Amplitude vs Heap: A Detailed Comparison
Product analytics plays an essential role in SaaS companies. Since a major portion of customer marketing is about catering to your customers’ needs, knowing how customers engage with your products is a must. By analyzing user behavior, you’ll be able to identify areas of improvement and use data to make informed decisions to improve your inbound marketing strategy.
It’s important to use the right SaaS analytics tool while analyzing and improving product engagement. Amplitude and Heap are two of the most popular product analytics platforms that enable companies to track their users’ product engagement. In this article, I’ll take a deep look into both.
Even though they might seem similar, Amplitude requires advanced customization and development resources to set up the tool while Heap is completely no code and is able to track data retroactively.
What is Amplitude?
Amplitude, founded in 2012, is a huge player in the product analytics market. Amplitude is a product analytics tool that has an amazing product and mobile analytics solution with merged user flow tracking, user activity recognition, and personalization capabilities.
While there are many data analytics tools available for SaaS products, for the most part, Amplitude will likely be one of your favorites as it’s an amazing resource in connecting anonymous user behavior with that of the identifiable client.
What is Heap?
Heap is a no-code digital insights platform. Founded in 2012, Heap offers comprehensive analytics features to track user engagement on company websites, in products, and on mobile.
Heap’s competitive edge is its ability to illuminate customer journeys with no code. With Heap, SaaS companies can understand what drives revenue and increase retention without any development resources.
Differences between Heap and Amplitude
One of the advantages of Heap is that no coding knowledge is necessary to add new behaviors, events, and metrics. However, it’s a bit more complex to add new behaviors to Amplitude for people with no technical background. When it comes to getting started with the tools, Amplitude is usually recommended for its easy-to-understand user interface. Heap also has a user-friendly interface, however, some people do have problems during the setup .
Some features of Amplitude that Heap lacks include behavioral analysis for any given data point, impact analysis, and “conversion drivers,” which is another behavioral analysis tool that lets companies see why customers are or aren’t completing certain goals. Also, Amplitude has time-on-site tracking and visual analytics, while Heap doesn’t include these features.
Features that are exclusive to Heap include access to complete historical data, activity tracking to gain more insight into the user journey, and automatic data collection. In fact, this data collection feature is the primary reason why many customers choose Heap over its alternatives and ad hoc reporting feature also makes Heap a better choice for some. Lastly, unlike Amplitude, Heap has APIs, however, using them requires some prior coding knowledge.
I’ve talked more about pricing below, but most customers state that Amplitude is quite expensive when you have to upgrade from the free plan. While Heap can also be expensive, there are more pricing options to choose from to adjust your budget.
Similarities between Heap and Amplitude
1. Learning curve
While there are differences in the complexity of the set-up and metrics addition processes, both tools have a bit of a learning curve. Most customers have stated that it does take some time and effort to fully understand how the products work.
As efficient analytics platforms, both Heap and Amplitude offer the most fundamental product engagement data, such as user interaction tracking, customer journey mapping, customer segmentation to track individual users, and real-time analytics. They both have trend identification tools that can be used to predict conversion, retention, or churn. So, various important product management metrics can be tracked with both tools.
Although both tools have learning curves, their customer support seems to be appreciated by customers for being fast and responsive. This is good to know, since investing a lot of time into understanding a tool by yourself is not very productive.
Amplitude has a free version. With a free account, you can use these features:
- Core analytics
- Unlimited data retention
- Unlimited user seats
- Track up to 10 million actions per month
However, if you need to work with a product analytics expert, Premium Consulting/Integration Services, such as behavioral reports, predictive analytics, custom user permissions and roles, Premier customer success with SLA, etc., then you need to have an Amplitude growth or enterprise account.
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Heap provides a free version that allows you to use these features:
- Up to 10k sessions/month
- 1 Project
- Unlimited user licenses
- Auto-captured events
- 2 Sources
- Data Dictionary
- Standard analysis
P.S. Heap’s price depends on sessions.
Amplitude integrations consist of
- Adobe Analytics
- Amazon Redshift
- Amazon s3
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Heap has integrations with e-commerce, product analytics, and CRM platforms, such as:
Here are some verified reviews about Amplitude Analytics:
Amplitude has an average of 4.5 stars and 940 reviews on G2
“It provides a super useful analytics platform. You don’t even have to have coding skills to use it and almost no training is required. Features and analysis are very intuitive. Speed could be faster. I didn’t experience any downtime while using it. It smoothly integrates into the normal workflow of a developer and provides a hassle-free platform to managers.”
