Pendo switch pending? We get it. While Pendo is a fantastic tool for getting started with analytics and product adoption—we hear from folks who switch that they needed more depth and customization. Another common qualm is that it’s just too expensive!
So come on down and let’s dig into the Pendo alternatives and competitors out there—of course, we’re one of them—but there are ten others that we think could be a fit for you. It all depends on your goals, budget, and tech fit.
Pendo alternatives and competitors at a glance
From $9.99 (lifetime)
Reasons to look for Pendo alternatives #
Pendo is like a Swiss Army knife for understanding how people use your software. It's packed with cool features for guiding users, getting their feedback, and seeing what's hot and what's not in your app. It's a one-stop shop for making your app more user-friendly and easy to use.
While a Swiss Army knife does the job—your product needs specific tooling that can take it to the next stage of growth.
We repeatedly hear three reasons from users who switch from Pendo; it’s too hard to make it look native, the product analytics aren’t powerful enough, and the pricing racks up real fast.
Let’s dig into those reasons for switching from Pendo a bit more and show you specialized tools for each job…
I need more customization
Pendo does a lot. From analytics to roadmapping to employee training—you can pick and choose what packages you’d like. But with a wide scope of tooling, comes shallow depth in some regards. Unfortunately, Pendo struggles with the customization of their in-app UX patterns; both in customization i.e. the ability to make them look native, and the flexibility of those patterns.
Independent reviews from g2.com note that “some users may find that they can't fully customize the tool to meet their specific needs” (source) and that Pendo’s Guides can be “tricky unless you use a custom code block” (source).
I need even more advanced product analytics
Pendo sits somewhere between Google Analytics and the Product Analytics software behemoths—it’s fantastic for teams that need better product data fast. But as organizations grow, the depth and wealth of insights that Pendo provides gets frustrating and makes it hard to improve feature adoption.
In particular, reviews from g2.com complain that it’s hard to get data out of the platform (source), that “the data is unreliable” (source), and that the reporting tools have “frustrating limitations” (source).
I want something more affordable
Look, we get it. Your boss is asking you to tighten the purse strings. And there’s no sugar-coating it, Pendo’s expensive—the more you use it, the more you’ll need to pay for extra integrations and functionality. On top of that, we hear from folks that switch that Pendo can come at you with some steep price increases too.
Independent reviews from g2.com note that Pendo’s “pricing model could be cost prohibitive for some organizations” (source) and that it’s “really understand what is included in the pricing & proposal” (source).
Things to look out for in a Pendo alternative #
If you're already using Pendo—there are a few core features you'll want to prioritize in your Pendo replacement. Some might be "musts", others will be "nice to haves", but make sure you know exactly what you need:
In-app user onboarding: Effective onboarding features, like interactive walkthroughs and tooltips, are essential for guiding new users and helping them understand your product quickly and efficiently. Look for a solid range of templates and design options.
Customization and personalization: The platform should allow for near-native customization and personalization of in-app messages and guides—enabling you to tailor experiences to different users while looking 100% on-brand.
Feedback collection: In-app Microsurveys and feedback forms, help you to understand user needs and improve your product based on "always on" user feedback.
Scalability: Your Pendo alternative should be scalable to accommodate growing users (from all that great user onboarding you've been doing 😉 ). Make sure it won't get too expensive.
Low-code: Especially for teams without extensive engineering resources, a no-code or low-code interface for creating and managing in-app UX is usually a "must"
Segmentation and targeting: Advanced user segmentation allows for more targeted and relevant user experiences, which is essential for effective user engagement and retention.
Compliance and security: Pendo is an industry leader for security. Ensure the replacement you pick adheres to the same level of compliance and security protocols to protect your data and your users' privacy.
Integrations: Look for a tool that can easily integrate with other systems and tools you use, such as CRM, customer support tools, and marketing automation platforms.
Best Pendo alternatives & competitors for better customization and product adoption #
As we mentioned, Pendo’s styling and targeting options can be frustrating if you’re trying to get deep control. Here are the best alternatives for that.
1. Chameleon: Versatile UX patterns and in-app user guidance #
Chameleon is an advanced product adoption platform that fulfills the promise of in-app experiences that are effective and appreciated and helps you build better user onboarding—throughout the customer journey.
The prior generation of all-in-one solutions is clunky, unreliable, and underwhelming, and users don’t love their in-app experiences.
In contrast, Chameleon’s focus purely on in-app experiences unlocks deeper functionality and faster innovation, making it the platform of choice for modern product teams that prioritize great user experiences 😇
Chameleon offers four plans based on your team's needs and Monthly Tracked Users. You can sign up for free and learn the ropes in a sandbox environment—then, when you're ready—start a 14-day free trial and go live in your app.
