Mixpanel vs Kissmetrics vs Amplitude
To improve your Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), you really need to get to grips with your users’ behaviour.
Luckily, there are lots of tools out there to help you gather data and create actionable and effective customer insights. All you need to do is find the right one for you.
It can be tempting to get the flashy new platform with all the gadgets and gizmos, but if you don’t know how to use it or understand the data it’s collecting, it’s probably not worth having.
Too many businesses end up wasting time and money on analytics platforms that aren’t quite the right fit for their operations. You must conduct your own research beforehand to make sure you select the right option.
Here we’ll discuss their pros and cons, any zany features that make them just right for CRO and our own thoughts on each platform. Once you’ve read all that, you should be able to make a more informed decision about which tool is right for your business – and have a better idea how to use it.
A Quick Look At All Three
All three of these tools aim to provide deep insights into your customers’ journey through your site.
However, they go about this in different ways. Here’s a quick look at what all three have to offer:
Mixpanel: Great if your priority is mobile visitors. It’s super-quick, but can be slightly pricey.
Kissmetrics: A marketer’s dream; it can track user identity across the entire conversion funnel!
Amplitude: It may be the cheapest of the three, but still packs a punch – especially when you consider it includes pre-computation!
For more detail, check out this handy infographic from Marketlytics.
This is great and full of the basics you need to know about your platform (pricing, key features and data processing speeds). But some jargon has been thrown in there too, which might make things confusing. Here are some quick definitions:
Alias: The ability to tie the users’ anonymous activity to their activity after signup or login.
Custom Events: Events you create on your own – could be a combo of events you’re already tracking.
Incremental Properties: Used when you have to maintain a ‘count’. For example, customers who have opened more than three emails in the last month.
Property Types: Not the conventional semi-detached, flats or bungalows! In user analytics, this is the term for any facts about a user or event (it provides context).
So, you now know a little more about these three options. Let’s delve a bit deeper and find out what these tools are really like.
Mixpanel can be used to follow your users’ digital footprint across mobile and web devices. It’s event-centric model means it’s easier to use than many other user analytics tools.
This tool is tailored to your businesses’ unique needs and comes in four different modes:
- Financial services
- Software as a service
- Consumer Tech
- Media and entertainment
If your needs match up with one of these four, it can be a really strong tool with very little input required from your team. However, if it doesn’t, you might need to put some extra work in.
One of the best things about Mixpanel is that you don’t have to do any complicated maths to work out what your next steps are. Actionable and easy-to-understand insights are sent straight to your phone – great for marketers on the go!
Our two other top features are A/B testing and conversion funnel creation. These allow for another level of user insight and show exactly how users respond to changes.
However, we could probably do with a bit more flexibility when setting up user flows. Users make different decisions throughout the flow, so it would be easier if it could branch out – kind of like a river and its tributaries.
The key thing you need to consider when thinking about using Mixpanel is the cost. There is a free version, but the data history only goes back 60 days and your number of reports is limited.
The next level, ‘Startup’, rises to $99/month – you get full core reports, 12-month data history and the snazzy predictive analysis tool.
The big one is the ‘Business’ package, which at $999 a year is probably the best value version of Mixpanel. You get everything we’ve already mentioned plus data management, up to 15 custom analytics apps, unlimited custom events and a CSV export!
And, if that’s not enough, you could opt for the 'Enterprise' plan. Their website doesn't list a price (so it could be expensive), but means you get premium support, two-factor authentication and a Customer Success Manager.
This is a very handy tool for marketers. Kissmetrics combines behavioural analytics, segmentation and email campaign automation, to make sure you truly understand your customers' movements AND engage with them.
It collects all the data on your behalf and creates reports about your audience members so you don’t have to go digging for info. Big plus if you’re looking to save time!
If you really want to focus on email campaigns, this is the platform for you. Kissmetrics will deliver behaviour-based, automated emails to keep people engaged every step of the way. And the analysis of these will go way beyond general open rate and clicks!
The amount of data and options available is staggering, but don’t worry – it’s not overwhelming. The fact that it can all be combined with different search levels sets it apart from other user analytics tools.
There’s one usability issue we’d like to see addressed; when using a funnel search you can’t click on the users of a certain group to obtain more information about them as individuals. The path tool could also be tweaked a little …
Apart from that, it’s pretty good! It’s the most expensive of the three (the Growth package is $500 a month and there’s only a very limited free trial), so consider your options before investing!
Amplitude is a little different from the rest; it includes a product analytics tool to show areas of improvement surrounding your product, not just your website.
These insights, combined with its user behaviour info, create a well-rounded picture of what your users are looking for and why they’re behaving in certain ways.
We love the ‘Microscope’ feature as that allows you to zoom in on certain data points, and the ‘Compass’ is a great guide for customer retention. Use it alongside Google Analytics and you’ll have a lot of useful information to wade through!
The thing you could say sets Amplitude back is that you have to draw your own conclusions. It presents you with lots of graphs, tables and diagrams, but you’re the one who has to create actionable insights from that. This could eat up a lot of your time later…
We’d definitely say start off with the ‘free’ version of Amplitude as costs can increase for relatively few extra features. However, once you’ve got to grips with the tool and know how to use it effectively, it may be worth investing a bit more.
But, when you’re just starting out the free version is great; you get core analytics (retention, funnels etc), custom dashboards, cross-platform user tracking and more!
Make Your Choice
So, we hope all this information has helped you get to grips with some of the top user analytics tools out there.
We’ve tried to be as balanced as we can, and give you enough info to make a decision. However, there are some factors we can’t account for in a broad-brush tool review (sorry). These include:
- Your business type
- Kind of customers you expect
- The major actions to capture
- Your budget
You’ll have to think about how these affect your decision and do some extra research before you purchase.
All This Can Be a Little Daunting…
We’re not going to sugar-coat it – learning to use these tools to their full potential is hard, and a little confusing. The sheer amount of data gathered could be enough to put some off!
That’s why FABRIC8 offer to use these tools on your behalf. We can give you easy-to-digest and actionable insights that will help improve your conversion rate. We can also offer you advice based on years of CRO experience – something that just can’t be matched by an online tool!
Whatever you decide, just remember it’s vital you familiarise yourself with the platform, understand the insights it delivers and are aware of its limitations before you start using it.
If your chosen platform offers a free trial, go for it! That way you can be sure you can use it properly and understand the data it’s spouting. If not, you can always try out another.