Product adoption software is no longer a nice-to-have system in this era of hybrid work. These platforms are vital to onboarding new users and facilitating software adoption. Although user adoption platforms are gaining more traction, as of 2020, 30% of companies investing in these platforms aren’t scaling and realizing their full value. But no matter where your company currently is in its adoption of new technology, there’s still time to search for solutions to help improve adoption, learning, and onboarding.
That’s where I come in! Product adoption is a crucial indicator of your organization’s health. After discovering your product, they start the adoption funnel and go through multiple stages before reaching adoption. If your potential users make it to this final stage, it indicates that your product provides them with enough value to help them achieve their goals. Throughout this article, I’m going to show you a list of the top platforms to help you guide your users through this funnel and build your user base.
Software Selection Criteria
What do I look for when I select the best product adoption tools? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
- User Interface (UI): I look for a platform that is clean, easy to configure, and has an uncluttered user interface. These features help your teams deliver effective guidance to your users. This also means that the platform’s features intuitively present themselves to make them easier to locate.
- Usability: I look for software that’s easy for your teams to use. It should have features that are easy to understand and, more importantly, easy to use. These features should also work the way you would expect them to.
- Integrations: I look for software that can integrate with a broad range of other applications that you might already be using. For a product adoption tool to be fully effective, it should be able to easily integrate with at least three product types. These types include product analytics, user feedback, and customer management.
- Value for Price: I look for platforms that help your users start experiencing your product quickly. The more you can improve your onboarding flow to decrease your time-to-value, the more you can increase adoption. This speed can drive cost-savings for your budget that might not be otherwise attainable.
Product Adoption Software: Key Features
Here’s a list of key features I look for when choosing product adoption software.
- Save time and resources: Product adoption platforms should provide your engineering team with a significant amount of relief. It should also allow your other teams to develop user experiences quickly and efficiently. But everyone should be able to implement changes and add features easily.
- In-product experiments: Successful products happen from continuous improvement and iteration. For this to happen, a platform should allow product managers to perform in-product experiments to get the right feedback. It also gives you guidance on how to optimize your product and enables you to make evidence-based decisions.
- Product usage data: To assess product adoption, you should be able to rely on product usage data. This information can help you understand how your product’s users are engaging, where they’re getting stuck, and opportunities to improve their experience.
- In-app communications: Messaging your product’s users in the app is an excellent way to raise awareness of key features and encourage better product usage. Having the ability to communicate with users directly allows you to contact them when this information is most relevant.
- User support: Providing support materials in a product allows users to find the right information whenever they’re stuck or have questions. This information helps minimize the likelihood that they will give up and leave your product. Making support readily available for users is a crucial tactic in product adoption software.
- No-code implementation: The main reason to invest in product adoption platforms is to reduce development resources strain when creating and managing in-product experiences. This is why no-code implementation is crucial. It can help your teams create tailored experiences according to users’ requirements.
- A/B testing: The product adoption platform you invest in should provide you with native A/B testing capabilities. This is where you test two different variations of your product to determine which outperforms the other.
- Precise user targeting: To create tailored user flows, it’s essential to be able to control how, where, and when specific experiences appear for your users. If your product has pages that target different audiences, it’s beneficial to be able to control which user sees which experience.
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UserGuiding is a walkthrough and user onboarding platform designed to facilitate user onboarding through interactive product walkthroughs and user engagement tools.
UserGuiding stands out for its ability to create code-free onboarding experiences, which is particularly beneficial for teams without extensive technical resources. Its onboarding flows are sequences of interactive guides that are designed to introduce new users to your product. They can be customized to match the user's journey and provide a structured path for users to follow.
It transforms your onboarding to-do list into a simple and interactive checklist that displays a progress bar that indicates how long the checklist is to help keep users engaged and motivated to finish the workflow setup.
Additionally, the platform enables user segmentation for targeted content delivery and provides analytics to monitor the effectiveness of the onboarding materials.
UserGuiding integrates with other tools including Mixpanel, Segment, Intercom, Slack, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Woopra, and HubSpot.
Paid plans start from $89 per month with annual billing, and a 14-day free trial is available.
Product Fruits is a user onboarding and adoption platform that helps make the adoption process simpler and quicker for users. The software creates journeys that guide users through the product's features and functionalities. These journeys can be customized based on specific user segments and provide real-time feedback and analytics so businesses can track user behavior and identify areas for improvement.
