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The PLG model is about showing users what your product can do for them.
Our goal was for our product to be an MVP, and in doing so, it was essential to have a tight feedback loop between our users and the product. Basically, we needed as many people to use the app to gather feedback. This allowed us to adjust the product to the user’s needs so we could truly stand out.
Starting as a product-led organization was the quickest way to understand how we could lead our users to the value of our product.
We discovered from looking at the organic ranking that the following factors came into play:
Word-of-mouth became more important than we initially anticipated. Some of these apps don't even have a website because word-of-mouth alone was enough.
A lot of the distribution comes from the Shopify app itself. These factors are crucial in getting high reviews to encourage merchants to use a product.
We found the majority of the apps on the Shopify App store are product-led; however, nobody was giving users free access to the entire product before they bought it.
We established that we needed the following to be competitive on the Shopify platform:
We explored product-led models that could bring in revenue.
We noticed that other quiz apps on the Shopify platform applied a limited freemium option, which meant you'd be allocated 5,000 quiz engagements every month for free. Anything over that, you would be bumped up to the basic plan at $39 a month.
We didn’t find this a good model because, by the time people hit their limit, they would no longer be getting value from the product, and it would be harder to convert them.
When we thought about our product-led approach, we had to think about the steps for a user to derive value. The onboarding phase had the following steps:
The user had to see it was driving traffic before they could derive value from it. So there were a lot of steps the user had to go through before arriving at the product’s value proposition, and 14-days wasn’t long enough. Plus, we needed users to use it at that moment, give us feedback, and provide us with a review.
it was important to get as many users as possible to help us rank higher organically and improve our product. We saw the importance of tapping into a customer feedback loop as quickly and efficiently as possible.
So we decided to go all-in on a pure freemium model.
Users have to experience a product without any sales pressuring them to try it or buy it.
We then went through a slew of doubts about our product:
These are serious concerns in terms of the pricing model, but we decided to go for it, and that's why product-led growth can be scary.
The biggest challenge might be that users don’t value the product if they don’t pay for it. We know users typically always value a product they have a stake in. If it’s free, it’s easy to fall into that pile of tools that are left behind and forgotten.
To be competitive on the PLG platform, you need to:
Product-led growth has a customer-centric mentality and prioritizing which is vital to success.
The main goal of starting as a product-led organization is that we were able to get the product used by more users than if we had started as sales-led. In addition, giving users a free product to use eliminates a barrier to entry – pricing.
From there, we received real insights into the needs of our users. This feedback showed us how to deliver value from our product to the user quicker. Finally, the word got out that we had a great product, and more users came to try the product through the freemium model and became paying users.
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