Oct 19, 2023 Written by Tamar Barlev

Powering Great Product Development with Product Analytics

A guide to product analytics with benefits, formulas, and examples.

Oh, product analytics. Every product person is obsessed with them. Why, you may ask?

Well—as much as decision paralysis is common these days, we’re still the ever-judgemental species; we make up our minds about some things in a few seconds.

Whether we watch a netflix show? 5 seconds. Whether we like someone? 3 seconds. And when it comes to using a mobile application, let’s put it this way: 25% of users only use an app once.

So, when the competition is fierce and users have high expectations, successful product development is no longer just about building a great product; it’s also about understanding how your users interact with it. This is where product analytics comes into play.

Product analytics, often referred to as the lifeblood of data-driven product development, are crucial for crafting a product that not only attracts users but also retains them while finding its sweet spot in the market.

So today, we’ll explore the purpose of product analytics, how they facilitate product development and iteration, and how they help tailor products to increase user retention, decrease churn, and achieve product-market fit.

The Purpose of Product Analytics

Product analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data related to the usage and performance of a product. The primary purpose of product analytics is to provide valuable insights into how users engage with your product. This data-driven approach offers numerous benefits, including:

  1. Understanding User Behavior: Product analytics can help you gain a deep understanding of how users interact with your product. You can track the paths they take, features they use, and areas where they face challenges.
  2. Improving User Experience: By identifying pain points and friction in your product, you can make data-informed improvements that enhance the user experience. This, in turn, leads to higher user satisfaction.
  3. Iterative Development: Product analytics promotes iterative development. It allows you to track the impact of changes you make and iterate based on real user feedback and data, rather than guesswork.
  4. User Retention: By tailoring your product to better meet user needs, you can increase user retention. This means users are more likely to stick around, engage with your product, and potentially become advocates for your brand.
  5. Reducing Churn: Identifying reasons for user churn is crucial. With product analytics, you can pinpoint why users leave and take steps to mitigate those issues, ultimately reducing churn.
  6. Product-Market Fit: Achieving product-market fit is the ultimate goal for any product. Product analytics provide insights into how well your product aligns with market demand and user expectations, enabling you to make strategic adjustments.

Guiding Great Product Development with Product Analytics

Alrighty. Now that we’ve established the benefits of product analytics to product development, let’s see how they can guide the process.

1. User-Centric Product Design

Product analytics puts user behavior at the center of your decision-making process. By understanding how users navigate your product, you can design features and improvements that cater to their needs and preferences. For example, if you notice that users frequently drop off at a certain point in your app, you can investigate the issue and make design changes to keep users engaged.

2. Data-Backed Iteration

Instead of relying on intuition or guesswork, product analytics provides concrete data for iteration. For instance, if you launch a new feature, you can track its adoption rate, usage patterns, and user feedback. If the feature isn’t performing as expected, you can iterate quickly to enhance its effectiveness, all based on data-driven insights.

3. Personalized User Journeys

Product analytics helps in crafting personalized user journeys. By segmenting users based on their behavior and preferences, you can provide tailored experiences. For instance, an e-commerce platform can recommend products based on a user’s browsing and purchase history, increasing the chances of conversion and retention.

4. Churn Analysis

One of the most critical aspects of product analytics is churn analysis. By identifying the reasons for user churn, such as bugs, confusing interfaces, or unmet expectations, you can proactively address these issues. A mobile app can use this data to improve performance and fix bugs that lead to user drop-off.

5. A/B Testing

Product analytics supports A/B testing, allowing you to compare two versions of a feature or design to determine which one performs better. For example, a social media platform can use A/B testing to evaluate the impact of different post algorithms on user engagement.

Now, let’s explore the ten most important product analytics Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), their formulas, and practical implications with examples.

10 Key Product Analytics Data Points

Product Analytics KPI #1: User Acquisition Rate (UAR)

Formula: (New Users – Churned Users) / Total Users

Practical Implication: A rising UAR suggests your product is successfully attracting new users, while a declining UAR indicates the need to improve your acquisition strategies.

Example:: A food delivery app observes a 20% increase in UAR after launching a referral program, indicating its effectiveness in bringing in new users.

Product Analytics KPI #2: User Engagement Rate (UER)

Formula: (Number of Active Users / Total Users) x 100

Practical Implication: A high UER indicates a product that users find valuable and engaging. It implies that users are actively interacting with your product.

Example: A gaming app maintains a consistent UER of 75%, reflecting strong user engagement, while a competing app struggles with a UER of 40%.

Product Analytics KPI #3: Churn Rate (CR)

Formula: (Churned Users / Total Users) x 100

Practical Implication: A high CR indicates that users are leaving your product. Lowering the churn rate is crucial to increasing retention.

Example: A music streaming service has a CR of 5%, indicating that 5% of its users discontinue their subscriptions each month.

Product Analytics KPI #4: Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)

Formula: (Average Revenue Per User / Churn Rate)

Practical Implication: A higher CLTV signifies that users are staying with your product longer and generating more revenue over time.

Example:: An e-learning platform calculates that its average user generates $100 per month, and the churn rate is 2%, resulting in a CLTV of $5,000.

Product Analytics KPI #5: Conversion Rate (CR)

Formula: (Number of Conversions / Number of Visits) x 100

Practical Implication:A higher CR indicates that more users are taking desired actions, such as signing up, making a purchase, or subscribing.

Example: An e-commerce site sees a CR of 4% on its product pages, signifying that 4% of visitors make a purchase.

Product Analytics KPI #6: Session Duration (SD)

Formula: (Total Time Spent in Sessions / Number of Sessions)

Practical Implication: A longer SD suggests that users are engaging more deeply with your product and finding value in it.

Example: A news app notices that the SD of its morning readers is 10 minutes longer on weekdays compared to weekends.

Product Analytics KPI #7: Retention Rate (RR)

Formula:((Number of Users at the End of a Period – New Users Acquired during the Period) / Number of Users at the Start of the Period) x 100

Practical Implication: A high RR means that users continue using your product over time, leading to better user retention.

Example: A fitness app achieves a 75% 30-day RR, indicating that 75% of users who joined a month ago are still active.

Product Analytics KPI #8: Feature Adoption Rate (FAR)

Formula: (Number of Users Who Use a Specific Feature / Total Users) x 100

Practical Implication: A high FAR suggests that users are embracing new features, while a low FAR may require improving feature discoverability.

Example: A messaging app introduces voice messaging and sees a 40% FAR within a week, indicating successful feature adoption.

Product Analytics KPI #9: Error Rate (ER)

Formula: (Total Errors / Total Actions) x 100

Practical Implication: A high ER indicates potential usability issues or bugs that need to be addressed to enhance the user experience.

Example:An online banking platform observes a 5% ER when users attempt to transfer funds, leading to a resolution of underlying technical problems.

Product Analytics KPI #10: Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Formula: (% Promoters – % Detractors)

Practical Implication: A higher NPS signifies that your users are satisfied with your product and are more likely to promote it to others.

Example: A software company with an NPS of 65 is likely to have a strong user base of promoters who recommend their product to peers.

To Sum Up Product Analytics

Product analytics are the cornerstone of data-driven product development. By understanding user behavior and tracking these key metrics, you can tailor your product to increase user retention, reduce churn, and ultimately find the elusive product-market fit.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, harnessing the power of product analytics is critical for staying competitive and meeting user expectations in a dynamic market.

Want some help with all of this? Reach out to us—as product experts, we’d love to talk.