“A lot of data can be tracked via manual tracking or linking to an excel sheet, but with such a huge amount of data, it is far easier to have all of it laid out in an easy-to-read format. The charts and graphs are easy to use and are really pretty user-friendly. The hardest part is in simply finding the event that you want to use.”
Heap has an average of 4.5 stars and 574 reviews on G2.
Here are some verified reviews about Heap Analytics:
“We use Heap across the organization to measure web traffic and make marketing decisions based on what we find! The main users are our web/digital team and our marketing team. It helps us track revenue from different sources, campaigns, marketing channels, etc. Our marketing is very direct-response focused so this level of detail is extremely helpful.”
“Heap is being used primarily by our product department. We have been using Heap to better understand our users’ full journey across our site and their interactions with the various touchpoints. We’ve also been using it to optimize our conversion funnel and identify potential areas for improvement. By giving us visibility into how our users use our product, we can derive more actionable insights.”
Top Factors to Consider Before Choosing One
Amplitude and Heap are two very popular analytics tools for SaaS companies with their own sets of pros and cons.
Here are some situations in which you’d want to prefer one over the other:
If you have scarce resources or don’t want to spend any time setting up events: Heap
If you want to better understand conversion drivers: Amplitude
If you need retroactive tracking: Heap
If you want to unify marketing, revenue, sales, and product data to uncover hidden insights with no code:
What is HockeyStack?
HockeyStack is an end-to-end analytics and attribution tool that’s used by over 7000 SaaS companies. It unifies product, marketing, revenue, and sales data into one dashboard with no code so that you can understand what really drives revenue at your SaaS.
Using HockeyStack, you can build any dashboard you need with metrics from different departments. Custom product dashboards allow you to uncover key product insights that you wouldn’t be able to figure out with fragmented data, such as the activation rate, monthly sessions by user, and even the engagement by feature.
Let’s see how that looks in action.
Here’s a dashboard of the monthly expansion revenue:
The expansion rate:
And insights into the churn rate:
On top of custom dashboards, HockeyStack has other features too, such as
- Surveys to dive deeper into customer satisfaction, NPS, and gather key insights into possible improvements
- Step-by-step user journey to visualize each step a user goes through before signing up for your product
- Funnels & goals to track each conversion
- Revenue attribution to identify the top channels and pieces of content that contribute to revenue
HockeyStack has two pricing plans, both of which have a 14-day trial with a 30-day refund guarantee.
You can check out the pricing page here.
Here are some of the platforms that HockeyStack supports:
- Crisp Chat
- Salesforce (coming soon)
- Zapier (coming soon)
You can check out the full list of integrations here.
The unique benefit of HockeyStack is its ability to unify your product, marketing, revenue, and sales data using no code. Setup takes 5 minutes and the intuitive interface allows business users to take full control of the decision-making process without relying on IT teams.
- You can integrate with Stripe, Paddle, Hubspot and other SaaS platforms to build every single dashboard that you can think of, using all sales, marketing, revenue, and product metrics.
- You can create funnels, goals, and surveys, which are rare to get with other tools on this list.
- You don’t need any developers, tracking is cookieless, and the script is small, so it doesn’t increase your site loading time.
To recap, both Heap and Amplitude are product analytics tools that help in capturing and converting individual user journeys into actionable insights about how customers engage with your product.
Product analytics enable the company to track and monitor its customers’ journeys, through customer engagement via all other aspects of consumption, in order to truly comprehend what drives them to interact with and continue as a subscriber of your SaaS.
Product analytics tools help SaaS businesses understand which features are being used most often, what their users are doing in their product, understand their retention rate metrics, etc.
At the end of the day though, the analytics platform you choose needs to support your business’s unique use cases and support the tools you use on the regular. To maximize efficiency, it would also be a good idea to check whether the tool you’re considering involves any coding during setup or analysis as this will be a good measure of whether or not all kinds of users will be able to use it.
Because most applications and websites are not built to generate extensive data on their own, product analytics is an essential aspect of a company’s product management strategies. Without a product analytics tool, user engagement data is frequently poorly structured and inaccurate. Product analytics tools allow this disorganized data to be useful by combining all datasets into a comprehensive, well-organized picture.