Simply put, one thing ultimately defines the success of your product startup – whether the customers actually use it or not. In this article, I’m going to talk about product analytics that every startup can use to make the product successful.
There are 3 common ways to find out what users really do with your product:
- Customer interviews
- In-product analytics
While the first two require direct interaction with your customers, product analytics presents a less time-consuming method to gain user insights.
How it works
The general idea behind product analytics is very simple. At first, each user action on your website fires an event. For example, if a user clicked on a button, it generates the button.click event. Secondly, the analytics tool collects all events and provides you with an aggregated view for all user actions.
Get the most
Use product analytics to:
- Understand customer behavior. For example, how users flow through your sales funnel, where they land, drop-off or exit the website, etc.
- Measure the product progress. You can find out which features need more work or how important the features are in order to prioritize them.
- Prove the viability of product ideas. Start by using A/B tests and live prototypes to figure out what ideas do work.
- Get inspiration for new product ideas.
Pick the right tool
In effect, you need an analytics tool. As an experiment, you can try to implement your own. For this reason, log all events in the database and visualize them. After you tried, please forget about it forever because you have much better ways to invest your time. Consider two industry-recognized candidates for the start: Google Analytics and Mixpanel.
Google Analytics has a big community. It’s easy to set up and to integrate with other Google Products. Another advantage: it’s free. Unfortunately, the user tracking feature is very basic.
Mixpanel is a very mature product and provides the core user metrics for conversion, retention, and feature usage. Moreover, you can configure automatic emails and notifications. On the contrary, it takes time to configure the tool. Besides that, its user interface is not that user-friendly. While the Mixpanel pricing is somewhat flexible, the free plan is not enough. You might need to upgrade your license.
Installing an analytics tool is the first thing to do if you want to grow your startup using the lean startup method. Once configured, the tool helps you to measure metrics, evaluate hypotheses and make informed product decisions.