Arcade Benchmarks 2024

Explore interactive demo benchmarks to better understand the relative performance of your key demo metrics and learn strategies for higher engagement.

Telling the story of your product is hard, and trying to stand out in an increasingly competitive and noisy world is even more challenging. No matter your company size, you must move quickly and find ways to bring your product to your customers. Today's buyer wants to experience your product rather than just read or hear about it.

Or, as we like to say, "show, don't tell."

At Arcade, we believe in 'Demo Driven Development'. It's the concept of moving fast ⚡️ — shipping, learning, failing, and winning fast. To do this, you need tools that keep up with that pace and enable you to showcase your (not so) secret weapon — your product.

That’s where interactive demos — like Arcade — come in.

More than 9,000+ teams leverage Arcade to tell better, more engaging product stories. And in 2023, more than 37k+ demos were published by companies worldwide.

This inaugural report serves to answer common questions we hear from buyers and customers, such as:

  • How does Arcade compare to [existing solution]?
  • What do the highest converting demos include? Why do they convert better?
  • What's the recommended structure of a demo?
  • Are there specific features that increase engagement and conversion?

Whether you're looking to refine your current demos or are starting from scratch, this report is your roadmap to creating Arcades that engage, inform, and convert your target audience.

Arcade Benchmarks 2024

This report analyzed all published Arcades from customers with more than 100 views. The decision to focus on >100 views was to provide more statistically significant and actionable data. Additionally, the Top 1%, Top 10%, and Top 25% were ranked based on a score from traffic, play rate, and completion rate. The median was used across all metrics to negate outliers.

Definitions:

  • Play rate = The percentage of unique viewers who clicked on the first step
  • Completion rate = The percentage of viewers that reach the last step
  • Final click-thru rate (CTR) = The percentage of Players who clicked at least one CTA. There are four types of CTAs included in this metric:
    -> The link on the final overlay step
    -> Your custom watermark on the Arcade itself
    -> Your custom logo on the share page
    -> Your custom CTA button on the share page


Nailing the first step: How to increase the play rate

The first step of your Arcade is crucial. Whether your Arcade is embedded on your homepage or included in a Sales outbound email, you want to ensure that it catches the viewer's attention and clearly explains the demo.

What’s the most effective way to increase the play rate? An intro chapter.

Adding an intro chapter to an Arcade typically increases the play rate by 72%

Chapters in Arcade are similar to those in books - they are meant to be markers in the story and ground the viewer in what’s to come next.

What are the highest-performing Arcades doing?

The top 10% typically included 1.4x more branching paths on intro chapters and included 1.2x more intro chapters than the median.

Additionally, Arcades with sound typically performed 8% better on play rate than those without. Sound options include background music, synthetic voice, or adding a personalized video 📹 .

🕹  Recommendations

#1 Advanced Branching

Add ‘branching’ on an intro chapter to increase engagement and provide a more personalized experience. For example, you could ask, “Which use case are you most interested in learning about?” and provide options relevant to your product.

#2 Turn it up!

If you are using sound, add a fun message like ‘Don’t forget to turn your sound on’ in the sub-heading to ensure viewers get the whole experience… it may pique their curiosity!

#3 Clear Instructions

It’s always better to over-communicate than under. Tell the customer to ‘click the button to get started’ and set expectations about what the viewer can expect in the copy.


Engagement from start to finish: How to increase the completion rate

Your audience starts the Arcade… now what?

The completion rate measures how many viewers make it to the final step. Said differently, it’s a measure of effectiveness. Did you keep the viewer engaged to the end?

The completion rate is particularly important if you want your audience to take a specific action on the final step — like clicking to 'start a trial' or going to 'book a meeting.'

*Note: Some Arcades include external URL buttons in the middle of Arcades, which can also be valuable in the right context.

The number of steps is the most significant factor in driving a higher completion rate. From the analysis, the typical number of steps in an Arcade was 12.

Completion rate by the number of steps

What are the top 10% of Arcades doing to increase completion rate?

There are three key components of top-performing Arcades:

  • Chapter usage
  • Fewer steps
  • Backgrounds

Of all the features, chapter usage stands out for these demos, as top performers not only used at least 2x as many chapters but also had:

  • 1.4x more intro chapters
  • 1.3x more branching on intro chapters
  • 1.2x more outro chapters

That being said, balancing chapter usage with the second most significant factor - # of steps is essential. If you are incorporating chapters throughout an Arcade, it will likely be longer; however, there is no hard-and-fast rule.

  • The top 10% typically had 10 steps
  • The top 1% typically had 9 steps

What's most important is always to make sure to ask:

  • Does the viewer need this step to understand the demo?
  • Can the text be more concise?
  • Would it make more sense to add a chapter as a transition?

Lastly, the top 10% of Arcades also incorporated 9% more backgrounds, signaling that more visually engaging demos lead to better engagement. Plus, backgrounds are just fun 🌈 🤩 .


