutions, and creating something that achieves their goals. A great product or service isn’t enough if it doesn’t consider a user’s motivations, wants, and needs. Product adoption works best when users recognize the benefit of switching over to your product, or implementing it into their day-to-day lives.

The process of product adoption is typically broken down into four steps: awareness, interest, evaluation, and conversion. Each step gradually introduces and familiarizes users with a new product or service, and is intended to persuade users to use it going forward.

The strategies used to guide users through the process need to show users the value so that they stick around, and adopt your product. It’s one of the first touchpoints a user has with a product, which is exactly why a great onboarding experience is imperative to your success. Check out our top user adoption strategy tips to help increase product adoption.

How To Increase Product Adoption

Product adoption, sometimes referred to as onboarding, is a process that shows users the benefit of using your product. It’s meant to be an intuitive and seamless system with step-by-step tutorials, guidance, and milestones throughout. It’s one of the first touchpoints a user has with a product, which is exactly why a great onboarding experience is imperative to the success of a new service, app, design, product, or so forth.


The key to any successful product or service is really honing in on the user behind the product. It’s not enough to create something that solves a common problem spectacularly if it doesn’t align with your target users.

The first step is about thinking and ideating on meeting your user’s needs. With it, you are pulling together the most desirable solutions and approaches from a human point of view. By combining creative and critical thinking, information and ideas are organized in a way that ensures decisions are made, situations are improved, and problems are solved specifically for a certain type of user or users. Considering how difficult it is for companies, products, and services to stand out from the rest of the competitors, taking the time to really understand your user will give you an upper hand.

It’s easy to become invested in the product, but it’s essential to stay connected and deeply engaged with the user behind the product throughout every step. Imagine looking at the product from their point of view, each step of the way. Keep your team on the same page by using your office space to generate lots of feedback, and utilize design tools to take notes, share your work, and stay informed. Zight (formerly CloudApp) offers a variety of features that let you instantly share your work with others, and receive invaluable insight based on direct input and real user interaction to enhance the success of your product adoption process.

Reduce fear of the unfamiliar

One of the biggest points of friction is reducing the fear of the unfamiliar and persuading them to try something new. Even if a potential user recognizes the need for your product, or the benefits of switching, they may be more comfortable with staying where they are. There are a lot of unknowns and uncertainty with something new – so alleviating those fears is crucial. You haven’t got much time to persuade a potential user. A strong introduction and hook typically determine if they will adopt a new product.

Showcase value

Change is scary, so if you want a prospect to take a risk, they need to know exactly what’s in it for them. Your goal is to ensure your users understand the product, and above all – to see the value in it. Successful onboarding needs to lead to a kind of “aha” moment that goes beyond simply explaining features.

How does it benefit them? What’s in it for them? Why should they care? They want to know the benefits, not the features of your service or product. This can be a difficult distinction that makes a huge difference! Features define what a service or product is, while benefits describe what it will do for them. In other words, how a feature will benefit them, and that is far more appealing and persuasive! Users that fully realize the value they can really get out of your product will be more willing to switch from their current solution, or try something new.

Features are still important, but benefits describe how it will directly improve your user’s life or meet their needs. Rather than featuring how many megabytes a device has, quantify that in the number of songs, pictures, documents, etc. Quickly showcase your brand and a product’s value with lists or short and snappy copy. Users should be able to scan the benefits and have the gist of the top benefits. The key to this is focusing primarily on the common problems users are most likely trying to solve with a specific product or service.

Provide support & accessibility

How frustrating is an app, website, online form, or onboarding system that is confusing, complicated, or difficult to navigate? Frustrating enough to move on and never return – probably. This is a common occurrence that causes a lot of companies to lose potential clients.

If your user doesn’t understand how to use your product – you’ve lost them. It is much easier to stay with a tried and true product – even if it has some flaws – than it is to struggle to learn a new product.

