Mixpanel vs Google Analytics

Optimizing product engagement is a crucial part of SaaS marketing: it’s the key to increasing your retention rate. To optimize your product engagement, you should first have data and a tool to analyze it.

Mixpanel and Google Analytics are two analytics tools with different features and visions. This article focuses on these two analytics tools so that you can make the best decision for your SaaS!

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Pro Tip:

P.S: If you are not satisfied with both tools, you can skip to the end of the article to see a better alternative 🙂

What is Google Analytics

A free website analytics tool by Google, Google Analytics tracks and provides insights about your online product’s performance. The main functions of Google Analytics are:

  1. Analyzing users’ journeys on your site and overall website traffic,
  2. Data collection supported by machine learning: the data can easily be connected to your other Google accounts,
  3. Processing data and creating reports with an easily understood user interface.

In its essence, Google Analytics helps you improve your online presence by optimizing your site. The data is collected on four main levels: the session level, event level, pageview level, and user level. When data from these four levels is combined, it gives you a holistic picture of your site’s performance.

What is Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a paid analytics tool that also provides users with insights about their internet-based products. Used by more than 20,000 users, this tool’s functions include:

  1. Real-time user data analysis and interactive reports,
  2. Trend analysis that lets you see common user behaviour,
  3. Event tracking to get a deeper understanding of users’ journeys,
  4. Funnel utilization that focuses on each action individually.

Mixpanel is focused on the event level rather than the session or user levels. It’s mostly used for web applications and SaaS, but can be used for mobile apps as well. Mixpanel also has an easy-to-understand user interface, meaning that it’s pretty easy to start using the tool after a quick tour.

Google Analytics Advantages

Google Analytics is quite popular among websites; in fact, one in every two websites gets help from Google Analytics. There are two main reasons for its popularity.

  • Price: One of the features that sets Google Analytics apart from other web analytics tools is that the standard version of Google Analytics is free to everyone. Without spending any money, you can access to precious information about your product and use different features of Google Analytics to track your user engagement. This makes Google Analytics a huge competitor for other web analytics tools because like Mixpanel, most of the web analytics requires you to expense from your profits.
  • Better traffic attribution: Google Analytics puts a great emphasize on tracking various sources of traffic. In other words, you can track the particular routes your users are taking while navigating through your website. You can get specific and accurate information about patterns, habits, needs and preferences of your users. Evaluating traffic and identifying traffic sources, thus, enables you to make data-driven decisions to improve your product and ultimately grow your business. With Google Analytics, you can easily develop marketing strategies and improve your customer satisfaction, giving you an advantage over other businesses.
Google Analytics Benefits
https://engaiodigital.com/google-analytics/

Mixpanel Advantages

Mixpanel is another web analytics tool that helps businesses track and analyze their online performance and presence.

  • A broad set of features: Mixpanel offers great variety of features to its customers. You can track events easily and produce interactive reports with Mixpanel. Having features that can be used for different metrics and actions is a great advantage for you to gain deeper insight about your online performance.
  • Detailed product analytics: Mixpanel provides its customers with detailed reports about user engagement, including different metrics and parameters. It gives you a complete view of funnel analysis, behavioral segmentation, and product impact reporting. Getting a comprehensive report about product analytics can give you an idea about your user engagement and can show you some possible areas that you can improve.
  • Integrations: Mixpanel, unlike other web analytics tools, offers lots of opportunities for integration. This can be a great advantage since supporting more integrations can increase employee experience, eliminating tedious job of entering data for different softwares, and customer experience, enabling your users to reach different softwares with a click.

Google Analytics Disadvantages

  • Session-based: A session in Google Analytics is the sum of all interactions recorded, beginning from the moment the user visits a page and ending after 30 minutes of inactivity. No matter what the interaction is during the time of the activity they are treated as one session. This means that every user has separate sessions each time they visit a page, resulting in total of thousands of sessions. This can cause overload and disorganization for your data and prevent you from seeing specific patterns and habits in the crowd of data.
  • Limited event tracking: Events are interactions that can be measured independently from your web page or screen load. Some examples are downloads, ad clicks and interactions with video content. Even though Google Analytics is good for tracking the routes your users are taking and the time they spend on a specific place, it does not track data about how actually your users are engaging with your website. Since Google Analytics is pageview-driven tool, it has limited space for event tracking. You can only set up four events on your Google Analytics account. If your product is a an event-driven tool, which you need to track specific actions rather than routes, Google Analytics is not the best tool.
  • Steep learning curve: Google Analytics have a steep learning curve when you first start using the tool. In fact, most SaaS companies either hire someone to manage their account or an agency to setup and use their GA account.

