Amplitude Analytics — Features and Alternatives

Amplitude Analytics is one of the most popular digital analytics tools for SaaS businesses. It offers valuable insights into user behavior to drive growth and enhance your user experience.

But is Amplitude the right tool for your company? How does it compare to other analytics tools out there, like Userpilot, Heap, or Mixpanel?

This article will help you understand whether Amplitude Analytics is the right fit for you. In case it isn’t, you can check out our other in-depth comparisons to determine the best solution for your use case and business!

TL;DR

  • With cross-platform tracking, real-time analytics, powerful behavioral analytics, enterprise-level security measures, and solid customer support, Amplitude Analytics is a powerful analytics solution designed to meet the requirements of modern-day product and growth teams.
  • Amplitude’s Event Segmentation function shows you what your users are doing within your product.
  • Using Amplitude’s dashboards, you can get a bird’s eye view of all your relevant charts.
  • Amplitude’s Funnel Analysis chart offers valuable insights into how efficiently your users are navigating a particular event path within your product.
  • If data integration is one of your top priorities, you should choose Mixpanel over Amplitude.
  • Heap tells you all about what a customer is doing within your product. It automatically tracks every user action without you having to decide which events to track.
  • Userpilot offers goal-based analytics to improve feature adoption, activation, user engagement, and retention.
  • Unlike Amplitude or Mixpanel, you don’t need technical knowledge to obtain results on Userpilot.

What is Amplitude Analytics?

Amplitude Analytics
Source: Amplitude

Amplitude is a Digital Optimization System used by the most highly valued brands and disruptive teams to better understand and personalize their digital products in order to maximize the business value of their product innovation.

Amplitude enables you to answer critical questions related to your digital product strategy, including:

  • How do users navigate through your application?
  • Which features are they engaging with the most?
  • How can you improve long-term user retention?

With cross-platform tracking, real-time analytics, powerful behavioral analytics, enterprise-level security measures, and solid customer support, Amplitude Analytics is a powerful analytics solution designed to meet the requirements of modern-day product and growth teams.

Amplitude Analytics’ client base consists of practically all the digital disruptors of today’s world, i.e., companies that have designed the most valuable digital products, including Twitter, PayPal, Doordash, Peloton, and Shopify.

As if that weren’t enough, this product analytics platform also serves brands who have successfully shifted their business to digital, including Ford, Disney, Burger King, Walmart, and IBM.

With 4.5 stars on G2, Amplitude is undoubtedly a customer favorite.

Amplitude Analytics — functionality overview

Amplitude Analytics event segmentation

Amplitude Analytics - Event segmentation
Source: Amplitude

For most users out there, events are the core of Amplitude analysis. Any action users take within your product is called an ‘event’. This could be something as simple as pressing a button or making a payment.

If you want a holistic understanding of how users engage with your product, you should track at least 15–200 events. In addition to the 5 default events Amplitude offers, you can add 10 product-specific events to an analysis.

As vital as they are, though, events are only the tip of the iceberg. You need to specify which customer behaviors you’re interested in analyzing.

And that is precisely where the Segmentation Module comes in.

Amplitude’s Segmentation Module allows you to create specific user groups, which are called ‘segments’. These segments may be as broad as your whole userbase or narrowly tailored to cater to a particular set of user properties.

Why is this segmentation important?

Event segmentation forms the foundation of Amplitude charts. It shows you what your users are doing within your product, which further helps you design analyses that:

  • Assess the top events performed over a specific period of time
  • Determine the total number of unique users firing events within your product
  • Assess how frequently events are fired
  • Determine users who tend to fire specific events

Like most other Amplitude charts, you can build Event Segmentation charts by merging events and event properties with user segments. These can be as simple as determining the number of users firing a particular event or as complex as setting formulas for specific events.

Amplitude Analytics dashboards

Amplitude Analytics - Dashboard
Source: Amplitude

Using Amplitude’s dashboards, you can get a bird’s eye view of all your relevant charts. Rather than viewing each report separately, you can save multiple charts and view them on a single page. Moreover, you can also save cross-project charts in the same dashboard and draw a side-by-side comparison.

While dashboards are available for all Amplitude users, only Scholarship, Growth, and Enterprise users can access certain dashboard features, including:

  • Setting a user segment (bulk filter)
  • Setting data range
  • Email reports
  • Adding behavioral cohorts
  • Comment
  • Generating public links

Adding charts to your dashboard

To generate charts on your new dashboard from within your dashboard, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. On the dashboard, select ‘More’.
Amplitude Analytics - dashboard
Source: Amplitude
  1. Next, click ‘Add to Dashboard’.
  2. Select the content you want to add to the list by selecting ‘Add Item’. The chart should now be visible on your dashboard.
  3. Keep repeating Step 2 until you’re done adding all the content to your dashboard.