What you get
"We've been really successful with Chameleon because it actually enables us to be more omnichannel and trigger further automation"
Key advantages of Chameleon vs Pendo
Chameleon offers more flexibility in targeting (both in behavioral triggers and data imports)
Chameleon has better styling options than Pendo
Chameleon has deeper two-way integrations with other SaaS tools
Chameleon offers native A/B testing; a core feature for PLG success
Chameleon has a free "spotlight search" pattern that can run alongside Pendo
Chameleon offers more value for equivalent plans
2. Appcues: An alternative more focused on onboarding #
As one of the big names in user onboarding tools, Appcues is a good option if you want more customization and variability for your in-app messaging. It has Slideouts, which Pendo doesn't. Its user onboarding checklists are markedly better than Pendo's. It also allows you to collect user feedback.
One place where Appcues lags behind Pendo is when it comes to analytics, but that's to be expected since Pendo is more focused on analytics.
Starting at $249 per month with up to 2,500 MAUs
Key advantages of Appcues vs Pendo
Appcues offers a broader range of UX patterns than Pendo.
Appcues is easier to use than Pendo, as evidenced by G2 scores.
Good variety of integrations with other product analytics platforms to get your data out
Offers some basic click tracking and other analytics features
3. Userpilot: Product adoption tooling with a touch of analytics #
Userpilot is a "product growth" platform—it blends both in-app UX patterns with a good starter suite of product analytics.
The tool is easy to set up, has a WYSIWYG builder, and a solid knowledge base to help you learn the ropes of product adoption.
A few areas where Userpilot lags behind Pendo? It has to be in the analytics department predominantly. Pendo is a more mature analytics solution and Userpilot is still catching up. Pendo is also more "Enterprise-ready" as a tool.
Pricing for Userpilot starts at $299/month. It scales as you have more tracked users, and the more features you need.
Key advantages of Userpilot vs Pendo
Userpilot’s segmentation allows for more targeted user experiences than Pendo
Userpilot is better at creating dynamic journeys that adapt to user responses
The no-code aspect of Userpilot makes it easy to implement and modify user experiences on the fly—great if you're strapped for engineering
Userpilot has a wider set of user feedback patterns and more ways to use the data collected than what you can do in Pendo
Best Pendo alternatives for better product analytics #
Pendo prides itself on analytics, and Pendo analytics is indeed good at measuring in-app user behavior. But there are limits to it. That's what happens when you keep on tacking other things into your product suite instead of digging deeper into one area.
Here are some better Pendo competitors for product analytics.
4. Mixpanel: Advanced product analytics for user behavior #
Mixpanel is one of the best product analytics platforms in the market that allows you to track user behavior and analyze product usage data in real time. Its capacity to analyze and visually organize customer feedback makes it one of the best product analytics software out there.
Plus, its analytics capacities go deeper than Pendo with better event tracking features and analytics capacities as evidenced by G2 scores when put side by side.
Plans start at $20/month, and it increases with the number of events you're tracking.
Key advantages of Mixpanel vs Pendo
Mixpanel offers more advanced product analytics capabilities than Pendo
Mixpanel offers more flexibility in terms of data visualization and reporting
Mixpanel comes out top for cohort tracking over time
Mixpanel gives you more ways to track user paths over time, it feels less "one-size-fits-all" and knows that all products are different
5. Heap: All-in-one digital analytics platform #
Another great alternative is Heap. In addition to being an all-in-one digital analytics platform, Heap also prides itself on being the single source of truth, and being able to get much more granular insights.
Heap does lag behind Pendo when it comes to mobile app analytics, but Heap presents a solid alternative as a robust user analytics solution.
Contact Heap for pricing information
Key advantages of Heap vs Pendo
Heap has automatic capture for every user interaction, Pendo doesn't offer this
Heap has broader data warehouse integrations than Pendo
Heap’s insights are more capable at answering product-related questions than Pendo
Heap offers some snazzy extra features to help you see the full picture; such as Session Recording
6. Amplitude: A 360-degree product analytics platform #
Another compelling Pendo alternative that stands out for product analytics is Amplitude. It offers a comprehensive suite of product analytics capabilities and unique strengths.
The platform provides real-time data, insights, and reports to help you make informed product decisions. Amplitude also offers features such as behavioral cohort analysis, predictive analytics, and A/B testing to drive iterative design and development.
So if analytics is on your mind rather than a full scale digital adoption platform, Amplitude could be your go to.
The "Plus" plan for Amplitude's Analytics product starts at $61/month. Price ranges based on Monthly Tracked Users.
