Anyone who's taken a statistics class is probably already familiar with qualitative and quantitative data. One includes numerical values and the...Read More
The importance of web analytics becomes painfully clear to anyone who bleeds customers and potential leads due to glitchy or poorly designed websites. Your visitors might be enraged by broken links or slow-loading pages, while potential customers might fall through holes in your conversion funnels.
Web analytics tools help you avoid these situations by feeding you precise customer behavior data. However, as web analytics software became popular, dozens of solutions popped up in the market. If you’re running a business, you might be scratching your head trying to figure out which one to use.
Currently, tools like Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Mouseflow and FullStory are some of the most powerful and popular web analytics tools around. Testing out all four of them, let alone others, would take both time and money, not to mention potentially result in lost sales and business opportunities.
To help you out, we decided to run a Hotjar vs Crazy Egg vs Mouseflow vs FullStory comparison. We’ll compare these website analytics solutions based on their features, capabilities and pricing in order to showcase the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.
On top of that, we’ll briefly go over viable alternatives like FullSession, which might prove to be a great option for any business that might feel none of the Big Four really cuts it.
Each tool mentioned here falls into the category of web analytics software. The main purpose of these tools is to give you a deeper understanding of what goes in the head of your customers when they visit your site.
Based on the data these tools give, website owners and product managers can optimize their digital offer in such a way so it leads to more sales and conversions, as well as drive engagement.
While all four of these tools have a similar purpose and partially share toolkits, there are still significant differences between them, with each one specializing in a certain aspect of user experience.
The type of analytics offered here represents a huge leap from traditional approaches that focus more on things like CTR and bounce rates. A website analytics tool not only tells you what exactly visitors do when they interact with websites but also gives you insight into what part of your website drove them towards those actions.
Now, let’s move on to comparing the features of these pieces of software. You’ll find that they are similar in many ways, but as usual, the devil’s in the details. Let’s take a look.
The feature all these services share and one that is arguably one of the most important tools in web analytics is session replay. Session recordings capture and aggregate exact user behavior on the site, which is then presented to the user in the form of a video replay. These are not actual recordings, as this would be privacy-intrusive, but rather reconstructions of how users group use and move around your site.
All of the platforms we looked at in this article have the session replay feature (sometimes referred to as recordings). User data gathered through replays can be segmented by things like device used, OS, browser, country, site load time, etc.
When we compare the session recordings feature in Hotjar and Mouseflow vs Fullstory and Crazy Egg, the first two tools have one distinct advantage – the ability to use it in conjunction with A/B testing. Hotjar and Mouseflow allow you to capture data on website visitors from split traffic, helping you create separate assessments for each version of your pages to get clear evidence on which one is more effective.
Hotjar does not offer A/B testing itself but does let you record visitor interactions on multiple variants of your website. CrazyEgg does not seem to have that specific filter for its session recordings, although it does boast a proprietary A/B testing tool.
One of the points where FullStory truly shines is in its customer support-oriented features. The tool lets you tie in user session replays with customer support tickets and complaints.
FullStory does this by providing you with session recordings for a specific user when they write in a ticket. You’ll be provided with a recording of the user’s behavior right before and after they asked for help.
Replays allow you to see exactly what they were doing on a page when they ran into trouble. This removes the need for dragged-out communication with the customer, as you can just look at what they did through replays instead of asking them to recall their actions.
Besides recordings, all of these services give you access to user heatmaps (called Snapshots in Crazy Egg). Heatmaps are aggregated, visualized treasure troves of user behavior data that show you how users behave on your pages.
Heatmaps present a great way for you to see which parts of your page visitors gravitate to the most. Do they keep clicking the banner that actually doesn’t take them anywhere? Is your sign-up button unresponsive? Do users just ignore whole sections of your website? These are just some of the many questions heatmaps help answer.
Now, we’ll go over the heatmap sub-types and compare which ones are found with each tool.
Scroll maps show you how far down a visitor tends to scroll on your page. Naturally, the top portion of your page will be the most looked at, but the user’s interest tends to fall off as you move downwards.
They are extremely useful for assessing whether your online content is too long, prompting you to reorganize page elements and place important CTAs on portions of your page users actually interact with. If the buttons you want a visitor to interact with are stuck in sections they don’t even look at, you probably won’t see much success.
On the other hand, click maps allow for tracking which parts of your site are clicked the most. Armed with this information, you can shift things around to improve your conversion funnels and boost sales.
Each of the services reviewed here offers click and scroll maps and they function pretty much the same way on each platform.
UX designers would want nothing more than sit behind a person and watch how they move across your website. Since this is not really feasible and would be a little bit awkward, they rely on the next best thing – move maps.
