April 19, 2019

Do customers actually install Chrome extensions?

I'm building a product that requires the customer to install a Chrome extension as part of the regular use of the product. Ease of use is critically important to the success of my product.

For those people who are developing products that make use of Chrome extensions, what does it take for a user to install one? Do you find that your users have difficulty installing the extension?

In my case, I need to install an extension to allow the end user to share their screen. It will not be evident to my users why they might need this. Do users need extra encouragement to install an extension?

  1. 1

    I've run a paid subscription Chrome extension for a few years (https://autoplaylists.simon.codes) and haven't ever noticed trouble during installation. I just link users to the Chrome Web Store.

    My recommendations:

    • make it very clear why the extension is needed before sending users to the web store, since your copy options are limited there

    • set up Google Analytics on the Web Store to keep track of users that drop out after clicking through

  2. 1

    At CrazyCall, one of our solutions is a chrome extension widget. It's not necessary to operate, yet it changes the way users can use our software. We find that people might be hesitant to download it, but after they do and see the actual value they stick to the solution.

    Thus, it's key, you show the value of the chrome extension, as it is another friction point (additional download).

    To get more downloads we used a screenmat to push users to download the extension. It works really well, you can try it out depending on how your users interact with the software.

    1. 1

      That's good to know. Do you have a screenshot or link to the screenmat? It would be great to see an example. Do you have an idea of how many users opt in, vs those who don't?

  3. 1

    Rocketrip.com uses a browser extension to provide value on top of the SAP Concur behemoth's content, so apparently, people do install extensions.

  4. 1

    I have recently started using Brave and it supports Chrome extensions. I install them only when I think they are really going to be useful. Usually not more than 3-4 at a time.

  5. 1

    I use Firefox and often install extensions. I'd abandon a product if it required Chrome, though.

  6. 1

    I install Chrome extensions too, without hesitation for the right product.

    I often wonder how non-techies feel and behave around this.

  7. 1

    i install chrome extensions all the time, especially if they're relevant to the product I'm trying out --- Installation process is the same every time, interactions are very normalized, and so forth. I think if you include a brief explanation as to why, people will.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the reply! I too will install a chrome extension, and regularly use a few. It's the non-technical users I'm most worried about. It's unfortunate that chrome removed in-line installation, as this was a much simpler (too simple?) process to follow.