Key advantages of Amplitude vs Pendo:
Amplitude specializes in granular behavioral analysis, providing deep insights into user interactions
Unlike Pendo, Amplitude delivers real-time data analysis, empowering you to make timely decisions based on up-to-the-moment user behavior
Amplitude leverages advanced machine learning algorithms to offer predictive analytics, helping you anticipate user actions and trends more effectively than Pendo
Amplitude's scalable infrastructure and customizable event tracking allow for flexible data collection and analysis
7. FullStory: Unrivalled session replays #
If you want to more closely track product usage, really get in the head of your users and sniff out the customer sentiment, FullStory may be the better option.
FullStory records user sessions, provides heatmaps, and offers user behavior analysis to help you understand user preferences and habits. In fact, if you're thinking of session replays, FullStory is the go-to, no contest.
It also offers mobile in addition to its web analytics features, so if that's something keeping you on Pendo, FullStory has you covered.
Contact FullStory for pricing information
Key advantages of FullStory vs Pendo
FullStory's session replays are much more robust than Pendo
FullStory's error tracking features enable proactive issue identification, ensuring a seamless user experience by addressing technical glitches that might escape Pendo's scope
FullStory's advanced search functionality empowers you to quickly locate and analyze specific user sessions based on custom attributes or events
FullStory's integrations with various tools broaden your perspective on the user journey
8. Hotjar: For more granular behavioral data #
Hotjar emerges as a powerful alternative to Pendo, focusing on visual analytics and user feedback to enhance your understanding of user behavior. It can even collect customer feedback directly in-product.
Hotjar boasts precision analytics features such as heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, conversion funnels, and feedback polls, which all work together to give a thorough view of the user's interaction within your product.
From $39 per month for up to 100 daily sessions.
Key advantages of Hotjar vs Pendo:
Hotjar gives better visual journey mapping through its heatmaps, session recordings, and more
Hotjar's session playbacks are much better at retracing the user's paths step-by-step
Hotjar is much more budget-friendly with a free basic plan that allows up to 35 daily sessions
9. Gainsight PX: Pendo but with more focus on feature adoption #
Gainsight PX is probably the closest alternative to Pendo in terms of being a digital adoption platform with a product analytics focus. Like Pendo, it offers in-app guides & engagement solutions, as well as user surveys and feedback collection tools, and provides support for both mobile and web.
So if you are looking for something like Pendo, but can do without all the product management features that comes in their Roadmapping tool, then Gainsight PX might be the answer.
Gainsight PX pricing
Contact Gainsight PX for pricing information.
Key advantages of Gainsight PX vs Pendo:
Gainsight integrates with a massive list of tools, dwarfing Pendo's available options for integrations
Better user feedback collection tools than Pendo
Best Pendo alternatives for more affordability #
If budget is core to your decision and you're feeling the heat to not spend much, then there are two ways to solve your problem:
Find a cheap product adoption tool that covers the basics
Hack it together yourself with open source/free tool
Here are our suggestions.
10. UserGuiding: The entry-level option for analytics and user onboarding #
UserGuiding is one of the cheapest options when it comes to a no-code digital adoption platform. It has a range of useful UX patterns available for common use cases like product tours and self-serve support.
It does have some analytics capacities, though not as good as Pendo’s. But for what you’re paying, you could just take that leftover money and invest on an analytics platform to integrate with it.
Plans start at $129/month with up to 2,500 MAUs
Key advantages of UserGuiding vs Pendo:
The TL;DR is that UserGuiding is a fraction of Pendo's cost
The UserGuiding experience building is sleek and easy-to-use
11. IntroJS and Google Analytics: The DIY stack #
Well, we did say affordable, and what's more affordable than a flat fee of $9.99? IntroJS is an open-source library that allows you to create step-by-step product tours and onboarding experiences.
When paired with Google Analytics, it can offer a decent DIY analytics and onboarding solution. Obviously, you’ll need to bring your engineering chops into this, but that’s what it takes if you don’t want to pay a hefty fee.
$9.99 one-time fee for a license
Key advantages of IntroJS vs Pendo:
It’s essentially almost free (minus the small commercial license fee)
It is much more customizable due to its DIY nature
Pendo or Pendon’t? Choose the right competitor for your product #
So now that we've compared Pendo vs the rest, it's time to make a decision.
Ultimately, the choice to use Pendo or not is up to your needs. Do you need a tool that does everything under in one? Do you find the idea of having to manage a tech stack of tools a headache? Then sure, Pendo is solid when it comes to being the Swiss Army knife.
Or, you can choose to build a tech stack with the best-in-class tools that integrate well with each other.
Do you want amazing UX patterns for your onboarding? Great, get Chameleon.
But do you also want fantastic and insightful analytics? Then get Mixpanel. The two deeply integrate to give you maximum synergy 💚
The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. We strive to keep the information up-to-date and accurate. Still, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the products or services mentioned. Product features, capabilities, and pricing may have changed since the last update of this article in December 2023.