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Product stickiness: What, why, how (with examples) 2024

Make your product sticky (without the bad stuff)! Learn how to increase the stickiness of your product in this in-depth guide with real-world examples.

February 16, 2024
Team Blitzllama

Product stickiness is crucial for sustaining user engagement and driving growth. Many product owners struggle to understand what makes their offerings compelling and habit-forming. 

Users often abandon products that fail to captivate them. This challenge demands a deeper comprehension of stickiness and its mechanisms. 

Empathizing with users' needs and preferences is essential to crafting sticky products. Through insightful examples and practical strategies, this article elucidates the essence of product stickiness. 

By embracing user-centric approaches and deploying proven techniques, product owners can enhance stickiness and foster enduring relationships with their user base. Understanding, empathy, and actionable insights are the keys to unlocking lasting product stickiness.

What is product stickiness?

Product stickiness refers to the ability of a product to keep users engaged and coming back regularly. It's about creating features and experiences that make users want to return to the product. Stickiness is crucial for retaining users and fostering long-term usage. 

It involves understanding user needs and preferences, designing intuitive interfaces, and offering valuable content or services. By focusing on user satisfaction and addressing pain points, product owners can enhance stickiness. 

Metrics like retention rate and user engagement indicate the level of stickiness. Continuous improvement and adaptation to user feedback are key strategies for maintaining product stickiness over time.

Now that we've defined product stickiness, let's delve into why it's essential for your product's success.

Why does product stickiness matter?

Understanding the factors that contribute to product stickiness empowers product teams to create compelling experiences that keep users coming back for more. Here are some reasons why stickiness is important:

Why does product stickiness matter?

1) Reduced churn and increased customer lifetime value (CLTV)

Product stickiness is crucial for reducing churn, which refers to the rate at which customers stop using a product or service. When a product is sticky, customers are more likely to continue using it over time, leading to increased customer lifetime value (CLTV). 

By keeping customers engaged and satisfied, stickiness contributes to higher retention rates and longer customer relationships. This stability in customer retention enhances the overall profitability and sustainability of a product or service.

2) Lower customer acquisition costs

A sticky product also helps in lowering customer acquisition costs. When existing customers remain engaged and loyal, they not only continue to use the product but also serve as advocates who refer new customers. 

Word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews from satisfied customers can significantly reduce the resources required for acquiring new customers. Thus, a sticky product not only retains existing customers but also facilitates the expansion of the customer base through organic means, thereby reducing the need for expensive marketing campaigns.

3) Increased brand loyalty and advocacy

Product stickiness fosters increased brand loyalty and advocacy among customers. When users find a product valuable, enjoyable, and easy to use, they develop a strong attachment to the brand. This emotional connection encourages them to stick with the product and recommend it to others. 

Brand loyalty and advocacy are powerful drivers of growth and sustainability, as they lead to a steady stream of loyal customers who actively promote the product within their social circles and networks. This organic promotion further strengthens the brand's reputation and credibility in the market.

4) Data-driven insights for product improvement

The stickiness of a product also provides valuable data-driven insights for product improvement. By analyzing user engagement metrics, behavior patterns, and feedback, product owners and managers can gain valuable insights into how customers interact with the product. 

These insights help in identifying areas for enhancement, optimizing user experiences, and addressing pain points effectively. By continuously iterating and improving the product based on user data, product owners can ensure that the product remains relevant, competitive, and valuable to its target audience, thus further enhancing its stickiness and long-term success.

Now, let's differentiate between retention and stickiness to grasp their distinct roles in product success.

What is the difference between retention and stickiness?

Retention and stickiness are crucial metrics for evaluating product performance. Retention measures the percentage of users who return to the product over time, while stickiness gauges how engaged users are during each visit.





Measures user return rate over time

Evaluates user engagement per visit


Long-term user loyalty

Short-term user activity


Percentage of returning users

Frequency and depth of interactions


Indicates product value and appeal

Reflects user satisfaction and utility


30% of users return monthly

Users spend 20 minutes per session

Understanding these distinctions helps product owners optimize strategies to retain users and enhance stickiness, fostering sustained growth and user satisfaction.

Next, we'll explore how to measure the stickiness rate of your product effectively.

How to measure product stickiness rate?

Product teams can evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and identify areas for improvement by tracking key metrics over time. Understanding how to measure stickiness empowers teams to make data-driven decisions that drive user retention and loyalty:

How to measure product stickiness rate?