Alleviate friction by making your support extremely accessible. If a user requires help, help them while keeping the user in the app. If your support leads them away from your app, website, online form, etc. – the chances of them returning is low. Consider embedding short demos videos that pop-out, in-app chat to quickly ask questions and get advice to quickly solve problems, or use chatbots to directly answer questions and support them with simple tasks.

Increase the attraction

Let’s be honest, it’s easier for most users to stick with what they know. Learning about a new product can seem daunting and not worth the effort. One of the biggest hurdles you’ll face is being so appealing that a prospective user will put in the effort to learn about your product, and ultimately switch.

Users are familiar with completing tasks step-by-step, so this is often recommended and preferred. Incorporate generally accepted design conventions that users are familiar with, such as transition animations, navigation menus, and progress bars. If it feels and looks familiar, users will be more willing to dive into the process and make the switch. Group similar components together, and make sure each completed step is clearly indicated. Simplify your process:

  • Predictable and familiar icons and buttons
  • In-app messages, push notifications, or email notifications
  • Frictionless and invisible interactions
  • Clear call to action, tasks, and goals
  • Guided behavior with design patterns, and clear hierarchy, and readability
  • Walkthrough animations and videos
  • FAQ section, user help portals, and in-app support
  • Surveys

A recommendation from a friend or family goes a long way, so make sure to include customer testimonials. Give satisfied customers an opportunity, or even incentive, to leave a review. Similarly, case studies, and product demos are great ways to showcase a product and reinforce all of its benefits.

Superb onboarding experience

Seamlessly guiding and leading your user through the user onboarding process is imperative. If your user onboarding process needs to be a bit longer, provide a progress indicator so users have a visual for how long the form will take, or how many steps they have left. Show them their process and clearly map out their journey. Think of it as showing them the light at the end of the tunnel and eliminating distractions along the way.

Break steps down into manageable steps that effectively showcase the value of your product and engage the user. If the process is not clear in the first few seconds, users are likely going to click off. It’s important to make a lasting impression, so make sure you hook your user and get straight to the point.

Successful User Adoption Strategy‍

Measure key metrics and data

Start with defining what data needs to be tracked. The best place to start is by identifying low hanging fruits and tackling that first. Start with a hypothesis of what can be further improved, then move onto more innovative problem-solving tactics. Constantly collecting the right data that provides visibility into users’ experience will help hone your strategies. Start by asking yourself, Who are your customers and target audience? Then, focus on what users want.

There are a ton of metrics and data that can be tracked, including:

  • User funnels
  • Click-through-rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Account creation
  • Payments completed
  • User journeys

User analytics can help analyze the above metrics and more, including a user’s journey from beginning to end. However, focusing on specifics and measuring the right data is the best way to get insight into the effectiveness of your adoption strategy. Data is best analyzed over a longer time period to show a clear picture of what’s happening.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • As you set up a more comprehensive tracking system, present your hypotheses and tests for the initiatives currently being tracked.
  • Carefully review what you need, how much time, and the necessary resources needed to properly integrate and implement your strategy.
  • Don’t become distracted with too much data. Instead, track only what is necessary.
  • Survey and speak with your users to gather qualitative data.

Implement changes and measure the data again

Once you’re done, it’s time to make the necessary changes, then test your product adoption or onboarding process. The best way to learn how your audience will respond to your product adoption process is with careful A/B tests. Tailor your process to create an experience that really hooks your user. Get clear on who your target audience is so you can speak directly to them. A great process requires ongoing revisions and updates as you continue to improve your product or service. Product adoption is conversion-oriented, which means creating a positive, and painless experience is a top priority.

Comparing slightly tweaked variations is one of the best ways to create a successful adoption process and get concrete data on which variation attracts more customers. Simple changes can help you analyze different results and optimize accordingly. It’s important to remain open to feedback, test regularly, and revise it to ensure you continue to meet your goals.

Instantly test the effectiveness of your product adoption process with users and get invaluable insight based on direct input and real user interaction with Zight (formerly CloudApp).

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