Mixpanel vs Google Analytics – Which Analytics Tool Should You Choose?

Mixpanel vs Google Analytics

Mixpanel and Google Analytics both have their strengths and weaknesses, and there are certain areas where each tool beats out the other. Let’s look at these key areas in more detail.

1. Core Tracking Method

Mixpanel and Google Analytics are very powerful and reliable analytics tools, but the major difference between the two is the method that each tool uses to track your website visitors. Google Analytics uses JavaScript code snippets placed on your website to track page views. It tracks the information about your website visitors and also about the pages they visited while they were browsing through your website.

Mixpanel, on the other hand, is an event-centric analytics tool that tracks the actions of visitors instead of page views. It uses JavaScript functions to track events, which can be anything from clicking a button to playing a video to downloading a PDF.

The Mixpanel tracking method is superior to Google’s as the data it provides is more event-specific. This helps website owners understand visitor activities and interests on a greater level.

2. Real-Time Reporting

Real-time reporting can have a massive impact on a business’s overall performance. This kind of reporting is literally changing business optimization today. Its importance is greatly understated.

Google Analytics produces real-time reports. However, the problem here is that real-time reports are generated pretty quickly for smaller websites; however, for larger and heavier websites, it takes about 24 hours for a real-time report to be generated. The real-time reporting feature of Google Analytics lags and is not as quick as you want it to be.

Mixpanel produces real-time reports in a matter of seconds, no matter how big or small your website is. Therefore, when we talk about speed, it’s safe to say that Mixpanel is way faster than Google Analytics when it comes to real-time reporting.

3. The Conversion Funnel

A conversion funnel is an important tool that allows you to analyze the journey a visitor takes through your website until they finally convert by making a purchase. Mixpanel provides extraordinary funnel analysis. Just through a few simple steps, you can conveniently create a conversion funnel on Mixpanel. You can choose the sequence of events as per your desire. Mixpanel offers you the flexibility to measure different routes based on historical data and evaluate how fast people convert.

As far as Google Analytics is concerned, it does not provide this functionality. However, it can create a funnel for any particular page which you might need a deep understanding of.

4. Individual User vs. Cookies

Tracking visitors gives marketers a better understanding of consumer behavior and can provide a more accurate representation of how a visitor moves through the conversion funnel.

Google Analytics uses browser cookies to store a visitor’s data against a unique ID. This ID helps Google Analytics determine who a unique customer is. However, Google Analytics is limited to users who are using a single browser to access your website.  This means that tracking the same user across different devices is not possible with Google Analytics. If you wish to get this detailed level of tracking, you’ll need to set up cross-device tracking, in which you will assign a unique user ID to each visitor. You might need a developer for this purpose.

However, with Mixpanel, you can track individual users without relying on cookies. Its people analytics helps you create customizable profiles and search for specific users. Not just this, you can also create custom profiles of your own. The activity feed of Mixpanel is its most exciting feature. It allows you to find out how people use your product.

5. Event Tracking

Measuring the actions that visitors take while they are on your website is known as event tracking. This feature lets you update your website according to the activities of your visitors. It also lets you see the features on your website that visitors interact with the most, as well as what actions are completed.

Mixpanel, as mentioned earlier, is event-centric. Tracking actions is a lot easier with Mixpanel as compared to Google Analytics since Google Analytics is more focused on calculating page views.

6. Retention Analysis

Retention analysis, also known as cohort analysis, measures the behavior of new users in terms of whether they return to your website and how frequently they visit it. Mixpanel provides excellent retention analysis. On the other hand, Google Analytics does provide cohort analysis, but the feature is in the beta phase and is still not a core functionality. When it comes to retention analysis, Google Analytics provides data that can be useful for small businesses.

7. A/B Testing

Google Analytics and Mixpanel both provide A/B testing. Google Analytics provides web A/B testing, while Mixpanel provides mobile A/B testing only. A/B testing on Mixpanel is easier and simpler while on Google Analytics, A/B testing may require some hacks to be able to get through.

8. Segmentation and Reporting

Google Analytics and Mixpanel provide great segmentation and reporting. The factor which decides which tool is superior is the ease of use of this feature.

Mixpanel offers simpler segmentation and reporting. It creates segments by breaking an event by its properties and creating graphical reports. In Google Analytics, the process is the same but involves a greater number of steps. Hence, the whole process takes longer to complete.

9. Incremental Properties

Incremental properties are a way of keeping a count of how many times an individual has performed a particular action. There is a manual way to set incremental properties on Mixpanel for the purpose of keeping a record of customers who show more interest in your products. However, this feature is not present in Google Analytics.

With Mixpanel, you can make use of advanced segments to keep a count of customers who have made a purchase from your website more than a certain number of times.

10. Data-Driven Messaging

Based on the activities and actions of your customers, you can get in touch with them through Mixpanel. Mixpanel allows for automatic emails and push notifications, which can persuade visitors to visit your website again. No such feature is available in Google Analytics. It does not allow you to interact with your customers in any way.

11. Customer Support

The customer support services of Mixpanel are excellent. You can get customer support during any step, starting from signing up an account to learning how to use reports. With Google Analytics, customer support is only available to its users if they are using the Google Analytics 360 suite. However, Google Analytics has an edge over Mixpanel here due to the presence of solution-oriented active community groups where you can get your queries answered by experts.

Although Google Analytics is one of the most popular and widely-used analytics tools, it isn’t wrong to say that Mixpanel picks up where Google Analytics drops the ball in many ways.

In the debate of Mixpanel vs Google Analytics, Mixpanel seems to have won by a great margin!