1) Daily Active Users (DAU)/Monthly Active Users (MAU)

Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU) are key metrics used to measure the stickiness rate of a product. DAU represents the number of unique users who engage with a product on a daily basis, while MAU measures the same on a monthly basis.

These metrics help product owners and managers gauge the frequency and consistency of user interactions. By tracking DAU and MAU, teams can understand the level of user engagement over time and identify trends, helping in making informed decisions to enhance stickiness.

Calculate DAU by counting the number of unique users who use the product within a 24-hour period. For MAU, count unique users within a 30-day period. The formula for stickiness is DAU/MAU, expressing the ratio of daily active users to monthly active users.

If a product has 10,000 DAU and 50,000 MAU, the stickiness rate is 0.2 or 20%. This means 20% of the monthly users engage with the product on a daily basis.

2) Session length

Session length measures the amount of time users spend actively engaged with a product during a single session. It provides insights into how captivating and valuable the product is to users in a given interaction.

Understanding session length helps product owners assess the depth of user engagement. Longer session lengths often indicate a more sticky product, as users find value in spending extended time within the application.

Track the time a user spends actively using the product during a single session. Use analytics tools to measure session lengths and identify patterns over time.

If a user spends an average of 15 minutes within a product during a single session, the session length is 15 minutes. Analyzing this metric across the user base provides insights into overall stickiness.

3) Feature adoption

Feature adoption measures how widely and frequently users adopt and use specific features within a product. It highlights which features contribute most to user engagement and stickiness.

Monitoring feature adoption helps product teams identify popular functionalities, understand user preferences, and prioritize enhancements. It also aids in tailoring marketing and communication strategies.

Analyze user data to identify the usage patterns of different features. Track the adoption rate by calculating the percentage of users who regularly use a specific feature compared to the total user base.

If a product has a chat feature, and 70% of users engage in chat at least once a week, the feature adoption rate for chat is 70%. This indicates strong feature stickiness.

4) Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the likelihood of users recommending a product to others. It is calculated based on a survey question that asks users how likely they are to recommend the product on a scale of 0 to 10.

NPS is a valuable metric for assessing user satisfaction and loyalty. A higher NPS suggests a more sticky product, as satisfied users are more likely to continue using and recommending it.

Administer the NPS survey, asking users to rate the likelihood of recommending the product. Calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors (scores 0-6) from promoters (scores 9-10).

If 30% of users are promoters, 20% are detractors, the NPS is 10% (30% - 20%). A positive NPS indicates a higher likelihood of user retention and product stickiness.

Note: DAU/MAU, the true measure of product stickiness, stands out as the primary metric. Session length, feature adoption, and NPS serve as valuable proxies, intricately linked to and influential in elevating DAU/MAU. Recognizing these correlations is vital for product owners and managers seeking to enhance and quantify their product's stickiness.

Now, let's discuss what constitutes a good stickiness rate for your product.

What is a good stickiness rate?

A good stickiness rate varies depending on your product or business and its intended usage. For most industries, a 20% stickiness rate is considered good, while 25% or more is exceptionally good. 

In the SaaS industry, the average stickiness rate is 13%, equivalent to about 4 days of activity per user per month. However, the median rate for SaaS is 9.3%, which translates to less than 3 days of activity per user per month. 

Remember, a low stickiness rate doesn’t necessarily indicate poor performance; it's crucial to analyze within the context of your specific product and user behavior.

Moving forward, we'll explore strategies to improve the stickiness of your product.

How to improve product stickiness?

Implementing effective strategies to improve stickiness is key to fostering sustainable growth and maximizing user satisfaction. Check out these tips for increasing product stickiness:

1) Value proposition: Ensure your product solves real user problems and delivers tangible benefits.

To enhance product stickiness, focus on a robust value proposition that directly addresses users' needs. Identify their pain points and deliver tangible benefits through your product.

Problem Identification: Understand the specific challenges your users face. Conduct surveys, interviews, and analyze user data to pinpoint their real problems.

Solution Alignment: Tailor your product features to directly address identified issues. Make sure users see clear connections between their problems and your solutions.

Clear Communication: Clearly communicate the value your product brings. Craft compelling messaging that highlights how your product solves users' problems in a straightforward manner.

Continuous Improvement: Regularly reassess user needs and update your product accordingly. A dynamic approach ensures your solution remains relevant and continues to meet evolving user demands.

