Mixpanel is an analytics platform that product teams use to understand how people engage with their web and mobile applications. Mixpanel customers can set up event tracking, see which actions are most common among different cohorts, and test different in-app messaging with users. The company has added some data governance features in recent years, including deduping and data organization tools.
If you’re using Mixpanel already, you know that it can provide granular data on user activity as long as your team is willing to invest engineering resources to fully implement it. It’s especially good for companies that want to examine the results of large campaigns with many small events or microtransactions. However, the platform has significant limitations that may send product teams looking for a Mixpanel alternative.
If you’re looking for more robust product analytics or to replace Mixpanel, read on. We’ve compiled 10 options that can help you better understand your users along each stage of the customer journey—but first, let’s look at why Mixpanel might be falling short.
The Shortcomings of Mixpanel
Mixpanel has a few limitations that keep it from being the perfect analytics solution:
- Mixpanel doesn’t solve the problem of manual event tracking
- Tracking user behavior in detail requires substantial engineering efforts
- Historical data is siloed and limited to manually selected events
- Feels clunkier and more outdated compared to newer options
- A/B testing and governance features feel like an afterthought
Manual setup leaves no room for error
While some product analytics solutions don’t require engineering resources to customize event tracking, Mixpanel still does. Upon implementation you’ll need to make your best guess about which user events (clicks, purchases, media plays, etc.) matter the most, then have an engineer configure it all. If you change your mind or want to track additional events later, you’ll have to set them up again and risk ending up with inconsistent (and thus difficult to use) data.
The user experience can be clunky
Mixpanel is one of the older solutions in the product analytics space (founded in 2009), and this sometimes shows in reviews of its user experience. There is less flexibility in the way you can visualize data, and some customers complain that performance suffers when they try to scale.
You can’t access full historical data
With Mixpanel—and many others like it—you can’t access historical data on events you didn’t set up to track from the beginning. This makes it difficult to act on insights about your users—by the time you find out a particular action is important, it might be too late to collect data on it.
Mixpanel isn’t particularly scalable
Mixpanel is less scalable that some of its alternatives because of the way users access data. Because collecting event data is manual, data often becomes siloed and only accessed by the individual who set it up. The lack of a centralized place to process, store, and maintain governance makes it harder for teams to work together on large-scale data projects.
While Mixpanel’s listed features include data governance and testing, they’re a poor substitute for other solutions that offer these capabilities as part of their core product. For that reason, we’ve only provided alternatives to Mixpanel’s main offering, which is user and campaign analytics.
Heap is a product analytics platform that helps you understand how and why customers engage with your product and website. Heap solves a major shortcoming that Mixpanel and many of its alternatives have—manual event tracking. Instead of requiring engineers to set up detailed custom event tracking, Heap autocaptures all data on user activity from the start. This quality alone makes it a great option for users who want the same kind of event data that Mixpanel offers without the complicated implementation and maintenance that come with it.
- Robust product analytics that integrate with your entire stack
- Automatically capture all event data – no manual tagging needed
- Heap Connect to automatically pipe data into your data warehouse
- Optimize conversions across channels and platforms
- Customize analytics for product teams without straining engineering resources
- Drive engagement in your product and website
- Better tailor the in-app experience
- Monitor and improve acquisition, activation, and retention
When using the autocapture feature in Heap, there’s no need to organize tags or ask engineering to add new ones. Heap can pull in data from over 20 third-party integrations, including Shopify, Salesforce, and more, which adds to the breadth of information available to you. Heap’s Data Engine is also hugely beneficial for companies planning for the future. By providing consistency and governance for their dataset, Heap helps teams avoid falling into silos, which tends to happen when using tools that require manual tracking, like Mixpanel.
Heap’s simple setup and ability to scale makes it the best Mixpanel alternative for companies that need enterprise-grade analytics without the tedious process of creating custom events.
Final word: Heap’s flexibility in tracking the entire user journey, its ease of use, and its ability to autocapture all user data creates the perfect option for companies looking to understand their users without getting bogged down by manual setup and maintenance.