Amplitude Analytics historical count

Amplitude’s Historical Count is an event property present in Funnel Analyses, Pathfinder, Event Segmentation, and Retention Analyses charts. This property offers in-depth insights into why your users are (or aren’t) converting, retaining, and engaging.

Conversion and retention rates may vary for a user who has made a purchase within your app for the first time vs. for the second/third time. Historical Count enables you to record the nth instance of a user action.

This allows you to distinguish between a user’s first time interacting with a certain feature you introduced versus the second time they interacted with it. Hence, you can then pinpoint the friction points in feature onboarding.

To set a Historical count filter, click ‘Historical Count’ under “Amplitude Event Properties” and select the value you’re interested in.

Amplitude Analytics - historical count
Source: Amplitude

In the example below, the chart is looking for users who initiated the event “Play Song” with a “[Amplitude Event Properties] Historical Count” = 1st.

Amplitude Analytics - historical count
Source: Amplitude

Note that this feature is only available to Growth and Enterprise users. You’ll also need to complete the instrumentation process for events to show up in the Event Segmentation charts as well as all other Amplitude charts.

Amplitude Analytics funnels

Amplitude’s Funnel Analysis chart offers valuable insights into how efficiently your users are navigating a particular event path within your product.

A funnel refers to a series of steps a user takes while using your product. Product managers often encourage users to navigate these funnels to increase engagement and demonstrate product value.

Amplitude considers users to have ‘converted’ when they fire an event in the chronology you have specified. On the flip side, users who don’t do so have ‘dropped off’.

Knowing which steps in your funnel lead to user drop-off is just as crucial. You can then address the bottlenecks to improve user engagement and stickiness.

  • Regular users turning into power users
  • Successful onboarding
  • Free users turning into paying customers

To create a new Funnel Analysis chart, select +New and click ‘Funnel’ from the chart list.

Amplitude Analytics funnels
Source: Amplitude

Note that you won’t be able to access the Funnel Analysis chart (or any other chart in Amplitude) unless you’ve completed the instrumentation process.

Amplitude Analytics vs. Mixpanel

Mixpanel and Amplitude are quite similar in a couple of aspects, making it difficult for analytics users to choose between them. While Google Analytics focuses on sessions, these product analytics platforms are primarily event-based with a strong focus on tracking customer behavior.

That said, they do have their fair share of differences. In terms of reporting and workflow, Amplitude needs you to set up and customize its platform according to your requirements first.

On the flip side, Mixpanel initially offers basic dashboards, saving you time and hassle. Of course, you have the option to customize later — if you want to.

Mixpanel dashboard
Source: Mixpanel

In case you have enough data, Amplitude displays more sophisticated and advanced reports. So, if you have a team of in-house analysts and power users to customize dashboards and make decisions based on frequent in-depth analysis, Amplitude will definitely provide more value for your company.

Both Mixpanel and Amplitude implement data science to help you take actions based on behavioral predictions. They track the events users have performed, but differ in output and workflow.

Via their ‘Predict’ models, Mixpanel tracks individual users who are most likely to complete a particular conversion action.

Mixpanel Predict model
Source: Mixpanel

Amplitude, on the other hand, automatically clusters similar users into behavioral cohorts via their ‘Personas’ chart.

Amplitude Analytics Personas Chart
Source: Amplitude

Data integration is a major differentiating factor between Mixpanel and Amplitude. While Amplitude aims to be a ‘clean tool’ primarily focusing on deep analysis, Mixpanel offers smooth data integration with other popular platforms, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zapier.

That said, if integration is one of your top priorities, you’d want to stick to Mixpanel.

Mixpanel also features a marketing automation suite. You can act on your user data by messaging your customers based on specific conditions and initiating optimization tests. Hence, besides integrating with third-party CRM tools, Mixpanel acts as a CRM itself.

Last but not least, Mixpanel features built-in notifications. You and your team can receive alerts via email, push, SMS, or in-app inside Mixpanel. Amplitude only facilitates that through partners like Intercom, and that, too, at additional cost.

Mixpanel gets you quite far on the free plan with 100k monthly tracked users, core reports (including flows), and unlimited data history and seats.

If you want to unlock more features and reporting functionalities, you’ll need to upgrade to Mixpanel’s Growth plan, starting at $25/month. If you’re a large organization, you can go for the Enterprise plan. Contact their sales team to get a quote.

Amplitude Analytics vs. Heap

Heap tells you all about what a customer is doing within your product. It automatically tracks every user action — clicks, swipes, taps, page views, and more — without you having to decide which events to track.

Heap Analytics
Source: Heap

On the flip side, Amplitude offers scalable mobile analytics to help companies leverage data to generate massive user growth. While Amplitude is classified under ‘Mobile Analytics’, Heap primarily belongs to ‘Funnel Analysis Analytics’.

Using Amplitude Analytics, product marketers can:

  • Track real-time user analytics, including retention, funnels, revenue analysis, and flexible user segmentation.
  • Assess customer behavior behind a certain data point.
  • Distinguish between churned vs. engaged user behavior.
  • Pinpoint user behaviors predictive of conversion or retention to drive user growth.

