This is a guest post by Dimitris Athanasiadis, Business Development & Marketing Manager at Megaventory.
In Megaventory we provide online inventory management and order tracking software to small and medium businesses which handle physical goods – whether it’s an eshop or a wholesale distributor. If this doesn’t strike you as a very sexy or simple product, you’re probably right.
As the business cases we’re addressing are complex, our software is also multi-layered and must meet very varied needs. This led us to include many help systems in our application and consequently we needed to find a way to encourage users to take advantage of all these help methods. That would allow users to grasp how Megaventory works faster and ultimately allow them to actually make the best of our software. We have indeed found a simple way to do that that increased our tutorial launch rates by 25% and it only took us a few minutes.
In the world of business software things need to start making sense within seconds, particularly during trial periods. Your software will affect how users run their businesses so there’s an important decision at stake. And of course, you also need convince them your product stands out from the competition and is the best fit for their needs. So, no pressure…
Typically our users are very busy entrepreneurs who need to understand complex processes and workflows. Megaventory has a unique flexibility to fit different types of businesses, which means many potential customizations for users. Understandably, learning the software and how it can be adapted can be particularly challenging if users are new to these processes of inventory management, as many entrepreneurs are.
Sometimes users are experienced and pick up things effortlessly but most of the time we’re actually dealing with users who are coming in contact with these concepts for the first time.
What we do is try to help our customers have the smoothest introduction to our product and its details. Having a well-thought out design is rarely enough. We also need to provide helpful elements such as hover tips, a knowledge base, and live chat - yet some of our users will still not be covered.
Enter the Inline Manual tutorials and step by step guides which help show people what a multi-layered application like Megaventory does. With Inline Manual we can easily take the visitor by hand and explain how each process works and what they need to know to run it.
An even better approach
Despite all these measures we have found that many customers seemed unwilling to launch the tutorials, thinking it would be too much of a hassle and it would side-track them – remember their time is very limited. And it’s true to an extent: if you’re focusing on understanding something you don’t want to freeze that mental process just to start something else.
So we thought of a simple solution to show them that it only takes a few minutes to complete a tutorial. And that’s just what we did – and it only took us just a few minutes to add times to the titles:
Moreover since we always try to make data driven decisions, we ran a little experiment. Inline Manual tracks how many users have started the tutorial over a period of time (play rates). So, we tracked play rates across our main tutorials over two weeks. We then included our estimated completion time in the title of every tutorial and let another two weeks pass before measuring the play rates again.
The results were impressive. Comparing play rates before and after adding the time estimate of the duration of each guide meant a 25% increase in total play rates! This translated to a significant improvement to engagement and understanding of the Megaventory functionality – and ultimately better conversion rates from trial to paid accounts.
Sometimes, very little work can bring awesome results.