Driving action through CTRs: How to increase the final click-through rate

Every demo is created for a reason. Whether to increase a prospect's intent on your product, educate customers on a new feature, or gather prototype feedback.

That’s why having final click-thru (CTR) options is integral to driving action from a demo.

It closes the loop and gets the viewer on the path to the right next step.

In an Arcade, there are 4x options for driving action from your Arcade:

  • Logo (top left)
  • Share CTA button (top right)
  • Watermark (bottom right)
  • Button (chapter step)

When analyzing demos with 'Watermark' text and 'Share CTA Button Text', several insights emerge regarding their usage, strategies, and potential relationships. Watermarks and Share CTA buttons serve different purposes but are both critical in guiding user interaction and enhancing brand presence within a demo. Here's what we can learn from analyzing both elements.

Insights from Watermark Text

  • Branding and Subtlety: Watermark texts are often used for subtle branding purposes. They typically include the company or product name and sometimes a succinct message or slogan. This continuous presence throughout the demo helps reinforce brand recognition without being as direct or action-oriented as CTA buttons.

Insights from Share CTA Button Text

  • Direct Action: Share CTA Button Texts are explicitly designed to encourage users to take a specific action, such as signing up, learning more, or initiating a free trial. This directness aims to convert user interest into tangible engagement or leads.

There were several key themes and action-oriented words that were most commonly used in CTAs:

  • Start a Free Trial: Highlights the no-cost aspect of trying a service, aiming to attract users by removing financial risk.
  • Book/Book a Demo: Targets users at a later stage in the sales funnel, offering a more in-depth look at the product or service through a demonstration.
  • Sign Up/Subscribe: Used to convert interested users into registered members or subscribers, often for newsletters, services, or platforms.
  • Try/Try Out: Encourages users to experience a service or product without a long-term commitment. This is often used to lower barriers for new users
  • Get Started: An action-oriented phrase that prompts immediate engagement with the product or service.

While watermarks focus on subtle branding and soft engagement, Share CTA buttons drive direct action and specific user engagement paths. Their combined use within demos can strengthen brand recognition and improve conversion rates. The key to leveraging both effectively lies in understanding what the goal of the demo is and strategically incorporating them to guide viewers throughout the journey.

Best practices for creating best-in-class Arcades

#1 Focus on clarity and instruction

Demos should be designed to clearly explain how users can achieve specific outcomes or solve problems using the product or service.

This involves:

  • Step-by-Step Guidance: Break down processes into manageable steps, ensuring users can follow along easily.
  • Clear Objectives: Start with a clear statement of what the user will learn or accomplish by the end of the demo.
🕹 Arcade features to try: Intro chapters, hotspots, and callouts


#2 Personalize the experience

Tailoring the demo to meet the specific needs or interests of the target audience can increase engagement and relevance.

Strategies include:

  • Segmentation: Create different versions of the demo for different audience segments.
  • Interactive Elements: Allow viewers to choose their own path and self-tailor the demo.
🕹 Arcade features to try: custom variables and advanced branching


#3 Highlight the value proposition

Demonstrating how your product solves a customer's problem is crucial.

This can be achieved by:

  • Better storytelling: Don’t think of your Arcade as a “how-to.” Every step is part of the story.
  • Benefits Over Features: Focus on how the features translate into tangible benefits for the user.
🕹 Arcade features to try: synthetic voice and chapters


#4 Keep it engaging and accessible

Attention spans are short. You have a chance to move from passive to interactive viewing. Take advantage of that.

Strategies include:

  • Visuals and Interactivity: Incorporate visuals and interactive elements to maintain user interest and facilitate understanding.
  • Short and Focused: Aim for brevity to hold the audience's attention, focusing on the most critical aspects of the offering.
🕹 Arcade features to try: pan and zoom and backgrounds


#5 Drive action

Every demo should have a goal. Maximize your viewers' attention by providing clear instructions on the best next steps.

This involves:

  • Multiple touchpoints: Don't wait until the end to provide options. Include call-to-action buttons within the demo.
  • Track performance: Make sure to include tracking on your CTAs with UTMs (or through Integrations)
🕹 Arcade features to try: custom branding (watermark and share button CTA), forms, and themes


#6 Learn and optimize

The beauty of an Arcade is that you can keep iterating and making changes to it. It is an evergreen asset designed to be updated.

This involves:

  • Track performance: With Insights, see how your Arcade performs across time, understand which path(s) your audience took, and see how your Arcade stacks up against these benchmarks.
  • Connect to your existing tools: Whether you are looking to connect Arcade forms to your Hubspot CRM or want more robust insights on product behavior in Amplitude, Integrations allow you to go a layer deeper.
🕹 Arcade features to try: insights and integrations


Whether you're new to creating interactive demos or are trying to optimize your existing content, this report serves as a guide for effectively bringing your product forward and telling more engaging stories that engage your audience and drive action.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Arcade could work for your team, drop us a line at sales@arcade.software or book time here.

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