MVP Analytics: How to Launch Your Product with Proper Insights
The industry to facilitate the measurement and analysis of web behavior is absolutely saturated with tools. Yet, at the same time, analyzing the behavior of users for any company is an extremely time-consuming process, from early startups to large enterprises.
We, at Flatirons Development, fundamentally believe that launching your product without proper insights is one of the worst mistakes you can make.
There are so many scenarios under which analytics are a necessity to running your business effectively and reducing waste. Some of those areas include:
- Understanding drop-off points so that you can improve retention and feature usage
- Understanding feature usage, or lack thereof
- Understanding the browsers, operating systems, and devices that you should or should not support
- Understanding the actions that a particular user has taken
- Diagnosing bugs
- Prioritizing improvements
- Creating smart email campaigns based on actions that a user has taken
As a serious product team, you need to have tools at your fingertips that will give you actionable insights into all of these areas on a constant basis.
At Flatirons Development, we have put together an MVP analytics pipeline that we launch with every new product we build.
The best part of this analytics solution is that it’s cheap. Once it’s set up, it can record all sorts of actions performed by a user to each service listed below on a continual basis. Every time you add a new feature, it just takes one line of code to send information to every service.
The Flatirons MVP Analytics Package
Let’s review each tool we launch MVPs with, along with the benefits they provide (we won’t go into every feature of these products, just the ones that we believe to be most impactful at an early stage).
Watch and Learn From Live Interactions
Inspectlet or Hotjar
Inspectlet and Hotjar allow you to watch videos of your users using your website. When someone has an issue, you can just watch their session and figure out how they got into the situation that occurred.
This is immensely helpful for debugging issues, supporting your users while they are using the app, and improving the user experience. I can’t overstate how easy to implement yet impactful these products are.
You would be surprised how many times users say “your website is not working,” and how these tools can help you narrow down exactly what happened to them.
Learn Where You Are Losing Customers In Your App
MVPs are typically bigger than subsequent releases. They can take months to roll out. This shouldn’t be your average feature release cycle. So, imagine the scenario where you launch your product and you have issues with drop-off, lack of feature usage, etc. Maybe users don’t understand your navigation. Maybe you asked them a question they didn’t want to answer and decided to navigate away from your website.
While Inspectlet and HotJar are very informative on an individual session basis, MixPanel is a robust, easy-to-understand tool that can allow you to:
- Build funnels that show you the aggregate drop-off of each stage of the funnel, meaning you can prioritize exact areas of your website to prioritize for improvement
- Analyze the most popular features, as well as the least
- See every event that an individual performed, in the order that they were performed
Imagine the frustration when you ask yourself “why aren’t people buying anything on my website?” If you can narrow your issue (or issues) down to the specific pages that people are having issues with, you can start to analyze more quickly.
Communicate with Lost Customers
Following up with people that drop-off at specific points in your product is a nice lead-in to Intercom, a customer support communication tool.
Intercom has a number of features, but two of its main ones are the ability to live chat with customers, as well as to collect information about website usage and target users based on their individual behavior on your website.
For example, say a customer adds something to their shopping cart and then leaves the website. With Intercom, you can target users at that point in time and send them one email, or an entire email campaign. You can even include information about the details of the product in their cart. Again, this is a simple tool to implement, and it is very powerful.
Understand Your Web Traffic
Have you ever done a press release and been curious to see how many people are currently on your website? Have you ever wondered if you should prioritize a fix for a specific browser? What about what pages in your app are most popular? The performance of your marketing website?
Google Analytics is not only free, but it’s extremely robust. It’s not the most user-friendly analytics solution in our opinion, but it is worth the extra few minutes it takes to implement.
Team Communication and Alignment
At a previous startup I worked with, early on we celebrated every time a purchase occurred with high fives. This section is mostly targeted towards startups that already use Slack.
Typically, what we do is send a message to a Slack channel (for example, #activity_production) with the user that performed any valuable action, what action they performed, and any data associated with that action.
Having these events tied to the messaging system that your entire team uses gives the team greater insights into usage immediately (many times you will find employees not understanding usage, which can lead to demotivation). This will increase the chances that they will look at Intercom or MixPanel to understand what people are doing, check Intercom to see if they should answer any questions by the user, and be more motivated when exciting events occur such as a user purchasing something or a new feature being used.
This solution doesn’t scale necessarily as your customer base grows, but it provides awesome feedback early on. A Slack pipeline of events gives your entire team immediate feedback.
Ownership of Your Own Analytics
Inevitably, the analytics suite above will change and adjust for your team’s dynamics and needs. For that reason, it’s always best to have a data backup stored in an area that contains full detail and is easily accessible to your development teams. This way, you can always deploy your data to a new service (almost any reasonable service will have some sort of data import feature).
You don’t want your analytics data to be tied to external services, you want to record it internally as well.
Don’t Launch Your Product Blind
The launch of your product is just the beginning of making it successful. You have to learn from every user interaction and touch point. If you don’t have the tools to monitor and collect that data, you could be heading toward potential failure without any insights on how to move forward.
This is something we try to help all of our clients avoid. So if you want to give your product the best chance to succeed, connect with us and let’s start learning with our MVP Analytics Package.
Michael is CEO and Co-Founder of Flatirons Development. He has 17+ years of experience building and managing software with projects ranging from startup MVP development to managing complex systems for Fortune 500 companies.