Mixpanel Disadvantages

  • Price: Even though Mixpanel enables you to start free for 1,000 tracked users (good option for early-stage startups), it is not a good option after you start to grow. It starts at minimum of $799 a year and can get even more expensive as you need to track more users. Also, for advance features you need to pay additional fee.
  • Hard to set-up: Mixpanel requires manual set-up, meaning that you need to decide which events are more important and accordingly choose the events that you are going to track. After that initial step, you can configure Mixpanel and start using it. However, if the parameters you chose are not quiet doing to work for you, you need to start from the beginning. If you go back and reconfigure the tool, however, the historical data will be isolated from your new data: If this is a problem for you, you may prefer to use Hockeystack, which can integrate your past data into your new goals at any time while also suggesting new goals and parameters to track.
  • Learning to use the tool is hard: Just like Google Analytics, Mixpanel is a complex tool that takes time to get used it. Because there are many features that you need to adapt, there is a steep learning curve. If you want to have a quick start and spend less effort and time to learn your web analytics tool, Mixpanel might not be for you.

A Better Alternative: HockeyStack

HockeyStack is an end-to-end analytics tool for SaaS companies. It unifies marketing, revenue, sales, and product data into one dashboard with no code so that you can understand what really drives revenue at your SaaS. It’s completely no code, and it doesn’t require any setup.

HockeyStack’s Features

HockeyStack offers these features with no code:

  • Step-by-step user journey
  • Custom dashboards
  • Funnels and goals
  • Insights
  • Surveys
  • Revenue analytics
  • Segments

and more

HockeyStack Pricing

HockeyStack has a free forever plan and 3 paid plans. Paid plans have a 14-day trial with a 30-day refund guarantee.

You can check out the pricing page here.

HockeyStack Integrations

  • Paddle
  • Stripe
  • Hubspot
  • Salesforce (coming soon)
  • Zapier (coming soon)

HockeyStack Pros and Cons

I might be biased, but this is an objective evaluation of HockeyStack’s pros and cons 🙂

HockeyStack Pros

The unique benefit of HockeyStack is its ability to unify your marketing, revenue, sales, and product data using no code. This allows you to uncover unique insights that you wouldn’t be able to by using multiple tools as they cause you to have fragmented data.

  1. You can integrate with Stripe, Paddle, and Hubspot and build every single dashboard that you can think of, using all sales, marketing, revenue, and product metrics.
  2. You can create funnels, goals, and surveys, which are rare to get with other tools on this list.
  3. You don’t need any developers, tracking is cookieless, and the script is small, so it doesn’t increase your site loading time.

HockeyStack Cons

HockeyStack generally lacks reporting features as it’s not focused on agencies and other reporting-based businesses.

  1. HockeyStack doesn’t have weekly e-mail reports
  2. The tool lacks some integrations, such as Salesforce, Mailchimp, and Zapier. (which are on the roadmap)

Conclusion

User experience is the fundamental block of your product’s success, which affects user engagement directly. Therefore, tracking user engagement and its metrics is crucial for your business’s growth. By tracking relevant data, you can identify problems about your UX and strategize plans to solve those problems. There are different types of web analytics tools that you can choose according to your needs and preferences. Google Analytics and Mixpanel are just the two options that can offer you a variety of features. While choosing between the two, you need to assess why, what, and how you are going to track your data. In the end, both are beneficial tools for you to consider.

FAQ

What is Mixpanel?

Mixpanel is a product analytics tool that helps you to keep an eye on your online performance. By tracking important metrics about your user experience and user engagement, it gives you important information about how you can enrich and improve your product.

What is Mixpanel good for?

Mixpanel is a comprehensive tool that gives you detailed interactive reports about your user engagement. You can track different metrics within Mixpanel with ease. It also offers you a lot of opportunities to integrate your product metrics with other tools, which can give you a great advantage when it comes to customer experience.

What is the main difference between Mixpanel and Google Analytics?

The two main differences between Mixpanel and Google Analytics are the type of data they are tracking and the price. While Mixpanel tracks event-based data, which is good for tracking actions, Google Analytics tracks page view-based data, which is good for tracking routes. However, Mixpanel costs much more than Google Analytics, which the standard version is free, for almost the same type of analysis. Ultimately, choosing between the two comes to your needs and preferences.