B2C Tech Company Onboarding Trends
Four key trends for how B2C tech companies are onboarding users to their platforms include the following: one, developing a multi-channel experience, two, tailoring the experience to the user, three, designing onboarding as part of the full customer life cycle, and five, defining and maintaining performance metrics.
#1: DEVELOPING A MULTI-CHANNEL EXPERIENCE
- User onboarding is more successful when B2C tech companies use multiple channels, like email, co-browsing tools, notifications, chatboxes, video tutorials, and more, to communicate with new users.
- Welcome emails and educational emails are commonly employed to engage, educate, and thank new users. Upscope's welcome emails and Close's educational emails are two examples of notably successful uses of this channel.
- Co-browsing and screen-sharing tools are more recent trends in onboarding and help users by allowing a customer service agent to view their screen and walk the user through how to use the platform. This list shows some of the most popular emerging co-browsing tools.
- Notifications, like Square's reminder emails or push notifications, are important in encouraging repeated use and marking a user's milestones within a given platform.
- Chatboxes and other kinds of virtual assistants help guide users through questions almost instantaneously, therefore increasing productivity and customer satisfaction.
#2: TAILORING THE EXPERIENCE TO THE USER
- Another onboarding trend is customizing the onboarding experience to the user as much as possible. Tailoring the onboarding experience to the behavior of the user is valuable.
- PicMonkey and QuickBooks both offer new users the option to choose between a few options to communicate how users want to use their platforms, and then the sites customize the onboarding experience accordingly.
- Using smart analytics and AI can be a key part of tailoring user experience, but companies have to also keep in mind the EU's General Data Protection Regulation which allows European customers to limit how companies use their data. So, transparency is an important part of this trend as well.
#3: DESIGNING ONBOARDING AS PART OF THE FULL CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE
- B2C tech companies are coming to see onboarding as not just helping users to get to know the product, but also communicating the value of the product in a way that considers the full customer life cycle.
- The onboarding process is not complete when a user makes a purchase and understands what the product does, and while designing the onboarding process, companies need to consider how users may renew their purchase or refer the product to others.
- More companies, like Adobe, are designing their onboarding process while they are developing their product instead of afterward.
#4: DEFINING AND MAINTAINING PERFORMANCE METRICS
- For any of the above trends to be successful, companies have to define successful onboarding and identify ways to measure it. Four of the most common performance metrics for user onboarding are the churn rate, the customer lifetime value, retention metrics, and the net promoter score.
- As performance metrics for onboarding have become more popular, platforms like Amplitud and Chameleon have emerged to help companies conduct effective tracking of their onboarding processes.
- Twitter, Dropbox, and Slack have all demonstrated success in using performance metrics by identifying metrics that are particularly important indicators of user engagement and then finding ways to make sure that users were engaging with the components of those metrics.
To identify the four trends in how B2C tech companies are onboarding users to their platforms, your research team began by conducting a review of reports and online publications from businesses involved in this industry. We discovered that many companies have emerged that focus specifically in helping companies with user onboarding, and they have published a wealth of information on the topic. So we made an extensive list of trends mentioned in these publications. After this preliminary search, we reviewed the list of potential trends, and narrowed it down based on the recency of the source, the number of times it had been mentioned, and its relevancy to specifically B2C tech companies. Then, we conducted a second round of research into the remaining trends, using similar sources as the first round of research.
For several of the sources we used, the distinction between trends and best practices was blurred. To ensure that we were properly responding to the request, part of the second round of research included looking for B2C tech companies that were using the trends. For each of the trends identified, we were able to find sources referring to them as trends and examples of tech companies employing these practices, which ensures that while they may be best practices, they are certainly also trends.
Additionally, we refer to the trends as being "successful" in parts of the findings. This success is based on the performance metrics listed in the trend 4 section.