This article was originally published on Digital-Adoption.com

What are the most important product adoption metrics that every business should be tracking?

As many organizations are beginning to realize, product adoption programs have a profound impact on many other performance metrics, including…


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  • User engagement and productivity
  • User retention rates
  • How quickly users can learn products
  • A product’s performance in the marketplace
  • Users’ ability to realize a product’s value

Ultimately, product value depends in large part on the users and their ability to use a product – and those, in turn, depend a great deal on the product adoption process.

To generate tangible value, it is necessary to develop an approach to product adoption that is, among other things, measurable.

After all, the only way to actually understand and measure performance improvements is to measure them.

5 Product Adoption Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Not all product adoption programs are created equal, nor do they have the same strategic focus.

One product adoption program may focus on improving employee productivity and performance.

Another may be designed by a software development agency and be designed to maximize user retention.

Regardless of the circumstances or the ultimate agenda, driving product adoption should be the primary goal.

After all, effective product adoption helps to improve all of the performance aims covered above, from user productivity to software ROI.

Let’s look at a few metrics that can help any business understand and improve its adoption efforts.

User Engagement

User engagement refers to how actively and enthusiastically people use an app.

At its simplest level, user engagement can be tracked by analyzing user activity. Increased activity corresponds with greater engagement. 

Yet engagement is also a function of enthusiasm, motivation, satisfaction, and sentiment.

For that reason, engagement should be a combination of several engagement indicators, which are based on…

  • Frequency of use, both for the product as well as specific features
  • Time spent using the product, as well as particular product features
  • Abandonment rates
  • Average time per session
  • User sentiment

Below, we will explore some of these specific metrics in more detail.

Overall Productivity

User productivity and performance depend on a number of other factors, including proficiency and engagement. 

Measuring productivity, however, will depend on the circumstances.

For an organization that wants to track employee productivity, metrics can focus on:

  • Performance goals and expectations
  • The utilization of specific software features
  • Proficiency levels
  • Time to productivity

Since the actual value of a product depends so heavily on user productivity, this is one of the most important product adoption metrics to track.

Overall Proficiency

Users’ overall skill levels will have a direct impact on productivity, engagement, and product value.

A product adoption program should focus heavily on training users and improving proficiency, since that proficiency will directly affect many of the other metrics covered here.

Users who are more proficient will, among other things…

  • Be more productive
  • Stay with a product for a longer period of time
  • Contact customer or technical support less frequently
  • Be more engaged

Proficiency can be measured by tracking feature utilization, by monitoring software analytics, through testing, and so forth.

Time-to-Competency

Time-to-competency and time-to-productivity track how long it takes for employees to achieve a specific level of competency. 

This metric matters for one simple reason: engagement loves speed.

The faster users can become competent, the more quickly they will become engaged and productive – and the faster they will realize a product’s value.

In an enterprise context, for instance, time-to-competency correlates with time-to-ROI.

The faster that employees can become productive, the faster the organization can see a return on its software investment. 

Organizational performance, in other words, is directly affected by how quickly employees can adapt to, learn, and become productive with a product.

Feature Adoption Rate

The more complex and sophisticated a product, the less likely users are to use the product’s entire feature set.

This fact directly affects user productivity and performance, as well as their ability to realize the full value of a product.

Ideally, organizations should set specific goals regarding feature usage.

Not all users will need – nor want – to use a product’s entire range of features. For instance, in the context of a workplace, only “super users” will be expected to have a command over a large number of product features.

Yet if the average user cannot even make use of a product’s basic feature set, they will clearly be leaving a great deal of value on the table.

For this reason, product adoption should set specific targets when it comes to software utilization and feature adoption.

Establishing a set of features essential for basic competency, for instance, will allow adoption specialists to track…

  • How quickly features are adopted
  • Which features are adopted and which are neglected
  • The effectiveness of onboarding and training efforts

Over time, this information can be used to optimize product adoption rates and improve adoption efforts across the board.