Top 6 Product Usage Metrics To Track TODAY

Product usage data provides information about how customers are using your product. It shows you how users navigate around your product, the features they use the most, and the issues they’re facing.

This article will explain more about product usage metrics and why it’s important for SaaS. I’ll also list the essential product usage metrics and show you how to calculate them.

What Is Product Usage?

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Product usage data gives you information about how users interact with your product.

By analyzing this data, you can gain insight into:

  • How users have landed on a page
  • Which features do they use the most 
  • How and when they use your product
  • What problems they are facing

and more

This information can help you identify areas of your product that need improvement and take a suitable course of action to improve your product usage rate.

Why Is Product Usage Important?

Here are some reasons why you need to look into product usage data:

1. You can offer a better customer experience

By measuring product usage, you understand what’s working well and what areas need work. Specifically, you can find out your product’s best features that help drive revenue and points of friction in the user journey. This information is crucial to offer a better customer experience and increase your product usage rate.

Some ways you can improve customer experience:

  • Improving and enhancing the onboarding process
  • Identifying and fixing bugs in your product or on your website
  • Improving product quality
  • Reaching out to users via surveys to figure out other areas of improvement
  • Build a customer success team

2. It can help you increase retention

By identifying the friction points in the user journey that cause users to drop off, you can figure out and work on the areas that need improvement. You can also segment users based on different properties to find out which users retain the most and tailor your product to meet the needs of other groups better.

3. It helps you increase conversions

Besides retaining existing users, product usage metrics data also helps you convert leads.

By analyzing product usage metrics, you get information about the behavioural data of potential customer engagement for your product. This data is also known as buyer intent data.

It helps you identify the potential customers who are most likely to make a purchase. With this data in hand, you can target leads more effectively.

4. It’s reliable

Many businesses perform qualitative research through surveys or interviews to determine what customers think and feel about their products. It’s no doubt that direct communication with customers provides valuable insights. However, it’s not adequate to depend entirely on qualitative data because it is not real-time and subjective.

On the other hand, product usage data provides an objective, real-time representation of how users interact with your product. You see directly what users are doing and where they’re experiencing issues instead of asking them questions. This is the most reliable form of data you can have.

How Do You Measure Product Usage?

There are so many metrics to measure product usage that it can get intimidating and overwhelming to find out which ones to use. I have listed below the most useful ones to make your work easier.

#1 Product Usage Metric: Time Spent in Usage

This is the amount of time that people spend using your product. You can calculate this on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Why Time Spent in Usage is Important

The number of time users spends on your product indicates customer engagement. This SaaS product metric can be a positive sign of attention if customers’ value of your product is directly proportional to the time they spend using it. However, if your product is meant to deliver a fast experience, too much time spent on usage may be a bad sign.

How to Calculate Time Spent in Usage

To find the time spent in usage, you can first find the number of user sessions per day, week, and month. Then, find the duration of these sessions and the overall time spent.

#2 Product Usage Metric: Time to Value

Time to value, or TTV, is the amount of time it takes a new customer to obtain or realize the value of your product.

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TTV can differ based on the product you offer, the industry you’re in, and of course, who your users are. Regardless of all these factors, a few types of TTV are important to note. These are:

1. Time to the basic value

This is the time it takes for a customer to get your product’s minimum amount of value. At this point, the customer hasn’t realized larger scale value yet but has engaged with features that provide basic value. Note that it’s not necessary for a customer to get basic value only after they pay for your product; they can also get this value from the free version or trial.

2. Time to exceed the value

This is the time it takes for a customer to realize deeper value from your product that they didn’t before. At this point, the customer becomes convinced to continue using your product.

3. Immediate time to value

This is when customers can immediately see the benefits of your products once they start using them.

Although it’s best to minimize TTV as much as possible, how much you can reduce it may be restricted by the type of product you offer. For example, if you have an app, users can download it and use its features right away, which gives instant value. However, with any SEO software, users generally won’t see satisfying SEO results until at least a few months later.

Why TTV is Important

The shorter TTV is, the faster customers get the value for the time and money they have invested. This prompt delivery of value will result in customer satisfaction, as well as lower churn because customers are more likely to continue using your product when they’ve quickly seen value.

How to Calculate TTV

Measuring TTV is a continuous process – there’s no mathematical formula to find it immediately.

The first step in measuring TTV is to define what you mean by “value” for each type of value stated above, where applicable. The value may be determined by the amount of time it takes customers to:

  • Start using new features
  • Upgrade from a free to the paid version
  • Achieve their desired ROI

or other actions that you’ve defined.

Once you know what actions constitute value, you can begin to measure the amount of time it takes customers to perform those actions.

#3 Product Usage Metric: Feature Usage

Feature usage metrics are a set of metrics that relate to the behaviour of users towards a feature of your product. There are a lot of different measurements for feature usage. Some of them are:

  • percentage of feature users when taken over the total number of product users
  • total number of feature users
  • the average time between feature usages of each user

Why Feature Usage is Important

By tracking the metrics covered by feature adoption and usage, you can evaluate aspects of your product’s features, such as the effectiveness of a new feature and how customers are receiving it.

How to Calculate Feature Usage

First, start by finding out the total number of uses of a feature in a given period of time and the total number of unique users of a feature, which will be useful in calculations.

