Mixpanel vs Google Analytics

Caught up in the Mixpanel vs Google Analytics debate and can’t figure out which one’s better for your company?

Both Mixpanel and Google Analytics are great analytical tools with a lot to offer, from event-based tracking to customer journey analysis. This is why it can be difficult to decide on the right tool for your business.

In this article, we’re sharing information, including features, pricing, and reviews of both products, to help you make the right choice.

What is Mixpanel?

Founded in 2009, Mixpanel is a product analytics software focused on providing event-based tracking solutions to more paying customers by delivering insights into acquiring, converting, and retaining users on both web and mobile.

It is an excellent product usage analytics tool to understand user interactions in which you can track clicks, navigation, and churn risk. Mixpanel also enables you to see the accounts ready for upselling, which is essential for your SaaS company to maximize MRR. Mixpanel also offers detailed user behavior trends by letting you know why understand the customer journey and critical user paths. You can build custom dashboards that show clear KPIs in one place and get alerted when they change.

What is Google Analytics?

Introduced in 2005 after acquiring Urchin, Google Analytics has become quite a popular analytics and attribution tool. 55.6% of all websites use it for web analytics. The traffic attribution tool focuses on tracking and reporting website traffic. It allows you to see the success of your marketing efforts by monitoring each user’s route to your product, patterns, and trends in user interaction.

As a completely free tool, Google Analytics offers numerous features such as:

  • Data reporting
  • Visualization
  • Integrations
  • Funnels
  • Tracing

Now, while both Google Analytics and Mixpanel offer a range of features and capabilities, there are several limitations due to which users might be interested in looking for Google Analytics alternatives. Keep reading to find out about the differences between these tools, pricing information and user reviews.

Differences between Mixpanel and Google Analytics

Pricing

Pricing for both tools is different. You don’t have to pay for the standard version of Google Analytics, and you can access several features for free. The paid version, Google Analytics 360, is recommended to have advanced features for your enterprise. On the other hand, Mixpanel offers three versions, and you can choose one of them depending on the size of your company and the features you require.

Event-driven and page view-driven tool

Mixpanel is an event-based tracking tool, while Google Analytics is a pageview-driven tool. As an event-driven tool, Mixpanel can track the resulting code of a user action in JavaScript or other APIs. Thus, you can track clicks, video plays, downloads, and more with Mixpanel.

As a pageview-driven tool, Google Analytics can track page visitor activities, including page refreshes and pageviews, to gather visitor information such as IP addresses and browsers. Google Analytics can keep track of user journeys through the website and is excellent for understanding the traffic from multiple marketing channels.

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eCommerce Integration

Google Analytics offers this feature and is great for eCommerce companies since it collects many crucial data such as eCommerce conversion rates and transactions. You can filter these data according to marketing traffic.

User Identification

One of the most prominent Mixpanel features that Google Analytics doesn’t offer is the user identification feature which identifies users by their names and emails. This feature can help you track long-term user trends by viewing each user’s pageviews and interactions on your website or app. Also, you can track user traits such as geographic location, language, browser, and operating system. You can keep track of these over multiple periods beginning from your customer’s first interaction with your product.

Similarities between Mixpanel and Google Analytics

Data visualization

Both Mixpanel and Google Analytics can serve as data visualization tools in which you can create dashboards to track traffic growth, conversions, funnels, segment trends, and more. Mixpanel delivers more diverse and flexible options for visualization.

Data reporting

Both of them deliver insights into data reporting options. GA offers audience, advertising, and acquisition reports. Mixpanel can also be used to create product analytics reports.

Funnel tracking

Both Google Analytics and Mixpanel offer funnel analysis. In Mixpanel funnels, you can edit data, display how users interacted with your website even before you created the funnel, and segment reports according to your audience. With Google Analytics, you can collect data through multi-channel funnels. You can track the path of a user through different traffic sources.

Pricing

Mixpanel Pricing

Mixpanel offers three different pricing plans for your SaaS product. You can have a free version of Mixpanel if you’d like to find a product-market fit for your startup with limited access to features. If you require more features, you can opt for the Growth plan, in which you build your plan starting at $25/month, or you can contact sales for the Enterprise plan, in which you have all the features Mixpanel offers.

from Mixpanel

Google Analytics Pricing

Google Analytics does not offer any pricing plans. It is entirely free! You don’t need to worry about extra costs unless you are a much larger company that needs advanced features that standard Google Analytics would not be able to provide. In that case, you can purchase Google Analytics 360 for $150,000 per year.

Reviews

Mixpanel Reviews

“The structure of analytical reports and their visual representation makes Mixpanel easy to use and explain even to a complete outsider. So far, it’s miles ahead firebase+Google analytics, and certain integrations make it a lot better option for me than Amplitude.”

“If only I knew from the beginning that I better keep my tracking plan simple – that would’ve substantially improved the accuracy of reports overall. Some tips on that would be awesome.”

“I would like to see the time when an event was logged according to my time zone (location). Also, a lag sometimes affects the efficiency and time invested in tests or analysis regarding loading times for events. Another thing that could also help me is for params that could have a variety of combinations to see it individually, for example. When the user could select several interests, it is not scalable for me to have one param per interest. When tracking this by id, there is a wide variety of combinations in the values this param will bring back. Therefore to analyze combinations individually would be very helpful.”