This type of heatmaps shows you how a user moves their mouse while on your pages, which can serve as a strong indicator of which UX element seems to draw their attention the most. If their attention goes to a page segment that won’t lead them to become a customer or lead, it’s probably a good idea to rethink the page’s looks.
Hotjar and Mouseflow bring move maps to the table, while Crazy Egg and FullStory lack this type of insight. Hence, a business that wants to focus on glowing up their websites would probably want to stick to Hotjar or Mouseflow.
Confetti reports are Crazy Egg’s pride and joy, as no other tool showcased here has them. These reports are practically juiced-up click maps that tell you not only what is clicked, but who does the clicking as well.
Confetti reports let you segment the visitor clicks by referring source, allowing you to determine whether customers that, for example, came from Google act differently than those that come by following a link on an affiliate site. Other ways to group user clicks are by country of origin, time of day, device and browser used, and much more.
Mouseflow’s not short on standout features either. Mouseflow offers two specialized heatmaps- geographical and attention maps. Geographical maps tell you where most of your users are coming from, visualized through a heatmap of the world. This is one of the best features for assessing which regions to target more through marketing and to discover more potential for growth. If American users seem particularly interested in your offer, you might want to run a dedicated marketing campaign for the region.
Attention map analytics are very similar to scroll maps but reveal how much time users spend looking at your content instead of showing scrolling patterns. They represent a window into what on your website holds people’s attention, and what bores them or drives them away.
While statistical data and replays are a great way to understand how and why your customers interact with your websites in a certain way, sometimes the best option is to ask visitors directly. This adds a layer of certainty to your interpretation of collected data and helps you get feedback for things you couldn’t divulge through analytics alone.
Hotjar and Mouseflow both let you run surveys, with the ability to target specific groups like those that made a purchase or customers that abandoned a shopping cart. The possibilities provided by these surveys are endless. They are not only useful for getting direct feedback but can also serve as lead capture forms themselves.
Conversion funnels represent your customer’s journey from first accessing your website to (hopefully) making a purchase or leaving information. However, that journey is often fraught with danger and there are many points at which a person might disengage. This can be a result of lost interest, a link that leads them away from the road you want them to travel to, and so forth.
Every site that dabbles in online sales has a funnel in place, but you need to optimize it to minimize customer drop-off. This is where these tools come in, helping you identify pages or parts of your pages where people leave the funnel. While practically all data collected through web analytics software can help you improve your funnels, some platforms have dedicated tools for this.
Mouseflow, Crazy Egg, and FullStory have integrated funnel analysis capabilities. They can give you crucial funnel effectiveness data gained through session replays, while Mouseflow and Crazy Egg add in A/B testing to the mix.
Hotjar has dropped the dedicated Funnel feature last year, but you can still work to optimize your funnels by information gained through the service’s website analytics.
Of course, nearly every business has to factor in the pricing of these analytics tools when deciding which one to pick. Sure, you want the features that best suit you, but if that specific solution doesn’t fit your budget you won’t be able to do much. Let’s see how much of a dent these tools will make in your wallet.
All of these tools happen to have similar pricing plans. You’re charged on a monthly basis, with your pricing tier determining the number of pageviews or replays you can capture.
Crazy Egg’s pricing starts at $24/month and goes up to $249/mo for the priciest plan. Each subsequent plan brings more session replays, snapshots (heatmaps), and pageviews. Crazy Egg is the only tool here that does not have a free plan. Hence, if you’re comparing Crazy Egg vs the other software, this may be a deciding factor.
FullStory offers you a free plan that gives you three seats, 1 month of data storage and 1,000 sessions per month. This is a more-than-decent amount of resources to help you test out the software. The two paid plans, Business and Enterprise, unlock replays, heatmaps, event funnels and other crucial features. While they do not disclose the exact pricing, FullStory is counted among the pricier solutions out there.
Mouseflow also has a generous free tier that nets you 500 recordings and 1 month of storage but also gives you access to most of the advanced features too. The pricing for the software starts at $29, while the biggest plan will set you back over $300.
Hotjar’s free solution is a bit more humble, giving out 300 recordings and allows you to create 3 heatmaps. With its cheapest paid plan starting at $39, it’s not the most budget-friendly solution you can find
At the beginning of the article, we set out to compare the four solutions based on their pricing and capabilities. Now, after conducting our reviews, let’s see how they fared.
| Crazy Egg
If the software laid out above doesn’t strike your fancy or just doesn’t meet your needs fully, you should check out FullSession. This web analytics tool combines incredible ease of use with session recording, heatmaps, and customer feedback surveys.
This combination of features makes it a great combination of all other tools here, covering nearly all fronts when it comes to web analytics. The best thing about FullSession? It’s completely free to use, meaning you won’t have to waste money trying out its complete toolkit.
Check out what FullSession has to offer, give it a spin and check if your marketing department and UX designers like what they see.