What is a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) and How to Choose The Right One

What is a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) and How to Choose The Right One


What is a digital adoption platform (DAP)? And how do you choose the best one for you?

Before you rush out to buy a DAP, it’s essential to understand that not all adoption tools are created equal.

DAPs should be selected based on your specific business needs and your users.

This article will explain the most important factors to consider before buying the right digital adoption platform for you.


  • Digital adoption is the process by which users learn to use and ultimately adapt to new technology.
  • Digital adoption platforms help onboard users, analyze user behavior for a successful digital adoption of your product
  • Choose a digital adoption platform based on your use case, features it provides, pricing, and integrations.
  • Userpilot is the best digital adoption platform for contextual onboarding.
  • Appcues is a good alternative to Userpilot but is one of the most expensive options with limited features on starter plans.
  • Pendo and Walkme are other digital adoption platforms but are very expensive for non-enterprise companies.

What is Digital Adoption?

Digital adoption occurs when users can interact with your product or tool as intended and to their fullest potential while getting value from it. The process of digital adoption begins with helping new users until they become entirely proficient in the use of the new software or app.

When users achieve digital adoption, they learn the basic functions of the digital product and maximize the potential of the software through the use of its advanced features.

Why is digital adoption important for SaaS?

For SaaS enterprises, digital adoption of technology is imperative. If customers cannot learn to use your product, they will not remain customers.

Using an adoption platform is the perfect solution for SaaS because they are uniquely suited to ease the learning curve of complex software solutions.

Helps users adopt more product features

It’s happened to all of us, that moment when we stumble upon a previously unknown product feature. This aha moment is like falling in love with the product all over again.

In SaaS products, feature discovery is beneficial because it helps users continuously find value in your product. Feature discovery informs users that specific features exist, selling the benefits of the features and driving user adoption.

Software adoption platforms improve trial to paid conversion rate

By maximizing user engagement with the use of a digital adoption platform during the trial period, your customers are more likely to continue using your product once the trial period expires.

With a digital adoption platform, you can build personalized in-product experiences and improve customer retention by improving user activation.

A digital adoption platform helps reduce time to value

Time to Value (TTV) is the measurement between first use and the time taken by a user to realize the expected value from your SaaS product.

Getting users up to speed through proper product onboarding decreases TTV. Reducing TTV ensures that your users find your product’s value as soon as possible.

Reduce churn with digital adoption platforms

Customers demand value right from the start. If your product doesn’t provide value fast enough, your business will experience churn.

Using product adoption digital tools, you can quickly bring customers up to speed by giving in-app resources that reduce frustration and shorten the learning curve.

A digital adoption solution will help increase retention

By providing your customers with targeted, high-quality help, you can reduce the risk of losing your customer to a competitor.

Product adoption tools allow you to understand potential disparities in a customer’s experience and confront them quickly.

Digital adoption platforms overview

A digital adoption platform (DAP) is a software overlay integrated with another software, app, or website to guide users through tasks and functions.

Digital adoption platforms help new users quickly learn how to interact with a digital tool and assist returning users in learning newly added functionality.

DAPs help new users become familiarized and proficient quickly and provide ongoing education to drive the adoption of new features and functionality in returning users.

Digital adoption software helps to:

  • onboard users
  • analyze user behavior
  • do product experiments (e.g A/B tests of different onboarding flows)

How Do I Choose a Digital Adoption Platform Software?

It’s not enough for businesses to invest in new technologies. Digital adoption is the key to a successful transformation.

The average adoption rates for new technologies are staggeringly low. By leveraging an adoption platform, businesses can improve their adoption rates and accelerate product use to its full potential.

But before you rush out to purchase an adoption platform, it’s essential to consider your unique business needs so you can select the best one for your product.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose a tool that best deals with your particular challenges.

Consider the following factors when deciding on an adoption tool:

  1. Use case – DAPs are aimed at three use cases: onboarding for SaaS users, employee onboarding, and walkthrough software for mobile application users.
  2. Budget – Pricing of DAP software depends on various factors, including the size of your company, the number of features, and the number of users. Based on these factors, you will be charged a monthly subscription fee for continued use of the software.
  3. Features – DAPs differ based on the extent of onboarding needed. Some adoption tools only provide the user with a walkthrough. In contrast, other adoption tools offer advanced features like user segmentation, advanced analytics, and user feedback. The complexity of your product will determine the features needed.
  4. Integrations – Each DAP tool’s integration capability is different. Understand the specific integration capabilities of each adoption tool and the extent to which the integration will require the involvement of your product engineers.

What are the different types of SaaS digital adoption tools?

There are three main segments of digital adoption tools for SaaS products.