Product Fruits has in-app walkthroughs and guided tutorials to provide users with an interactive learning environment. The walkthroughs offer a series of straightforward steps that lead users through a software's features individually, highlighting important information and how the software is meant to be used. It monitors and tracks user behavior inside the software and presents this data through intuitive analytics dashboards, enabling companies to identify trends or gaps that impact product adoption. Product Fruits also features a to-do list as a guide for new users. It allows them to check off tasks or actions as they complete them. This feature is meant to motivate users to move through the onboarding process and complete all necessary steps to fully utilize the software.
One of the coolest things about Product Fruits is that it incorporates a feedback widget in the tutorial process. This means that users can report bugs or errors, or even just make suggestions for future improvements. This sets Product Fruits apart, as it ensures that product adoption communications are a two-way street between the developer and the end user.
Integrations include Segment, Mixpanel, Heap, Customer.io, HubSpot, Sessionstack, Smartlook, and Google Analytics. If you use another platform, you can use their JS API to forward events.
Product Fruits starts from $89/month and comes with a 14-day free trial.
Plotline is an in-app engagement platform designed to be used for product adoption. They offer an intuitive product adoption training builder, picture-in-picture media insertion, deep customization options (fonts, backgrounds, brand colors), and the ability to target users with real-time segmentation. You can also import contacts from platforms like Amplitude, Mixpanel, and CleverTap and invite them to start using the app.
You can choose from videos, spotlights, tooltips, or animations when designing your adoption product. Tooltips in particular are great for altering users to new features or popular OG features, and nudges to encourage users to make additional purchases in the app. A/B testing lets you see what types of engagement features work well and which ones fall flat. This way, you can build an experimentation engine and optimize product adoption according to what your users want and need. They also have a Slack community where you can share ideas and learn what other people are doing with the app.
Plotline has a ton of monetization features, like the make-a-purchase nudge I talked about above. For example, if your product functions on trading credits for services you can remind them to buy more when their digital wallet is running low. You can send bulk reminders via SMS or call to save time, too. You can show real-time offers, like promotions, sales, and coupon codes. This could be a great way to encourage referrals and offer something in return. The monetization tools stand out, as I've never seen a product adoption software that has a dedicated feature set for this
Integrations weren't listed on their site.
Plotline costs from $499/month and offers a 21-day free trial.
Apty is an adoption platform that helps enterprise-sized organizations drive business by resolving specific application challenges. Apty helps you understand how users are leveraging your onboarding training and helps you update your material accordingly. You can track and analyze how your customers interact with your product and address any gaps within your current processes.
Apty takes a digital approach to ensure business process compliance. It works with many web-based applications and helps your customers get the most out of your software. This is especially beneficial when your product is brand new to the market. You also don’t have to bring on additional training tools.
Apty integrates with applications such as Google Forms, Jira, Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Salesforce.
Apty offers custom pricing upon request.
Whatfix is an adoption platform that helps organizations with customer engagement, product adoption, and onboarding. The analytics features within the platform provide you with the best insights to help you identify product adoption improvement opportunities. The platform is also a popular choice for employee training and product change management.
Whatfix allows digital product owners to create a product walkthrough and task lists to help guide and train new customers. They also offer personalized self-help features and conversational support directly to customers when they’re using your product. Whatfix’s features help improve your customer’s experience as they learn to use your product. For example, the automation feature helps increase onboarding speed and your teams’ productivity.
Whatfix integrates with applications such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, Amplitude, SurveyMonkey, and Confluence.
Whatfix offers customer pricing upon request.
Appcues is a cloud-based platform that helps product teams apply user experience design processes throughout their product. The platform enables product managers to enroll new users, monitor behavior, and create workflows. Appcues also helps organizations provide users with self-service assistance by adding hotspots, walkthroughs, and widgets throughout a product.
Appcue’s guided tours, which they call flows, allow you to improve product activation and engagement by guiding users around your product. You can segment and target customers by lifecycle stage and persona to provide custom experiences. The platform instantly provides your teams with insights into how your customers use your product’s features. You can then use this information to expand, cross-sell, upsell, and keep customers.
