is THE major thing these days when it comes to web applications. When you have attention then your business booms. A lot of marketers know how to drive traffic to their pages through creative marketing strategies. But what they don’t know how to do is to actually retain these users and get them to keep visiting again and again. So as an entrepreneur with a product, you need stickiness in your product that makes users come visit your product again and again.
Nir Eyal’s book ‘Hooked’ addresses the topic of how a few companies are able to get repeat customers and make their users form habits around their product. This book has a lot of gems that cover different facets of psychology and customer behaviour and how companies can tune this behaviour. Let’s take the quotes from Nir Eyal’s book and explain how to create a sticky product.
“79 percent of smartphone owners check their device within 15 minutes of waking up every morning”
Although this isn’t mandatory, it helps to be in the medium that users are using extensively. The data above suggests that most of the humans in the world are glued to their handsets and having your product’s presence there could up your chances of creating a sticky product.
“Users who continually find value in a product are more likely to tell their friends about it”
How do users find value? As a product you should be able to collect data from the user and curate their experience and each curation should add more value to the user. It is one of the reasons that product companies iterate their products so much. If your product is inherently filled with value, like an Uber, it is easier to get users hooked. A product like Facebook where the value isn’t directly tangible, they add bills and whistles to the product to make it valuable. For example Facebook Groups are widely used products. There are Facebook groups for meeting like minded people, groups that can answer your personal questions and so on. The value of the product should come out somehow.
“We often think the internet enables you to do new things. But people want to do the same things they’ve always been doing”
Many companies get lost in the newness of the internet and try too hard. The truth is, humans have remained the same for centuries and they want to do the same thing on the Internet. If you are able to cater to this innate human need, then you’ll have a product that people will want.
“Companies who form strong user habits enjoy several benefits to their bottom line”
As a company you should be looking at the psychological angle of your user habits. Your focus should be on creating strong habits for your user to keep them going. How can this be done? This can be done by thinking of features that will make the user stay for longer, generate more value when they are incentivized to share content. Recently Twitter has been losing a lot lately. Their Daily Active User’s have dropped and they have a lot of users who join and don’t return back. This is because, Twitter as a product has not been thought through every step of the way. This reflects on their performance.
“Products that require a high degree of behavior change are doomed to fail ”
When you are out to create a product make sure to create ones that suit the market and are easily adaptable with very small behavioural changes plugged in to the product. If you have too advanced a product then it’s very hard to make that transition. As an example, think of touch screens phones in the 90’s. Palm made a lot of touch screen phones that weren’t widely adopted because the technology was too ahead of it’s time. They were expensive and a stylus was required to run the devices. Fast forward it to 2007, Apple made a much simpler touch screen device which was revolutionary, yet the transition was simple to make. Don’t make people take drastic actions in terms of behavior.
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“Reducing the thinking required to take the next action increases the likelihood of the desired behavior occurring unconsciously”
Making your product bloated can have an adverse impact on the usage of your application. Make your actions seamless and think the process through. Make the actions obvious and control the experience to a certain extent. Curated websites work better because the content is controlled and the users aren’t inundated with all sorts of features and tools. Quora does this really well by making you follow certain topics and the next set of actions are controlled so that it’s easy for the user to make this decision.
“Instead of relying on expensive marketing, habit-forming companies link their services to the users’ daily routines and emotions”
Build marketing into the product. Incentivise the user to spend more time within your service instead of advertising to them and getting them to come back to your product. Send timely notifications and give them highly situational content to make the users feel that your product is key to the users everyday life.
Creating a sticky product takes a lot of user research, testing and interpreting data. Consistency is also key to keep users using your product. Focusing on organic ways to keep users engaged is also an important way of thinking of product development. If you have to use advertising to bring users back to your website, then you are doing it wrong. Making users form habits and make your website sticky is a hard process and every website is different. What works for facebook may not work for your product and it is up to you to figure out a strategy for your site. The one trick is to run a lot of experiments and collect a lot of data around your user’s behavior.
What makes them come to your site?
What makes them stay for longer?
What makes them refer your product?
Find out these data points and you will be one step closer to building a sticky product.