A Guide to Stickiness: Creating a Sticky Product Users Will Love

The stickiness of your product refers to the frequency of a user’s engagement with your product. Learn more about what it is and how to improve product stickiness with your users.

Best Practices
May 10, 2024
Michele Morales Headshot
Michele Morales
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amplitude
A guide to product stickiness

The stickiness of your product refers to the frequency of a user’s engagement with your product. A sticky product drives strong user habits and deep engagement, making it a habitual part of a user’s routine.

Think of stickiness like a tree in the ground. The more a tree absorbs water and other nutrients, the more the roots grow, anchoring it firmly where it is. Similarly, as users engage more consistently and deeply with your product, they become experts and advocates, strengthening your product’s foothold in the market.

Stickiness isn’t just about numbers—it’s a testament to your product’s ability to fulfill user needs and maintain a lasting relationship. This article explores the factors influencing stickiness so you can keep users engaged and cement your product’s place in their routine.

Key takeaways
  • Stickiness measures how often and how regularly your users engage with your product over time.
  • Factors directly impacting stickiness include user experience, retention, and engagement.
  • Improve stickiness by strengthening your onboarding experience for new users, enhancing features based on user feedback, and personalizing users’ experiences.

What is stickiness?

Stickiness measures how effectively a digital product engages users and encourages repeated, habitual use. Companies often use product and user stickiness interchangeably, but there is a difference.

  • Product stickiness refers to the qualities and characteristics of your product that make it habit-forming or deeply integrated into a user’s daily life. A sticky product is compelling and makes users want to use it frequently because of its appeal or usefulness.
  • User stickiness refers to the behaviors and habits of the users. Users might exhibit stickiness by habitually using a product despite other available options or by frequently engaging with different product features.

There’s no standard industry calculation for stickiness, but leading companies use multiple calculations to gauge both user and product stickiness. For instance, you can calculate user stickiness by dividing your daily active users (DAU) by dividing it by your monthly active users (MAU).

A high DAU-to-MAU ratio usually indicates that a large number of users are engaging with your product daily relative to the number of monthly users.

(Number of Active Users / Total Number of Users) × 100

This formula helps quantify user engagement and activity with your product by comparing the number of users who regularly use your product with the entire user base.

Track key performance indicators (KPIs) like feature adoption, retention rate, and conversion metrics to measure product stickiness.

Factors impacting stickiness

Understanding the factors influencing stickiness is crucial for product success and sustained growth.

User engagement

When users regularly and consistently interact with the features and functions of a product, it shows they’re engaged. If they’re not, it may mean there’s a mismatch between what they need and what your product offers or that their preferences are evolving.

To monitor how often and how long users engage with your product, track metrics like session duration, frequency of visits, feature usage, feature adoption, and click-through rates. When users stick around longer and return more often, they’re likely to become habitual users, with the product integrated into their daily lives.

User retention

Sticky products tend to have better user retention rates as customers keep returning to use the product. Retained users also exhibit a higher level of loyalty toward your product than new or one-time customers. One study found that 59% of respondents in the U.S. say once they’re committed to a brand, they’re loyal customers for life. This loyalty reduces the likelihood of your users switching to other alternatives.

Monitor key retention metrics, such as churn rates, repeat usage patterns, cohort analysis, and customer lifetime value. You might also want to identify the factors that contribute to improved user retention. For instance, pinpoint which features, functionalities, or experiences are driving users to stay engaged with your product over time.

User experience

The way users feel about and use your product directly affects whether they stick around. A positive user experience means your product and its features are easy to navigate and use and that the design is intuitive and user-friendly. Users with consistent positive experiences with your product are more apt to continue using it.

Track KPIs related to customer experiences, such as usability scores, time spent on tasks, user satisfaction ratings, and comments or feedback on specific features. This data shows you how users perceive and interact with your product so you can better understand the quality of their experience. See how they navigate your product, interact with its features, and respond to design elements so you can identify the pain points of their experience.

How to increase stickiness

Here are a few tactics to help your product stick with your users.

Enhance the user onboarding experience

A strong onboarding process can help your new customers better understand your product and its value. It minimizes confusion, dissatisfaction, or the lack of perceived value—all factors that can lead to abandonment.

For example, WeMoney, an Australian wellness company, noticed that users who engaged with its goal-setting feature tended to stick around more. But the goal-setting feature wasn’t easy for WeMoney users to find. By building the goal-setting feature into its onboarding process, the company saw a 20% boost in users sticking with the product.

Design your onboarding flow to be simple. Guide users through key functionalities, minimize the number of steps and avoid overwhelming them with unnecessary information.

Improve features based on feedback and testing

Show users you understand them by improving features based on feedback, trends, and preferences. Listening to and using their feedback shows users you’re tuned into their wants and needs.

Streaming service NBCUniversal set out to improve the stickiness of its streaming product by learning what customers want and giving it to them. The company rolled out a testing project, a potential feature—a new homepage experience for streamers—with a small test audience. Using Amplitude’s Funnels and AB Test View, NBC saw that the new homepage boosted viewership by 10%, so the company rolled it out to all of its viewers.

Listen to what your users are saying. Gather feedback through surveys, chats, or reviews. Then, keep improving your product offerings and testing new features based on that feedback. This feedback loop keeps your product fresh and aligned with what users love, making them more likely to stick around.

Personalize features or content

Use customer data to create a more personalized and engaging experience that encourages users to stay connected with the product. Content, recommendations, and features specifically relevant to your users’ preferences, behaviors, and needs will help drive that personalization.

By giving users content that aligns with their interests or past interactions, you can increase the likelihood they’ll continue engaging. In fact, 57% of consumers in Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement Report said they’d spend more with a brand that personalizes their experiences.

Metrics such as user behavior patterns, past interactions, preferences, and demographic information give your product teams valuable insights. You can also look at past interaction data like browsing history, usage patterns, clicked items, and saved preferences to understand individual user preferences.

Once you have the data, add personalized recommendations, settings, features, or content that cater to individual user preferences. This tailored approach enhances the overall user experience, driving deeper connections and encouraging users to keep coming back.

Use data to create informed stickiness strategies

Data is a key component in creating a sticky product. Quantitative data helps you understand customer preferences, trends, and patterns so you can give users a valuable product they can incorporate into their lives. For example, using benchmark data helps you measure your product's performance against other products in your industry.

Start harnessing the power of data by implementing robust analytics tools and methodologies. If you’re unsure where to start, Amplitude offers a master guide on retention strategies that empowers users to analyze data effectively. This guide shows you how to use customer insights to tailor products to customer needs and preferences so you can drive long-term engagement and growth.

Sign up for free today to start making more strategic, data-driven decisions.

About the Author
Michele Morales Headshot
Michele Morales
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Amplitude
Michele Morales is a product marketing manager at Amplitude, focusing on go-to-market solutions for enterprise customers