2) User onboarding: Create a seamless and engaging onboarding experience that sets users up for success.

Smooth onboarding experiences lay the foundation for product stickiness. Ensure users can quickly and effortlessly understand and navigate your product.

Simplicity: Streamline the onboarding process, focusing on essential steps to get users started. Avoid overwhelming them with unnecessary information.

Guided Tours: Incorporate guided tours or tutorials to walk users through key features. This hands-on approach helps users grasp the product's value and functionality.

Clear Value Demonstration: During onboarding, emphasize the immediate benefits users gain. Clearly showcase how your product improves their workflow or solves their problems.

User Support: Provide accessible support channels during onboarding. Whether through chat, FAQs, or video tutorials, make assistance readily available to prevent frustration and abandonment.

3) Habit formation: Design features and interactions that encourage daily or frequent usage.

Encourage users to integrate your product into their daily routines by designing features that foster habitual usage.

Daily Triggers: Create features that prompt daily engagement. This could be through notifications, reminders, or other subtle cues that bring users back to your product regularly.

User Goals: Align your product with users' personal or professional goals. If your product helps them achieve their objectives, they are more likely to incorporate it into their daily habits.

Progress Tracking: Implement features that allow users to track their progress. This could be in the form of charts, statistics, or achievement badges, providing a sense of accomplishment and motivating continued use.

Seamless Integration: Ensure your product seamlessly integrates into users' existing workflows. The less effort required to incorporate your product, the more likely users will make it a habit.

4) Content & gamification: Utilize engaging content, challenges, and rewards to keep users hooked.

Inject excitement into your product by incorporating engaging content, challenges, and rewards that captivate users' attention.

Interactive Content: Integrate multimedia content, such as videos, quizzes, or interactive elements, to make your product more enjoyable and informative.

Challenges and Milestones: Create challenges or milestones for users to accomplish within your product. This provides a structured and rewarding experience that encourages continued engagement.

Reward Systems: Implement a robust reward system. Recognize and celebrate user achievements with virtual badges, points, or other incentives to make the user experience more gratifying.

Surprise Elements: Incorporate surprise elements to keep users intrigued. This could be occasional bonuses, exclusive content, or limited-time offers to maintain a sense of novelty.

5) Community & network effects: Foster a sense of community and leverage network effects to enhance stickiness.

Build a community around your product to enhance stickiness through shared experiences and network effects.

User Forums and Groups: Establish user forums or groups where users can discuss experiences, share tips, and troubleshoot. This sense of community fosters loyalty and encourages long-term use.

Networking Features: Integrate features that allow users to connect with each other. This could be through collaboration tools, social sharing, or networking features that enhance the overall value of your product.

User-generated Content: Encourage users to contribute content, such as reviews, testimonials, or user-generated materials. This not only builds a sense of community but also provides authentic endorsements for your product.

Exclusive Access: Offer exclusive access or perks to users who refer others to your product. Leverage network effects by turning satisfied users into advocates who actively contribute to your product's growth.

6) Personalization & feedback: Personalize the user experience and actively solicit feedback for continuous improvement.

Tailor your product to individual preferences and actively seek user feedback to drive continuous improvement.

Personalization Algorithms: Implement algorithms that analyze user behavior to personalize the user experience. This could include tailored content recommendations, customized dashboards, or personalized notifications.

Feedback Channels: Provide easily accessible channels for users to provide feedback. This can be through in-app surveys, suggestion boxes, or direct communication channels to gather valuable insights.

Responsive Updates: Act on user feedback promptly. Regularly update your product to address identified issues, incorporate user suggestions, and demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the user experience.

User Preferences: Allow users to customize their experience. Whether it's adjusting settings, choosing themes, or selecting preferences, giving users control over their interaction with your product enhances their sense of ownership and satisfaction.

Let's now look at examples of companies that have successfully cracked product stickiness.

Examples of companies that have cracked product stickiness

Companies like Slack, Netflix, and Spotify have mastered the art of product stickiness by offering personalized recommendations, seamless user interfaces, and compelling content. Examining their strategies can provide valuable insights for enhancing the stickiness of your own product:

1) Slack

Slack, a collaboration platform, has mastered the art of product stickiness through several strategic moves.


Integration Excellence: One key aspect is its seamless integration with other tools. Slack allows users to connect various apps and services directly, minimizing the need for constant toggling between platforms. This integration simplifies workflows and keeps users engaged within the Slack environment.