Appcues integrates with popular applications, such as Salesforce, Slack, Heap, and Klaviyo, to help you create and measure user experiences across multiple channels.
Appcues costs from $299/month when paid monthly or $249/month when billed annually. All plans come with a 14-day unlimited free trial.
Intercom is an engagement platform that allows product owners to communicate with users directly. If customers are having any difficulties with your product, you can use Intercom’s resolution bot to automatically reply to users’ questions. The platform also provides product tours to allow you to onboard new customers to your application by providing step-by-step guidance.
When you want to create a custom chatbot, Intercom provides you with a block builder interface. From here, you can determine the content of your bot and figure out what pages you want your chatbot to show by using specific rules. In the intercom platform, you can get a complete overview of all the users who communicate with your chatbot. When you click on a username, you can see that user’s custom tags, field, and the recent pages they viewed.
Intercom integrates with over 300 third-party applications, such as Google Analytics, Outlook Calendar, Salesforce, and HubSpot.
Intercom costs from $65/month for up to a year for eligible start-ups. They also offer a 14-day free trial. You can also customize your plan with specific add-ons.
Pendo is a product adoption software that mainly caters to enterprise products to help companies offer better experiences. The set of solutions that the platform provides businesses covers in-app support, user onboarding, feedback collection, product engagement, and revenue growth. Pendo is a great choice for anyone looking for a better understanding of their users.
Not only does Pendo allow your team to understand the impact of your onboarding content, but it also allows you to customize your content automatically based on your users’ feedback and their behavior when using your product. The platform provides product managers with data about various user segments, such as stickiness ratios for your product’s features and adoption rates. Pendo continuously collects user data without the need to install any trackers within your product via codes. This allows you to tag users directly from the platform and start monitoring historical data without having to get help from your development team.
Pendo integrates with many of the tools you’re already using daily, such as Jira, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zendesk.
Pendo offers customized pricing upon request.
Userflow is a custom onboarding platform that helps SaaS businesses increase customer conversion rates and retention. The platform helps reduce your customer success and sales team’s workload by allowing you to create self-service onboarding checklists to help your users get started with your product efficiently. These checklists provide your customers with a structured experience to help guide users to your product’s features and reduce the need for them to contact your support team. Userflow allows you to also guide customers when you add a new feature.
Userflow helps product owners create custom user onboarding flows that would normally take a few weeks and allows them to do it in a few minutes. The intuitive flow builder uses no extra code to add to your product in a simple drag-and-drop interface. The platform’s element selection algorithm identifies your product’s elements based on simple text to help you design the perfect flows. You can also preview and live-edit your flows in Userflow’s draft mode before publishing them to your customers.
Userflow integrates with various third-party applications, such as Zapier, Mixpanel, Heap, and Amplitude. You can also develop custom integrations if you have a development team that can integrate the platform into what you’re already using.
Userflow costs from $250/month when paying monthly and $200/month when billed annually. Each plan comes with a 14-day free trial.
Businesses of all sizes can use Stonly as a knowledge base management platform to help optimize the overall user experience. It offers solutions to help you educate your customers and take this responsibility off of your support teams if you’re on a smaller budget. The platform also allows you to monitor and analyze your users’ experiences with feedback surveys and a net promoter score.
Stonly allows your teams to develop custom branded, interactive, searchable, and modular product guides. Your interactive guides can initiate through tooltips and hotspots throughout your product to give your users a more hands-on experience. You can add images to your guides to illustrate your information and you can optimize these instructions based on your users’ segment and preferences. Stonly also lets you create product tours with these guides to show your customers how various elements and core features of your product work.
Stonly integrates with other applications, such as Freshdesk, Zendesk, Intercom, and Zapier.
Stonly costs from $124/month when paying monthly and $99/month when billed annually. All plans come with a 14-day free trial.
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What do you think about this list?
Product adoption software provides you with the tools you need to create an excellent product experience for your customers. The tools I discussed in this least offer your business valuable features to improve your customers’ experiences when helping them adapt to your program. Each tool has its own specialized functions, which makes it vital to find the one that best suits your requirements.
Regardless of the solution you decide to use for your business, I hope this list helps you in some way. If you already used one of these tools, leave a comment below and let me know why you chose it. Your experience can help others make their own decisions. If you want more information about product adoption or other product management topics, sign up for our newsletter.