Sign up for a free version of Heap!
More detail on how Heap compares to Mixpanel.
Clevertap is a platform that focuses on increasing user retention and customer loyalty on mobile apps. It focuses mainly on the needs of companies in the consumer sector, and relies heavily on AI to suggest the best paths to improve conversions and revenue. While the tool does record many mobile behavioral events out of the box, any significant customization will require the same manual event setup as Mixpanel does.
- Mobile audience analytics
- Automated segmentation
- Campaign optimization
- Understand omnichannel user engagement
- Improve retention rates
- Personalization at scale
All Clevertap pricing plans require you to contact sales, and according to Capterra plans start at about $1,000 per month. Companies looking to blend web analytics with app data will likely find it too mobile-focused.
Final word: Clevertap might work well for consumer brands looking for an addition to their existing toolset. However, its mobile focus and reliance on AI make it a poor choice for companies that need greater flexibility or are in the B2B world.
Amplitude is a user-focused solution that can help you identify important behavioral patterns. It’s one of the closest comparisons to Mixpanel, in both its ability to track events and the manual setup required to do so. Because Amplitude requires manual tagging, it also requires significant administrative and engineering resources to collect the data you need.
- Behavioral analytics
- First-party behavioral data
- Customizable data structure
- Product strategy
- Improve user engagement
- Optimize conversion
- Drive retention
As with Mixpanel, you’ll still have to decide on the exact events you want to track upfront, with no guarantee that you’ll end up with the data you need to make fully informed decisions. After it’s set up, some non-analyst customers still find Amplitude frustrating. While there are plenty of options for slicing and dicing data in the Amplitude UI, the tool offers limited connectivity with common data warehouses and can’t provide the full breadth of a company’s historical data on demand.
Final word: A platform for behavioral analytics that competes on nearly all of Mixpanel’s core features, Amplitude is a good replacement but still doesn’t eliminate tedious event tracking.
#4 Google Analytics and GA 360
Google Analytics has long been a starting point for companies that want to track user behavior, but it focuses mostly on activities related to acquisition. It offers granular data on the ways visitors find your website and where they come from, but can’t provide a comprehensive view of user behavior after that.
- Detailed web acquisition metrics
- Aggregate segmented user data
- Customizable conversion goals
- Understand how users are finding you
- Drill down into specific traffic sources
- See real-time user data
You can set up custom events manually in Google Analytics, but you’ll hit a major roadblock when trying to connect that data cleanly back to specific users. GA makes it hard to link visits from different devices and sessions to a single person. You’ll also have to use Google Tag Manager to track user behaviors like clicks, form submissions, or video plays.
For companies that want more enterprise-appropriate features like an SLA, fewer data limitations, and improved reporting and customization, there’s an option to upgrade to Google Analytics 360. At that price, however, it doesn’t make sense to replace Mixpanel, as it will still be difficult to get the in-depth behavioral data you need.
Final word: Google Analytics’ lack of user identity data makes it a hard sell as an Mixpanel alternative. It may be best as an additional tool rather than a replacement.
Want to learn more about Google Analytics? Check out our guide to GA alternatives.
#5 Adobe Analytics
Adobe Analytics is a feature-heavy but expensive solution for product analytics. Unlike Mixpanel, it has no free version—its complex pricing matrix includes features like website analytics, marketing analytics, attribution, and predictive analytics. It has plenty of customization options that may appeal to large organizations, but companies with smaller teams will likely be overwhelmed with implementation.
- Web analytics
- Multi-channel data collection
- Segmentation and customer journey analytics
- Predictive analysis
- Get 360 customer views
- Understand attribution for new customers
- Predict your most valuable users
Setting up custom events in Adobe requires many steps, and requires you to create a detailed event tracking plan to make sure you’re gathering the data you need. Adobe allows you to track the entire funnel across channels if you’re up for the manual setup, but works best in conjunction with other Adobe products.
