There is a great deal of influence of SaaS product characteristics on product adoption. Some products sell like hotcakes, and some sit on the shelf longer. SaaS products have multiple characteristics- some features work better than others. Some features take more time to gain acceptance than others. This is where the influence of product characteristics comes into the picture.
But what is product adoption?
Product adoption is when customers adopt all the product features to achieve their goals. It is when customers do not look at alternatives while looking to meet their goals. Product adoption is crucial for SaaS companies as it reduces churn, increases customer retention, and increases overall revenue.
The SaaS industry’s average activation rate is 17%, while the average user growth rate is 4%.
Stages of Product Adoption
- Early adopters
- Early majority
- Late majority
Why is SaaS product adoption important?
SaaS product adoption is important since it leads to customer retention. There is lower churn which makes a business sustainable. Product adoption leads to improved customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Product adoption ensures product stickiness which leads to increased monthly recurring revenue.
What are the Characteristics influencing product adoption?
Certain characteristics influence product adoption. Here are some of the characteristics that influence SaaS product adoption.
It is important for the product to be compatible with the customers. It should match the experiences and values that the customer wants. This influences product adoption rate since it fits with the needs of customers. For example, the product needs to match and integrate with the tools and platforms the customer uses. If the product is incompatible with multiple programming systems, it slows adoption. A product with a wrong name, marketing, or branding can decrease the level of compatibility. The product needs to be compatible with major leading integration platforms and systems.
AdvantageTo simply adopt a product, it needs to have a relative advantage. There needs to be some level of innovation and expertise than existing products. This increases the overall adoption and interest in the product. There are multiple alternatives to a product, and this needs to be kept in mind. The market is filled with superior technology, which is similar to so many other options. This needs to come out in the marketing material and people communication. The product’s relative advantage as compared to others in the market must be noted.
The product features need to be communicated correctly. Sometimes customers might need to learn that the product offers those features. That is key to understanding and innovation. A good description, product explainer, demonstration, and more can ensure deeper penetration into the audience. This also notices how a product or service can be described to others. Communication and description are necessary to explain what the product does for customers.
Complexity is when the product innovation is technically complex but actually simple and intuitive. The product should be relatively easy to use. If it is tough to use, the level of influence will reduce drastically. A complex product needs to be designed for simple solutions. Every feature needs to interact with another one.
Different channels and mass media should be used to interact with the customers on how the product can be used effectively. That is also why product videos and tutorials are important.
Divisibility is when a product innovation is available on a limited basis. If the product price is high, there is no opportunity to test it again and again. That is why it is necessary to offer freemium and other demos of the product. As a product’s rates fall, the adoption and penetration level increase. If the product is priced higher, the barriers of entry for customers are high. If there are trial versions offered, it is possible that it lowers entry barriers and convinces risk-averse people to try the product.
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For example- Many SaaS companies offer few features for free in the initial phase. This will ensure those customers are latched on to the product ensuring stickiness.
These factors influence SaaS product adoption heavily. When product technologies are made simple, it is easier to ensure the product reaches its adoption stage. Some of the benchmarks for product adoption include activation rate, user growth rate, time to value, and product stickiness rate.
The SaaS adoption framework needs to be planned well. This is possible with the right strategy, metrics, software, and tools. You need to plan product comparisons and benchmarks and network them accordingly. This is crucial to product adoption success. This innovation and management are necessary for product diffusion and eventual adoption. In all, compatibility and innovation are key to product adoption. These characteristics influence product adoption heavily and should be kept in mind by product and customer success teams.