  • User Onboarding DAP platforms – User onboarding DAPs guide customers through your application to help them accomplish key tasks.
  • Employee Onboarding DAP platforms- Employee onboarding DAPs provide essential training and knowledge in the moment of need to help drive productivity.
  • Mobile Onboarding DAP platforms – Most mobile apps have a minimal learning curve and do not require a DAP. However, using a DAP with complex apps or new features can be beneficial.

Best digital adoption platforms for SaaS user onboarding

The best digital adoption platform for SaaS will be dependent on the product, needs, and users of the product. Below we will explore the top three platform options for SaaS products.

Userpilot: The best user onboarding DAP platform

Userpilot is for SaaS companies looking to create great onboarding experiences for their users.

Userpilot benefits SaaS customers by creating a customized product experience without coding. SaaS customers can create onboarding checklists, fully interactive walkthroughs, native tooltips, and slide-outs for new feature announcements.

digital adoption platform userpilot dashboard
Userpilot digital adoption platform for user onboarding

Userpilots’ top functionalities

Product Adoption – offer customers a wide variety of tools to build interactive walkthroughs for new users. Interactive walkthroughs allow customers to boost user activation and increase product adoption.

digital adoption platform ui patterns userpilot
UI patterns available in Userpilot

User Segmentation – track user behavior to unlock value at every stage of the user’s journey. User segmentation can be sorted by user attributes, custom events, and event attributes. Therefore, you can build product experiences that are unique to the user and delivered in a manner tailored to the user.

digital adoption platform segmentation userpilot
Build advanced user segments with Userpilot

Userpilot Integrations– easily integrate with your analytics tools and other important platforms in your toolstack.

digital adoption platform integrations
Userpilot integrations

How other SaaS tools use Userpilot

To make things concrete, we’d love to show off a case by Konetentino, a social media scheduling platform that built its onboarding with Userpilot.

Kontentino guides its users through onboarding

1) Welcome screen starts onboarding with a micro survey

Kontentino welcome screen

This micro-survey helps Kontentino segment its users which, in our state of onboarding research, showed such personalization leads to high engagement rates.

2) Hana’s Welcome Message

Kontentino Welcome screen

Pressing the “Let’s start” button begins the onboarding process.

3) Connect social media profiles

Connect social media profiles

4) Celebrate!

Cheering GIF

After connecting your social media profile, Hana is cheering you on in the GIF below which is motivating to the user.

5) A prompt to schedule your first post.

Schedule your first post prompt

6) Enter post details.

Enter post details

This flow brings the user to value in an easy-to-use flow.

Digital adoption platforms- Userpilot alternatives

Upon initial research, there may appear to be several alternatives to Userpilot. But when compared, the number of digital adoption platforms alternatives is low.

Let’s take a closer look at Userpilot’s alternatives.


Appcues is a SaaS tool similar to Userpilot, however, there are some key differences.

appcues vs userpilot pricing digital adoption platforms
Appcues versus Userpilot

Appcues only allows 1 action and 4 UI patterns.

appcues vs userpilot ui patterns digital adoption platforms
Appcues design functionalities

In Appcues’ cheapest plan, you can tag only 10 elements in the UI. Even the lower plans on Appcues have limited features and a monthly active users (MAU) limit.

Userpilot, on the other hand, does not limit features.

Its pricing is based on MAU while Appcue’s cheapest plan is still more expensive than Userpilot’s basic plan.

appcues pricing digital adoption platform
Appcues pricing

If you’d like to try out Userpilot or see it in action, book a demo with us today!


WalkMe has name recognition because it was one of the first developers of digital adoption platforms.

WalkMe is a popular tool for promoting user adoption but may not be the best option for SaaS because it is an on-premise solution.

Additionally, its platform focuses on third-party tools such as Salesforce. And with a cost of $9,000 – $50,000 per year, the cost can be prohibitively expensive.

Walkme dashboard

If you need employee onboarding or third-party app walkthrough software, consider WalkMe. It’s best for large organizations that run an enterprise application due to its robust analytics.

However, it does have some downsides such as limited onboarding elements and very expensive plan options. It is also on-premise software and may require extra resources to install and set up.


Pendo is a tool that helps enterprise apps to create good product experiences and mobile app walkthroughs.

Pendo dashboard

However, it has its downsides such as limited onboarding elements – elements like tooltips, checklists, slide-outs, and modals are limited.

You will only have basic styling options because more advanced styling requires knowledge and implementation of CSS to deploy.

Plus, much like Walkme, it is expensive for non-enterprise companies.


There are multiple digital adoption platforms for different use cases, each with its benefits. But no other tool offers you all the features with zero coding that Userpilot provides at an affordable price.

If you’re looking to increase product adoption with in-app onboarding, get a Userpilot demo.


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