Using Heap, product marketers can:

  • Define analytics events through a simple, point ’n’ click interface. You don’t need any coding knowledge to start track events and generate crucial metrics.
  • Rest assured that each report includes everything from day 1. All analysis on Heap is automatically retroactive. Hence, you don’t need to wait for data accumulation.

Amplitude Analytics vs. Userpilot

Userpilot offers a slightly different type of analytics than the tools we’ve mentioned so far: the ‘who’ analytics.

If you’re wondering what on earth the ‘who’ analytics is, you first need to understand there can be three types of user analytics tools:

  • The ‘what’ analytics: This refers to quantitative analytics tools, such as Heap or Amplitude. By capturing all the events and tracking every user action, this analytics offers a bird’s eye view of your users’ actions within your product.
  • The ‘who’ analytics: This indicates goal-based analytics — for instance, when Userpilot informs you which users have performed specific predefined actions that are based on preset goals, segments, and custom events.
  • The ‘why’ analytics: Now that you know what users are doing within your app, qualitative analytics software like Hotjar and FullStory can help you identify usage patterns and ‘why’ certain users may be facing issues.

Understand that as a product marketing manager, it isn’t your responsibility to analyze everything going on inside your product. That’s a product manager’s job, not yours. So, you can leave the complex ‘what’ tools for them to figure out.

You need to focus on the following factors (depending on the metrics you’re working on):

  • Improving activation: This includes identifying key activation events and determining the percentage of users activating from each segment (by goals, roles, plans, etc.)
  • Improving user engagement and retention: This refers to the factors that indicate whether users are engaging or slipping away.
  • Improving feature adoption: This includes tracking the adoption rate for each feature in different segments.
  • Effectiveness of your efforts: You’ve put in the effort, but how are they affecting your metrics? Have the experiences you’ve built improved engagement and retention?

To address these factors and ultimately improve your product marketing metrics, all you really need is a goal-based platform that shows you user figures across different segments and metrics.

userpilot goals
Source: Userpilot

You don’t need to look at every user action out there. Just set the goal you want your users to meet. Next, target the segments that are yet to meet the goal with an onboarding experience designed to help them achieve it. Finally, A/B test the experience to check if it’s working:

Userpilot
Source: Userpilot

You can do all that and more with one tool — Userpilot. Maybe jump on a quick call with us, and we will show you how?

Userpilot

Userpilot’s analytics is based on what users do inside your app.

This tool helps you automate onboarding across each stage of the customer journey, be it primary onboarding, secondary onboarding, or tertiary onboarding. Unlike Amplitude or Mixpanel, you don’t need technical knowledge to obtain results.

Userpilot tracks customer behavior based on predefined goals. This means you can choose which aspect to focus on, making it a lot easier to understand the analytics and identify the bottlenecks.

To add to it, you can also gather data collected from NPS surveys to better understand user perception of your product.

With a tool like Userpilot, you can increase adoption, activation, and retention through:

  • Segmenting and personalizing onboarding for each user
  • Seamlessly creating in-app experiences without coding
  • Building linear and branched experiences using modal, tooltips, and driven actions

Amplitude Analytics pricing

Amplitude offers three packages, including a generous free plan.

Starter

  • Free
  • Core analytics
  • Lets you track up to 10 million monthly events
  • Unlimited data retention
  • Unlimited user seats

Growth

  • Pricing available on request
  • Behavioral reports
  • Predictive analytics
  • Advanced collaboration tools
  • Custom solutions and event volume
  • Dedicated customer success

Enterprise

  • Pricing available on request
  • Monitoring and automated insights
  • Advanced data governance
  • Single sign-on and authentication

Is Amplitude Analytics best for me?

In case you’re having trouble choosing between Amplitude Analytics and Google Analytics, here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Amplitude allows you to decide which information is crucial, while Google decides that for you.
  2. Amplitude was designed for product teams. Google Analytics was designed for websites.
  3. Amplitude features built-in guidance so that anyone can understand how to view data. On the flip side, Google Analytics needs separate documentation.
  4. While Amplitude emphasizes collaboration, Google Analytics makes it difficult to share views with teammates.

Conclusion

To sum up, it is quite evident that there are several tools for different use cases, each with its own set of benefits.

If you want detailed reports with highly customizable options, Amplitude Analytics will definitely be your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a tool that offers a blend of analytics and CRM, Mixpanel is it.

Lastly, if you want to focus on goal-based analytics while avoiding intricate coding knowledge, you should definitely give Userpilot a try.

Looking to increase product adoption with in-app onboarding? Get a Userpilot demo to receive actionable insights and improve in-app onboarding experiences for your customers!

Userpilot is a Product Growth Platform designed to help product teams improve product metrics through in-app experiences without code. Check out userpilot.com

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