“Their support team is not very proactive and usually takes more than 48 hours to reply, which does not serve the purpose. Also, the tool is a bit complex to use, and the onboarding videos are not of much help. They must give more self-help material for increased usability.”

“The platform is super complex to understand and use at first, it has so many reporting formats and options, and even while using the insights or users option, the user properties, events, first time, unique, etc. features can be overwhelming and might confuse beginners.”

It sometimes can take time, and a few pages refreshes to show new events or users in the UI. Occasionally these new events / users are applied immediately to some of the dashboard reports but not to others, which means that I need to be aware of inaccuracies in the data that need to be solved by refreshing the page.”

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Google Analytics Reviews

“I’ve been using Google Analytics for almost 5years now, and at first, I have not felt how it influences the search engine optimization strategies I’ve implemented for my clients. Until recently, it paved the tracking and monitoring tasks for every organic traffic and understanding of how my website visitors behave. Though a complex tool for beginners, it simplifies how to understand user interactions and website metrics on every optimization to follow to create a lasting value.”

“Though Google Analytics is a powerful tool, it cannot cover all tracking needs for a website and the need to manually set up some tracking needs that I see as a challenge to improve more rather than a drawback.”

Like many tools meant for wide audience usage, Google Analytics becomes rather frustrating as your still with data analysis becomes more advanced. While I believe that Google Analytics is the best tool for beginners and those whose background is not related to data analysis or statistics, it is rather hindering those who have that background. Simply put, it is a relatively easy tool to outgrow.”

“It needs a large number of manual adjustments. It is not ideal for marketing reports. Otherwise, it’s the best tool for analyzing website traffic to improve our quality traffic on our site.”

“The best part of Google Analytics is you don’t have to feed data into it continuously. You can link your website with a google analytics account and have real-time access to customizable information to view and analyze key KPIs. It allows you to have better information on who views your website and categorize it further from demographics to region.”

“Although the service is straightforward to use for a new user, being bombarded with so much information and graphs can be overwhelming. If a step by step guide is included right at the beginning explaining each tool, it would be even more helpful.”

Top Factors to Consider Before Choosing An Analytics Tool

Pricing

Pricing is one of the top factors to consider since it will be critical in the decision-making process. If you’re on a budget and a startup, you can use Google Analytics and benefit from numerous features for free. However, if you’re a growing company, the standard version of Google Analytics may not serve your needs completely. In that case, paying a certain amount and getting advanced features could be better for your company. Mixpanel offers two paid plans for your growing company and enterprise. You can contact sales and create a customized pricing plan for advanced features.

Do you need an event-driven or pageview-driven tool?

This is another major factor to consider before choosing between Mixpanel and Google Analytics. As a pageview-driven tool, Google Analytics is excellent for acquisition strategy because it can draw a map of where your customers reach your product from. On the other hand, you need an event-driven tool to measure product analytics because a pageview-driven tool cannot tell users’ actions on your product. It might be best to use an event-driven tool to get more comprehensive data to help you increase customer engagement.

Who will use this tool?

From marketing to C-suite in a company, many different teams can use data to make valuable insights. For this reason, the analytics tool you choose should have features for the needs of all groups that will use that tool. For example, let’s say that while your marketing team gets the desired output from the analytics tool you use, your sales team needs another tool to run their business. In such a case, it would be best for your company to switch to a more inclusive analytics tool. It will also further strengthen the bond between departments.

Do you need a product analytics tool or a traffic attribution tool?

Is your priority finding out how users reach your product or how they are using your product? Answering this question will help you get a much better understanding of the tool that you should opt for. Google Analytics focuses on traffic attribution, which can tell the best conversion sources to your product and eventually help you better your marketing strategies. The downside is that it can’t track product engagement. Mixpanel, on the other hand, can track traffic attribution and is excellent for product analytics. It can track user activity, give you insight into the churn rate, and other valuable data to benefit your customer engagement success.

How important is data visualization in your decision-making?

Visualization is a must-have feature for many SaaS companies in particular. Every data analytics tool can interpret data. However, how it presents these data to you varies from tool to tool. If an analytics tool doesn’t give meaningful outputs, in other words, if it doesn’t have a clear visualization, you probably won’t get the output you want from that tool. In addition, if the tool doesn’t provide clear visualizations, your team will have difficulty making data-driven decisions. For these reasons, you should ensure that the visualizations of the tool you choose are meaningful to you and your team.

Conclusion

Both Google Analytics and Mixpanel are valuable tools that provide unique features for your SaaS company. They both focus on different methods of data analyses and offer different pricing plans. Using them both is also a smart option because they complement each other’s features and can benefit your company. However, with the help of this thorough Mixpanel vs Google Analytics review, you should be able to figure out which tool is better suited to your needs.

FAQ

Is Mixpanel free?

Mixpanel has a free version with limited features for early-stage startups. However, it’s not a good option for growing companies. In that case, you need to pay for full access to Mixpanel features.

Is there a paid version of Google Analytics?

Yes, a paid version of Google Analytics called Google Analytics 360 offers advanced features. It costs $150,000 per year.

Is Google Analytics illegal in Europe?

Yes, Google Analytics is illegal in Europe. It was issued by the Austrian court that European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was violated.

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