User-Friendly Interface: Slack's interface is intuitive, promoting easy navigation. With a clean design and straightforward functionality, users can quickly adapt to the platform. This simplicity enhances user experience, making it more likely for individuals and teams to stick with Slack for their communication and collaboration needs.

Customization Features: Slack enables users to personalize their experience through customization options. From notification settings to channel preferences, users can tailor the platform to suit their specific requirements. This customization fosters a sense of ownership and attachment, making users more inclined to stick with the product.

Continuous Updates: Slack consistently updates its features and functionalities to stay ahead of user needs. Regular improvements showcase the company's commitment to enhancing the user experience. This ongoing development not only retains existing users but also attracts new ones, creating a cycle of sustained product stickiness.

Community Building: Slack actively encourages the formation of user communities. By fostering a sense of belonging and collaboration, the platform becomes an integral part of users' professional lives. Community engagement contributes significantly to product stickiness, as users find value not just in the tool itself but also in the broader network it facilitates.

2) Spotify

Spotify, a leading music streaming service, has cracked the code for product stickiness in the competitive entertainment industry.


Personalized Recommendations: Spotify utilizes advanced algorithms to curate personalized playlists and recommendations for users. By understanding individual music preferences, the platform keeps users engaged and continuously offers content tailored to their tastes. This personal touch significantly contributes to the stickiness of the product.

User-Friendly Interface: Spotify's interface is designed for simplicity and ease of use. With intuitive navigation and a straightforward layout, users can effortlessly discover and play music. This user-friendly design enhances the overall experience, making it more likely for users to stay loyal to the platform.

Cross-Platform Accessibility: Spotify ensures accessibility across various devices and operating systems. Whether on a smartphone, computer, or smart speaker, users can seamlessly transition between platforms without losing their music experience. This flexibility enhances the convenience of using Spotify, promoting stickiness across different contexts.

Collaborative Playlists: The platform allows users to create and share collaborative playlists with friends. This social aspect adds an extra layer of engagement, as users feel connected through music. By integrating social elements, Spotify fosters a sense of community that goes beyond individual music preferences, contributing to long-term product stickiness.

Continuous Content Updates: Spotify regularly updates its library with new releases and curated playlists. This constant influx of fresh content keeps users excited and prevents monotony. The anticipation of discovering new music becomes a driving force for users to stick with the platform over time.

3) Netflix

Netflix, a pioneer in the streaming industry, has successfully achieved product stickiness through a combination of content strategies and user experience enhancements.


Original content investment: Netflix's substantial investment in original content production has been a game-changer. Exclusive shows and movies not only set the platform apart but also create a unique value proposition for users. The availability of compelling original content encourages users to remain loyal to Netflix for their entertainment needs.

Seamless content discovery: Netflix employs sophisticated algorithms to recommend content based on users' viewing history. The platform's user-friendly interface facilitates easy content discovery, ensuring that users always find something appealing to watch. This seamless discovery process enhances user satisfaction and contributes to long-term stickiness.

Offline viewing capability: Netflix allows users to download content for offline viewing. This feature is particularly valuable for users with limited internet access or those who prefer to watch content without using data. By catering to diverse needs, Netflix increases its utility and encourages users to stick with the platform even in challenging connectivity situations.

Family account sharing: Netflix's family account sharing feature enables multiple users to create individual profiles under a single subscription. This flexibility accommodates diverse viewing preferences within households, making Netflix a go-to choice for families. The convenience of shared accounts strengthens the platform's stickiness among a broader user base.

Constant user interface enhancements: Netflix consistently updates its user interface to improve navigation and overall user experience. By staying responsive to user feedback and evolving technological trends, Netflix ensures that its platform remains user-friendly and competitive. These continuous enhancements contribute to sustained product stickiness.

4) Duolingo

Duolingo, a language learning platform, has effectively cracked the code for product stickiness in the crowded edtech space.


Gamification elements: Duolingo incorporates gamification into its learning modules, turning language acquisition into an engaging and enjoyable experience. Users earn rewards for completing lessons, maintaining streaks, and achieving milestones. This game-like approach not only motivates users but also fosters a sense of accomplishment, increasing the likelihood of long-term engagement.

Bite-sized learning: Duolingo's lessons are designed in bite-sized segments, making language learning accessible and manageable for users with busy schedules. The platform's emphasis on short, daily practice sessions aligns with the principles of habit formation, encouraging users to integrate language learning into their daily routines.

