How Product Intelligence Helped Under Armour, Well Pharmacy, and NerdWallet Iterate Faster

Hayley Sakae

Social Media Manager

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4 -minute Read,

Posted on December 17, 2020

Top-performing businesses build fast with data when they can answer product questions quickly.

As a product leader, you know how important iteration is to helping teams adapt to user needs and build great products. But iterating without clear, accessible data can lead to problems throughout the launch cycle, from poor audience fit to missed timelines because it took too long to validate an earlier change.

To dig deeper into these consequences, we surveyed more than 350 digital product decision-makers in our Product Intelligence Report. We found that 69% of teams have to wait for several days or up to a week for answers to simple data questions. Of that 69%:

  • Thirty-nine percent wait for the answers they need, delaying the project.
  • Almost 60% move forward based on instinct, not evidence.

In the survey, we also found that businesses that had clear, accessible, high-quality data from their product intelligence tools were five and a half times more likely to see 25% or more year-over-year growth.

Stories from three companies—Well Pharmacy, NerdWallet, and Under Armor—highlight how vital customer insights are for product teams. They each used product intelligence tools to make faster decisions, better understand their customers, and take well-informed big bets to improve their platforms.

Well Pharmacy: Using Funnels to Increase Conversion

Like many of the respondents in the Product Intelligence Report, Well Pharmacy’s product team didn’t always have access to reliable data, despite being the UK’s largest independent pharmacy and the third largest pharmacy chain overall. That lack of access slowed their product development. Their previous analytics platform provided surface-level data but couldn’t provide deep customer insights. Important information, such as what actions users took after a specific event, was missing. As a result, Well’s product team had to test more frequently to validate incremental changes.

Eventually, Well Pharmacy made the switch to accurate, real-time analytics delivered through a platform their entire product team could understand. This switch allowed the product team to shorten the feedback loop to minutes instead of weeks. They quickly found insights that previously weren’t available, such as why so many customers were dropping off during the sign-up process.

By identifying where in the funnel customers were leaving, Well Pharmacy’s product team recognized an important trend: The email verification step of their sign-up process was pushing customers off the website almost immediately.

Moving the email verification to a different part of the sign-up process increased sign-up conversion by 30%. Helping more customers use the online pharmacy also took some stress off in-store personnel. It cut down on the number of basic questions customers asked, allowing the pharmacists and customer service team to focus on giving the best advice to in-store customers.

NerdWallet: Creating Segments to Drive Retention

As the personal finance website and app NerdWallet started to scale, the company learned it needed better user insights to sustain its growth.

With accessible and usable product intelligence, the data team quickly found ways to improve the user experience and keep their customers coming back.

One of their first observations was how back-end engineering decisions, such as how long the app took to load, affected retention. By creating segments and cohorts, the team was able to compare how changes they made to the processes required on launch impacted user behavior. With this information, the company reduced its load time from 12 seconds to five.

Having accessible real-time analytics also gave the NerdWallet team the opportunity to conduct small experiments to drive conversion. Using Amplitude’s Funnels, the team noticed a sizable difference between the click-through rate of users on the mobile app compared with users on the website. Website CTR was two times higher than that of mobile users.

By experimenting with A/B tests, they were able to create campaigns that resonated with their audience. Being able to measure quickly with small tweaks, NerdWallet increased mobile click-through rates by 200%.

“Discovering what actually drives click-through rate is not always what you think it is. Having that really quick turn around to measure that is really helpful. It means we don’t waste a lot of time chasing what we think is a perfect solution only to realize users prefer something else,” said Sam Dalton, an engineering manager at NerdWallet.

Under Armour: Building Cohorts to Place Big Bets

Under Armour Connected Fitness is a network of fitness apps—such as MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal—for the everyday athlete. Prior to using Amplitude, Under Armour’s product managers had to request the data from product analysts. The product analysts had to wade through time-consuming SQL queries that often required multiple iterations before they got the information their product managers needed.

Once Under Armour secured a product intelligence platform, their experimentation time shortened from three months to one. This smaller experimentation cycle removed the fear of spending resources to build product features that didn’t help their users, because they were able to measure and learn quickly. It also allowed for a cascade of big updates that focused on retention and feature engagement.

With this shortened validation window, the team could take some big bets on new features. One of the first was increasing MapMyRun retention by helping athletes with their form. They could help users avoid injury and keep running so they would continue using their apps.

With this hypothesis, the team created Form Coaching Tips within the MapMyRun app. The company used cohorts, segmentation, and retention tracking to gauge whether users liked the new addition. They quickly saw that Form Coaching Tips was a success and boosted day-seven retention by 30%.

Product intelligence tools did more than shorten the company’s build-measure-learn cycle for new features. It also helped identify ways to make current products more engaging.

For example, segmentation charts showed the product team that their race training plans had low user engagement. The Under Armour team redesigned the plans to address a wider variety of goals. They built behavioral cohorts so they could see the impact of this change over time. Thanks to the update, the team saw a threefold increase in their paying customers who used the plans.

Data-Driven Iteration

As the Amplitude Product Intelligence Report shows, many product decision-makers struggle with having high-quality, actionable data in a platform, where their teams can use it in real time. On the flip side, businesses using product intelligence tools were six times more likely to ship new releases at least once a week compared with businesses that didn’t have the tools. When your user data is easy to access and understand, your product team can stop waiting and start iterating faster.

Are you ready to start using product intelligence tools to help your product team iterate faster? Take a tour of Amplitude today.

Hayley Sakae

Hayley is the Social Media Manager at Amplitude. She owns all organic channels and employee advocacy, driving social reach and engagement among both internal and external product and growth leaders.

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