One of the metrics you can calculate is the average use per day. You can find this by the formula:

Say you have 4,000 total uses per day, and 2,000 of them are unique users. Plugging this data into the formula above, you get an idea of how many times each user uses the feature per day (on average). In this case, it’s about 2 times a day.

You can also find the percentage of unique feature users out of the total number of unique product users using the formula:

#4 Product Usage Metric: Activation Rate

User activation is the second of the pirate metrics, also known as AARRR, which are a set of 5 metrics introduced by Dave McClure for tracking product marketing and management.

Pirate Metrics 5 step overview
Image from Paldesk

Activation is defined as the moment that a customer realizes the value of your product and performs a key action in the onboarding process. This action – also called “point of activation” – is known to deliver value to customer engagement, such as making a subscription after using a trial plan.

The activation rate tells you how many users from the ones who signed up have reached the point of activation.

Why Activation Rate is Important

The activation rate is one of the most crucial metrics for SaaS businesses. It shows how many users actually get real value from your product and are willing to go beyond a trial.

A low activation rate indicates that users leave before reaching key actions. This drop-off might be due to poorly directed marketing and sales efforts or a difficult onboarding process.

How to Calculate Activation Rate

The activation rate is the number of users who reached an activation point, divided by the total number of users who signed up, multiplied by 100.

#5 Product Usage Metric: Expansion MRR Rate

The Expansion MRR is the additional revenue you get from existing customers through:

  • Upsells:

subscription to a higher plan or moving from a free plan to a priced-plan

  • Cross-sells:

additional products that add value to a core purchase

  • Add-ons:

additional features that aren’t a part of a customer’s current subscription and that can only be sold to existing customers

  • Reactivation:

resuming a cancelled subscription

Why Expansion MRR Rate is Important

It’s easier to generate profit from existing customers since no Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is involved. Therefore, the expansion rate is a key metric for SaaS since it focuses on additional revenue from existing customers. A high expansion rate is a good sign of demand and value received from the product.

How to Calculate Expansion MRR Rate

To find the expansion rate, subtract the Expansion MRR at the beginning of the month from the Expansion MRR at the end of the month. Then divide this figure by the Expansion MRR at the beginning of the month, and multiply the result by 100.

#6 Product Usage Metric: Stickiness

Customer stickiness measures how long customers will continue using your product. Having a sticky product means you offer value that makes it worth it for customers to continue purchasing your product. This value may be the convenience that your product offers, good pricing, or effective customer satisfaction support.

Why Stickiness is Important

Stickiness is an essential metric to track. High stickiness leads to:

  • reduced churn
  • increased up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  • higher LTV
  • more referrals from users

How to Calculate Stickiness

There are two main metrics used in the calculation of stickiness:

  1. Daily Active Users (DAU): total number of users who use your product at least once a day
  2. Monthly Active Users (MAU): total number of users who use your product in a month

The Stickiness ratio is Daily Active Users divided by Monthly Active Users.

For example: If you had 400 users in a month (MAU), and 40 of them were daily active users (DAU), then the stickiness ratio is 0.10. This indicates that 10% of your monthly users use your product at least once a day, which might be a good or bad product usage rate depending on your niche and the rate of other products in this industry.

The users who highly engage with your product are the ones who see value in your product and are more likely to return to it again.

Since tracking all of these metrics manually is impossible, it’s a great idea to use a tool that helps you in the entire process. These product usage tracking tools are designed to maximize efficiency and help you understand how certain aspects of your product or any changes you make to the UI directly translate to an increase in revenue.

For instance, you can create a custom dashboard using HockeyStack to understand your product’s usage better:

You can create a custom dashboard using HockeyStack to understand your product’s usage better:

HockeyStack is the only SaaS analytics tool that allows you to unify your SaaS business’ marketing, product, revenue, and sales data to uncover insights, such as the LTV of a campaign, or the churn rate of each marketing channel.

Conclusion

Analyzing product usage data is a reliable and objective way to understand how users interact with your product. By tracking the metrics stated above, you can gain insight into many important statistics that can help you improve customer satisfaction experience, convert leads, and increase customer retention and revenue.

FAQ

How is the product used in marketing?

Product marketing is about targeting the right users at the right time. Hence, the focus is often on promoting the value of the product rather than sparking initial interest in the brand, as is the case with traditional marketing.

What are the key goals of product management?

Product management is a process that oversees the whole product lifecycle – from realizing the need for the product to improving it based on feedback from the market. The key aims of product management are to increase revenue and market share and improve profit margins.

How do you increase product usage?

To increase product usage, SaaS companies should provide a smooth onboarding process that allows users to find value in the product as quickly as possible. The product should also be simple to navigate and encourage users to take actions – which should also be supported by emails. It’s also important to ask for users’ feedback and get rid of or improve features that don’t seem to be working.

What is product usage segmentation?

Product usage segmentation is a way to classify users based on their pattern of interaction with the product. If product usage metrics describe patterns of how users interact with the product, product usage segmentation is a way of bucketing and describing user behaviour based on those patterns.

What is a customer segment example?

Demographic Segmentation – based on gender, age, occupation, marital status, income, etc. Geographic Segmentation – based on country, state, or city of residence.

CLV vs LTV

Lifetime value (LTV) is the total lifetime spending of a customer. LTV is an aggregated metric, unlike customer lifetime value, which is calculated at the individual customer experience level.

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