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Architaa Pandey
Architaa Pandey January 19, 2023

How often does it happen that you’ve been using a website or a mobile app for a long time but only come to know about a feature it had through your social circle much later? It is not that uncommon, but what is certain is that if you’re a product owner, you don’t want it to happen to your product. You don’t want to leave your users and audience unaware of your features. This is where feature adoption comes in.

There could be many hurdles and reasons why your users aren’t familiar with a new feature you introduced. The instructions might be unintuitive and hard to follow, the new feature might not have been advertised enough, or the feature might not be of enough value or interest to your users. Whatever the reason, you don’t want the resources you spent working on the new feature to go down the drain.

What’s important is that your brand takes preemptive action and devises a strategy while launching a new feature to ensure that it is received well by your users. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss feature adoption and its importance for a product/service. We will also outline some vital metrics you must keep track of while monitoring any feature.

What is Feature Adoption?

As the name suggests, feature adoption means your users are “adopting” a feature of your product, be it a mobile app or a website. Adoption doesn’t mean a user using a feature just once, but it is a long process of a user trying out a new feature, finding it of value, and then developing a habit of using it daily because they derive value from it. 

Being a user activation metric, feature adoption is often viewed as a numerical expression of how many users interact with or use a specific feature of your product.

Feature adoption is important for feature success

Why is Feature Adoption so important?

Well, developing a new feature for a product isn’t exactly easy. A lot of research, discussion, and hard work play a role in every feature launched by an application. There’s a lot of funding and resources involved. So it is crucial that the feature that eventually does get launched receive a warm welcome from the users and be adopted.

Another reason feature adoption is so vital is the shift to subscription-based software. Any product is not just purchased once, but repeated payments are made, often monthly. Users must continue to see value in the product and its feature catalog to renew the subscription.

Each new feature released is another opportunity for the brand to add more value to the users’ product experience. But it is only relevant if the users know the new offering and understand how to use it. That is why brands must understand feature discovery and adoption, know ways to track it, and look to implement strategies to boost this metric.

Feature announcement helps in feature discovery

If not done, every feature that isn’t adopted is something the customer paid for but is not deriving value from, lowering the overall product value. It might lead to an unwillingness to renew the product subscription, eventually contributing to customer churn. Feature adoption is thus necessary to have excellent user engagement and retention.

Why Measure Feature Adoption?

Obviously, increased adoption implies lesser product abandonment and guarantees heightened user engagement. Tracking feature adoption is an essential step in the feature release process because

  • Highlights the most successful features

Measuring adoption gives a clear indication of which feature is working and which one isn’t. You can then analyze the user demographics that find the feature useful and try to pitch similar products to them in the future. Your feature development team can also note what worked well and incorporate those learnings into future developments.

  • Uncovers weak features

Identifying weak or underperforming features is crucial for every product. Low usage could be an indication of many things. The feature could have failed in the discovery phase or was simply unable to deliver the promised value to users.

Once identified, feedback must be collected through in-app surveys from users about these features to gauge exactly what went wrong. Identifying friction points in adoption can improve subsequent feature releases.

How to Measure Feature Adoption effectively?

The founder of ProjectBL, Justin Butlion, developed the feature adoption funnel. The funnel helps to optimize the product experience and boost adoption metrics.

The most important metric is the feature adoption rate which is calculated relative to logins. 

Feature adoption rate is the most important feature adoption metric
Feature Adoption Rate

It indicates how much value users gain from using your feature. The more value they derive, the higher the feature stickiness. Feature utilization can paint a very clear picture and help develop a better-informed product adoption strategy when combined with other feature adoption metrics.

Key Feature Adoption Metrics to track

When measuring feature adoption, product owners and managers should look at all dimensions of adoption.

1. Breadth of Adoption

This feature highlights how widely a feature was adopted in the target user base. It outlines whether a feature was widely accepted, adopted, and used by the intended user segment.

It is helpful to understand which features are useful and popular among users and which are largely left unused. Your product can collect user feedback to try and improve adoption.

You can measure the breadth of adoption by finding the number of users who engaged with the feature in a specific period.

2. Depth of Adoption

This metric indicates the frequency with which your target users use a feature. It can answer the question of how often they engage with a feature. It signals relevance and ongoing need or could be indicative of the difficulty to use.

Helpful in measuring ease of use, stickiness, and usefulness, depth of adoption also shows feature relevance. It is necessary to track this metric to reduce the probability of unwanted feature launches in the future.

3. Time to Adopt

As the name suggests, time to adopt measures how long it takes for users to start using a specific feature. The measured time starts from feature discovery and activation until the user starts using it. It answers questions like do users immediately try out a feature or wait weeks or months before the first use?

This metric sheds light on possible friction points or UI/UX issues that could be improved. If most users take weeks to use the feature, you should look into different ways to make the feature announcement and make the feature onboarding easier.

4. Duration of Feature Adoption

It analyses the duration of time a user remains engaged with a feature. It is also the best indicator of the feature’s value and highlights its longevity. 

The metric shows whether the feature is still delivering value after its initial novelty or does it require an update. A low duration of adoption can lead to a reduced customer retention rate.

Conclusion

Developing and building new features is easier than convincing your users to use those features. That is where feature adoption shines.

Feature adoption is crucial for high user engagement, satisfaction, and retention. And the feature adoption metrics provide much-needed valuable insights that you can use while designing your feature adoption strategy.

The success of your app or website depends on tracking these adoption metrics, as these provide product owners and managers with relevant information to make informed decisions about the product’s future. We at Upshot.ai can help you with it.

The Upshot.ai Advantage

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve product adoption and conversions.

With Upshot.ai, banks, Insurance, and FinTech firms can enhance their digital experiences with pre-built gamification features. It can provide personalized insights, actionable recommendations, and contextual nudges designed to deepen its relationship with its users.

Book a demo of the most comprehensive user engagement and gamification platform to achieve your digital product goals. Join our communities for more insights, guides, and best practices that keep you updated with proven strategies and tips to supercharge your campaigns.

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