Final word: Adobe is a commitment. It’s feature rich but requires substantial engineering resources to set up and works best for large enterprises with the budget to support it.
FullStory focuses on improving revenue and retention across all of your digital channels. The platform is heavily geared toward consumer apps, making it a good option for companies where the majority of customer activity takes place on mobile apps or in online stores.
- Analyzes conversion funnels
- Detects signals of friction in your UI
- Visualizes aggregate user trends over time
- Pinpoint where sales are made or lost
- Earn customer loyalty
- Deliver trusted services
FullStory stands out in its ability to use machine learning to suggest changes you might make to the user experience. It does a good job of noticing and tracking changes to your app, and seems tailored to the non-technical user. However, its most obvious limitation lies in custom event tracking. Although FullStory brands itself as “tag-free,” users can’t track every event they might want to, since the app only integrates with Segment and Tealium events. Because of this users often end up sticking to the built-in features. Similar roadblocks occur with identity tracking—while it’s possible to track unique user IDs in FullStory, the process is tedious and easy to make mistakes in.
Final word: A good choice for consumer brands who don’t have the need for much customization and want to leverage predictive insights, but doesn’t add much value to what Mixpanel already provides.
Countly is a privacy-focused option for product teams looking for in-depth user analytics. Like Mixpanel, it allows you to maintain detailed profiles about users and their behavior.
- Secure, private user analytics
- 360° view of customer journeys
- Countly and user generated plugins
- Analytics consultancy
- Host your analytics solution on-prem
- Extend the product with custom plugins and SDKs
- Have complete ownership of your analytics
While Countly is a great option for security-conscious product teams, it still requires manual event setup. Pricing starts with an open source, free-forever plan that’s extensible with the right engineering resources. However, Countly doesn’t have a way for less technical users to easily get started.
Final word: Good for technical teams that want full control, but lacking the flexibility and seamless experience that other Mixpanel alternatives provide.
Kissmetrics is a tool for product and marketing teams that focuses on advanced web analytics. If your product is mostly web-based, it does a decent job of tracking metrics about key user behavior like signups, trial starts, feature adoption, and churn. However, if your product is iOS or Android-based, Kissmetrics won’t live up to Mixpanel.
- Dashboard with KPIs at a glance
- Cohort reporting
- Funnel reporting
- A/B testing
- Understand SaaS metrics
- Optimize your ecommerce funnel
Kissmetrics isn’t for those looking for free Mixpanel alternatives—its lowest plans start at $299 a month. As for implementation, Kissmetrics is similar to most website analytics products. You’ll need to install a tracking code and come up with a tracking plan to make sure you’re capturing the right metrics up front, and you’ll have to ask for engineering for help each time you want to update event tracking.
Final word: If you’re a SaaS or ecommerce company whose product is web-based Kissmetrics will give you granular user-based data for a reasonable price. For other apps or multiple platforms, it falls short.
Like Mixpanel, Pendo is built to provide insights about how users interact with your product or website. The platform offers several features outside the scope of Mixpanel as well, like employee and user onboarding, and competes fairly well on the analytics feature set.
- Sentiment tracking
- In-app guidance
- Product insights and feedback
- Product roadmap guidance
- Onboard new users
- Retain more customers
- Increase growth and adoption
If you’re looking for the ability to really dig into customer data and compare different groups of users, Pendo falls short. For example, while you can view retention graphs and conversion funnels, you can’t segment those graphs by individual behaviors, which makes it difficult to see if drop-off at a certain point in the funnel correlates with other behavior, or to compare user groups and see which is more likely to stick around or drop off.
Pendo can autocapture some event data, giving it an advantage over Mixpanel. However, you’ll still have to rely on manual tagging to capture many important interactions.
Final word: Although Pendo has a broad feature set and the ability to be customized, it still requires tedious, manual event tracking. More of an equal trade than an upgrade from Amplitude.
Trying to narrow down your options? See how Heap and Pendo stack up against each other.