Social features: Duolingo integrates social elements by allowing users to connect with friends and compete in language challenges. The social aspect adds a layer of accountability and motivation, as users strive to outperform their peers. This sense of community contributes significantly to the stickiness of Duolingo as users find value not only in the educational content but also in the shared learning experience.

Progress tracking: Duolingo provides detailed progress tracking, allowing users to monitor their advancements in language proficiency. Clear visualizations of achievements and improvements serve as positive reinforcement, reinforcing the user's commitment to the learning journey. The ability to witness tangible progress enhances the stickiness of the platform.

Accessibility across devices: Duolingo ensures that users can seamlessly transition between devices, enabling consistent learning experiences. Whether on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, users can pick up their language lessons without disruption. This cross-device accessibility enhances the convenience and continuity of language learning, contributing to long-term engagement.

5) Instagram

Instagram, a popular social media platform, has achieved remarkable product stickiness through a combination of visual appeal and innovative features.


Visual-centric design: Instagram's focus on visual content, such as photos and videos, creates a highly engaging and immersive experience. The platform's visual-centric design captures users' attention and encourages them to regularly explore and share content. This emphasis on aesthetics contributes significantly to the platform's stickiness.

Stories feature: Instagram's introduction of the Stories feature added a dynamic and ephemeral aspect to the platform. Users can share temporary content that disappears after 24 hours, creating a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out). This feature has become a staple of the Instagram experience, keeping users consistently engaged.

Explore page algorithm: Instagram's Explore page utilizes a sophisticated algorithm to curate content tailored to users' interests. By showcasing relevant and engaging content, the platform encourages users to spend more time exploring beyond their immediate social circle. This personalized content discovery enhances user satisfaction and contributes to long-term stickiness.

Direct messaging integration: Instagram's seamless integration of direct messaging within the platform facilitates real-time communication. The convenience of sharing messages, photos, and videos directly within the app enhances user engagement. The social connectivity provided by direct messaging strengthens users' attachment to the platform.

Influencer culture: Instagram's influencer culture has played a significant role in driving user engagement and retention. Influencers create aspirational content that resonates with users, fostering a sense of connection and inspiration. The influence of popular figures and content creators contributes to the platform's stickiness as users actively seek out and engage with their favorite influencers' content.

Finally, let's explore the best tools available to measure product stickiness effectively.

What are the best tools to measure product stickiness?

Choosing the right tools to measure stickiness is essential for effectively assessing and improving your product's performance. This, in turn, encourages users to continue using the platform and to recommend it to others. Adding the following tools to your tool stack is a must:

1) Blitzllama


Blitzllama is an effective tool for measuring Net Promoter Score (NPS) through in-product surveys. It allows companies to gather valuable feedback directly from users within their product. With Blitzllama, product owners and managers can understand customer satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement. By deploying NPS surveys at key touchpoints, teams can gauge user sentiment and loyalty, helping them make data-driven decisions to enhance the product experience and drive growth.

2) Amplitude


Amplitude is a powerful analytics platform that provides insights into key metrics such as Daily Active Users (DAU), Monthly Active Users (MAU), session length, and adoption rates. Product owners and managers rely on Amplitude to track user engagement patterns, understand feature usage, and measure the success of product initiatives. By analyzing DAU/MAU ratios and session lengths, teams can assess user retention and stickiness over time, enabling them to optimize product strategies and prioritize enhancements to drive user satisfaction.

3) Mixpanel


Similar to Amplitude, Mixpanel offers robust analytics capabilities for measuring product stickiness. Product owners and managers leverage Mixpanel to monitor user behavior, track conversion funnels, and analyze retention rates. With Mixpanel, teams can gain insights into user interactions, identify bottlenecks in the user journey, and optimize onboarding processes to improve stickiness. By examining user retention metrics and segmenting user cohorts, companies can tailor their product experiences to meet the evolving needs of their audience, fostering long-term engagement and loyalty.


In essence, product stickiness is the key to sustained user engagement. Understanding what compels users to stay and why certain features resonate is crucial. By addressing user needs directly and refining core functionalities, product stickiness can be enhanced. 

Implementing user-friendly interfaces and consistently delivering value are paramount. Consider successful examples like WhatsApp's seamless messaging or Instagram's visual appeal. 

Strive for simplicity in design and functionality to create a magnetic user experience. In the end, a sticky product not only retains users but also fosters loyalty, ensuring long-term success for product owners and managers alike.